Every video released by Hawthorne hip-hop duo Coyote deserves your attention, but there's one that landed in February: "Fuck the Wall," which seems to perfectly describe what it's about. Beautifully satirical and to the point, we see the brothers kidnap a reasonably convincing Trump impersonator and tell him, "The day you build it, it will fall, bitch."
That's what these two siblings – Guapo Cortés and Ricky Blanco (they just walk past Guapo and Blanco) – do so well. They spit out stories that, as is the tradition of the genre, tell of their everyday lives. Their struggles, their achievements, and everything in between. They don't pull punches, but at the same time, the yotes are damn funny.
It all started when the brothers lost a championship basketball game and of course, pissed off, sat down and smoked for the first time. Accordingly, they started freestyling better.
"It was the first time my brother and me smoked together and somehow we just started rapping freestyle because we lost the game and talked shit about the other team," Guapo said on the phone. "That's how it started. We took it seriously almost immediately."
"It might look like it happened overnight, but we've been looking at it for over ten years," adds Blanco.
It's one thing for two brothers to get stoned after a game and spit shit on opposing ball players. It's a whole different thing to take that to the next level and start a new career. But when friends in the neighborhood started boosting their egos, the Yotes decided to believe them.
"I started writing rape so we could kick the rape the next time I smoke," says Guapo. “In my mind people were telling me I was dope and I thought I was dope, but I was horrible. That made me want to keep going. "
"Personally, I felt like I was good at everything I did in the sport. When I just started rapping, I took all that confidence and kept it, and now I'm here," added Blanco .
Typically for siblings, the duo will also give each other shit during the interview. The ripping and needling is good-natured and fun. When we ask what they saw of each other during that first freestyle session, both of them answer “nothing” and laugh. The reality, however, is that they are a solid entity and are aware that they work best together.
“We just feel like we complement each other well in terms of our voices,” says Blanco. "We could be related. I feel like we're complementary and it just worked."
"I agree," added Guapo. "From the beginning we were stronger as a unit. We have already done solo projects, but the brand is stronger with both of us because we are different. When we get together, our sound is unique. I think as a duo it is much more powerful. And we don't look bad either, so it helps. "
The couple grew up in the South Bay, mostly Hawthorne, but a short time in Inglewood and a couple of years in Mexico when their parents found their feet. Even so, they want to emphasize that they represent Hawthorne and the location has had a huge impact on their sound and lyrics. Her mother, they say, worked hard to forge an honest career while hinting that her pops were going in a different direction. The brothers fell somewhere in the middle.
Now, of course, they're mostly entertainers. Delightfully talented rappers in a region that embraces the art form to the full. While Latino hip-hop is nothing new, the couple still feel like they have to work a little harder to make themselves heard, but progress is being made.
"I think it's a perfect time right now," says Blanco. “There are a lot of Hispanic cats in LA who are pretty stupid, but I feel like we, the Yotes, are on the front lines right now. One of the best, if not the best. "
"It was forever something that didn't hold us back, but people shied away from it," says Guapo. “Now I feel like people are ready to get involved. We're not just dope latino rappers, we're dope rappers too, and that's part of the appeal. You can listen to us for wax and you can't tell if we are brown, black, purple or yellow. That is part of the appeal that will make us a great crossover. It's really just a matter of time. "
The guys are riding a wave of talent and confidence, and there's no reason other Hispanic rappers can't benefit from the dynamic. Guapo believes a powerful scene is developing.
"It's stupid that the world is starting to assert itself because it has been around for a long time, but never in the foreground," he says. "It's always been in the shadows. We're like the stepchildren of the United States and are seldom properly portrayed or even mentioned unless that's in a negative context, especially in hip-hop – we've been there from the start, but." we don't get recognition. Which is cool, but I have a feeling that it's going to happen and it's starting to happen. It's cool to see. "
"We're used to being underdogs so I think the win will be so much sweeter," added Blanco.
In addition to being a wild dog, a coyote is a person who is paid to get people across the U.S.-Mexico border. The brothers felt the name suited them as they work to bridge the gap between Mexicans and Americans through their art.
"That's where the name comes from," says Guapo. “The people who know know. It's symbolic. It also felt like this name literally went perfectly with what we went through in our lives. And then the fact that we are trying to bridge that gap between Mexican and American cultures. Put this at the forefront of American culture. We are really part of both. "
It is them and things are going well for them. Her career took a massively positive turn when they teamed up with Wack 100 and 100 Entertainment.
"We had a friend of a friend who knew Wack 100," says Blanco. “We have a barber shop on Melrose and he came over and got his haircut there. His name is Marcus Black. He heard some of our music, introduced it to Wack, and Wack liked it. "
"That was less than a year ago, so this is all relatively new," added Guapo. “Coyote was only founded a year and a half ago. As soon as we created the brand, we started buying it without releasing any music and it was a real blessing to create the Coyote brand – it moved. "
This led Coyote to tour Europe with The Game. Another related artist, Blueface, appears on their upcoming debut EP Legally Illegal due out in October.
"We're very happy with it," says Guapo. “The project was over, we thought, before we went on a European tour with The Game. When we got back we probably took half of it off and replaced it with new stuff we had been doing throughout the lockdown. We did some nice dope stuff. I'm super excited and we're still recording, so the next album is almost done. "
They were obviously busy during the lockdown and stretched their artistic legs beyond the music as well.
"All I can say is that we are constantly recording content, so you can expect a lot of content from us," says Blanco. “Not just music, but other things too. We have our own TV show, a cartoon that will be released soon. That's all we do on the side. We have friends who are animators, so we're working on something. And more music, man. Music and music videos. Hopefully touring when it's all over. We were supposed to be on the streets when we got back from Europe, but it all dampened that. For now, all you can do is post music, post content, and stay active that way. So that's what we do. "
This TV show is fascinating, and subscribers to its Instagram page are familiar with the skits they post.
"It's something we do for the internet ourselves, but it's something I and Blanco definitely take seriously, and we'd like this to be another tool in our shed," says Guapo. "It's something we do with our friends – we film it and we post it on the web. We fake MTV Cribs, Real World, Fox News and all kinds of things. And we recently hooked up with an animator so I think Start a one-minute animated series on Instagram. Some comedy shit just to show the shifts. We're not just fucking rappers. While we're very good rappers, we're very stupid about other things too. "
In conclusion, we ask why the duo, why the world needs Coyote in 2020?
"You just fuck – we'll come anyway," laughs Blanco.
"You've never seen two Mexican guys do this in hip-hop," added Guapo. "It's going to be a big shock wave."
Coyote's Legal Illegal EP is out in October.