Nuevo Culture

PREMIERE: Macha Kiddo Brings Central American Pachanga to Buenos Aires in ‘Fuleamelo’

Which is worse: an empty cup or an empty heart? In the mind of Costa Rican rapper Macha Kiddo, they’re just as wack. Premiering today on Remezcla, the new video for her single “Fuleamelo” ponders finding abundance in simple pleasures like a taste of home, a swig of ice-cold beer, and long nights hollering into a karaoke mic. “Cuando me conociste estaba partido en dos, reinita,” she coos to a paramour, confiding how her broken heart is in slow, steady recovery after a tumultuous romance. Later adding, “Fuleamelo si está vacío,” using the Spanglish colloquialism to indicate she is ready to overflow with love once again.

“Fuleamelo” is a stand-out cut off Macha Kiddo’s sophomore LP, Mala Crianza, released earlier this year via Kin Kon Records. The album was also boosted by a commanding feature from Argentine rapper Sara Hebe on the perreo mixtape bedlam of “Puro,” while most of the tracks boast stellar production from Mexican studio mastermind and Kinky alum Ulises Lozano, aka El Licenciado. On “Fuleamelo,” Lozano pairs thumping kick drums with fluttering marimba progressions that transported Kiddo from her bustling metropolitan life in Buenos Aires back to the sun-kissed beaches of Costa Rica. The rest just poured out.

“Working with Uli [Lozano] is always so playful,” she shares via email. “The pandemic made working from a distance much more feasible, and El Licenciado constantly sends me beats that make me want to shoot off some bars, which has kept me on top of my game. Most of the time the vibes match perfectly. Like on ‘Fuleamelo,’ when I first heard that marimba, which is a traditional instrument of Costa Rica, I thought of fruit and of filling cups and toasting. That’s pretty much how we made Mala Crianza, bouncing ideas off each other.”

In the Brenda Yellow-directed music video for “Fuleamelo,” Macha Kiddo’s cup runneth over with a veritable smorgasbord of tasty Central American treats, pairing fried plantains and succulent Tico chifrijo with shots of guaro and rum. The clip was shot in a hazy Buenos Aires basement and features a diverse cast of characters ranging from colorfully dressed bohemians to hyperactive children conspicuously up past their bedtime and even the lively mariachi ensemble, Los Camperos. It’s a perfect storm of friends and kooky strangers that can foster healing, boozy release, as well as a thunderous hangover to liven up the following morning.

“I’ve always enjoyed family parties with my aunts singing and dancing,” she reminisces. “Also, Costa Rican food is delicious, so we wanted to keep it really traditional to reach as far inside as possible. Fuleados, satisfied. Whipping up true Tico food in Buenos Aires was a huge challenge, so the work of director and producer Brenda Yellow and art director Guillermina Arbos was indispensable. Plus, my mom had the brilliant idea of inviting Los Camperos, giving the video that Central American pachanga feel it needed. To quote my good friend Javier Arce [of Coco Funka], ‘Keep your ears peeled, this is Neo Criollo!’”

Watch the exclusive premiere of “Fuleamelo” below.