“Long Time Coming” brings together LA artists and national organizations to inspire and motivate voter engagement across the country, while addressing some of the most pressing issues we are facing. As Nina Simone said, “An artist’s duty, as far as I’m concerned, is to reflect the times.” This is a duty Las Cafeteras embraces fully as it releases this song before the most important election of our time. “Long Time Coming” is also a call for Chicanx and Latinx artists to unite and use their platforms and gifts to uplift truth and justice, and move people to the ballot box (or the mailbox).
Las Cafeteras, in partnership with The Center for Cultural Power and Poder Latinx, released Wednesday the music video for its new song, “Long Time Coming,” featuring Las Cafeteras, Scarub of the group Living Legends, Stephani “La Mera” Candelaria, Kimsly and DJ/Producer Degruvme.
Beyond the elections, “Long Time Coming” is a call to take action for racial and gender justice and a future where we live in harmony with nature. “The song was written in response to the murder of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd and Breonna Taylor,” says Hector Flores of Las Cafeteras. Lyrics like, “Put your fist in the air and fight with me, the cops in the streets kill violently, the judges in the courts they lie to me,” respond to the recent court decision that served no justice for the death of Breonna Taylor. While the song reflects the challenges our country currently faces, this song and its upbeat dance tempo inspires hope and reminds us that “change is gonna come, we ain’t gonna stop, it’s been a long time coming.” This song builds the bridge between rage and joy, pain and pleasure, hurt and humanity.
The Center for Cultural Power launched the Movement to the Ballot Box Campaign to commission and uplift compelling artists and storytellers to increase civic participation and mobilize a historic voter turnout. “We are so excited to collaborate with Las Cafeteras to produce this music video that not only gives people a reason to believe that participating in the electoral process is worth it, but creates a culture where voting is celebrated,” says Kat Evasco, senior program director at The Center for Cultural Power. With works at the intersection of migrant rights, climate change, racial and gender justice, and voting, the Movement to the Ballot Box art series activates the role of artists in powering political and cultural change.
The music video for “Long Time Coming” was filmed in the Eastside of Los Angeles at the Chicanx owned bar, XELAS. The story follows a young Mexicana on Election Day as she is led into the funky underworld of movement, joy, power and play that awaits a community whose time is now. The band philosophy of Las Cafeteras is, “we cannot have a Movement without movement.” The goal was to be part of the cultural wave that imagines a new future that is just and equitable. First order of business – we move to the ballot as early as possible, but like the song says, after the election, “we ain’t gonna stop.”
The music video will be promoted by more than 30 national organizations working on GOTV (Get Out The Vote) efforts including Poder Latinx, CHIRLA, Seed The Vote, Make the Road, People’s Action, Mijente, United We Dream Action, Working Families Party, Black Voters Matter Fund, Sunrise Movement, Progressive Democrats of America, Revolve Impact, HeadCount, LUCHA, and Our Revolution, among others.
ABOUT LAS CAFETERAS
Las Cafeteras are Native and migrant children who have developed a genre-bending sound infusing, lyrically rich storytelling with the purpose of sharing the hidden stories of migrant life in Los Angeles. Las Cafeteras, who grew up in Los Angeles, were inspired not only from Mexican music, but from rock, reggae, Hip-Hop and Motown. For Las Cafeteras, it was essential to use music as a way to build bridges among the different cultures and communities that historically have had tension. Through music, Las Cafeteras are trying to help build ‘a world where many worlds fit.’
ABOUT THE CENTER FOR CULTURAL POWER
The Center for Cultural Power, formerly known as CultureStrike, is an artist-of-color-led organization building the infrastructure and cultural assets to support artists and storytellers pushing for social change. We activate authentic narratives and amplify stories that shift culture toward justice and equity. Our work resides at the intersections of migration, climate chaos, and gender, racial and cultural justice. Our primary strategy is to invest directly in artists and to work in partnership with directly impacted communities. All of our work supports artists and culture-makers whose voices transform the status quo to create a more just, healthier, and more inclusive future. This includes artists of color, immigrant and undocumented artists, disabled artists, transgender artists, indigenous artists, and women artists. For additional information please visit http://culturalpower.org/.
ABOUT PODER LATINX
Poder Latinx’s mission is to build a political wave of voters where the Latinx community, immigrants, and people of color play a key role in the transformation of the country and become decision-makers in our democracy. Through innovative partnerships, issue-based organizing, and leadership development, Poder Latinx is rapidly expanding the U.S electorate with new and low propensity Latinx voters. In its first six months, Poder Latinx registered 30,000 voters, building a foundation poised to create change starting with the 2020 Presidential elections.