The ironic and curious pairing of a name such as Larry Hernandez is like being named Pancho Smith, but it's just one of those things that American Latinos do so well -- rocking cultures of both sides of La Frontera successfully. He is one of Los Angeles's greatest American Latino entertainers and he's currently enjoying a reign as the “King of Narco Corridos” and as star of the No.1 Mun2 reality TV show, Larrymania.
On Sunday, Latinos caught the Larrymania fever at the Del Mar Racetrack, where he headlined as part of the venue's ongoing summer concert series. Hernandez, curiously enough was born in L.A. and raised in Culiacán, MX, since the age of four by a single mom. He caught the music bug at a very young age and looked up to Chalino Sanchez, the "Godfather of Narco Corridos" (a misunderstood genre of norteño music because of it's story telling of real life Mexican drug lords).
At the concert, Hernandez put aside allegations of his involvement to Mexico's drug cartel.
“I am only a singer. I am not a drug dealer,” he explained to his fans.
The Mexican-American singer told me the secret to his success is that he's real. If you've followed his career, what you see, is what you get: a foul-mouthed, admittedly flawed charming entertainer who knows how to thrown down a corrido. Hernandez isn't afraid to let the cameras roll when his kids are having sibling rivalry or if he's looking like an a**hole. He's all man, and is scared of the 'M' word (marriage) -- despite having three kids with his live-in girlfriend, Kenia.
The one thing he treasures most is his honorary title as, “El Amigo de Todos.” At his meet-and-greet he made it no secret, his priority was to meet the kids of his parental fans first. He is especially dedicated to helping young musicians.
That night, Hernandez extended an invitation to El Compa Negro, an unlikely 17-year-old corrido musician from Compton, to perform together in Del Mar. Hernandez's curiosity was first sparked when he saw Rhyan Lowery on YouTube singing a valiant cover to his 2011 hit song, “Arrastrando Las Patas,” but it wasn't just that, the teenager is African-American. San Diego fans were no less surprised than I was, but after seeing Lowery's authentic performance, they reveled in seeing the Black teen rock several corridos with King Larry. For Lowery, it was a dream come true to sing with his idol, Larry Hernandez.
He truly is el amigo de todos.
Catch the exclusive GN$F! video interview with Larry Hernandez, which marks the exciting debut of norteño narco corrido music to SoundDiego on Aug. 31 after SNL.
Dita Quiñones is a multimedia journalist born in Tijuana with a passion for Latin alternative and hip-hop music news. Her main goal is to uplift and inform so that the Latino and Hip-Hop community get knitted into the fabric of American history. In addition to SoundDiego, she contributes to Latina, FOX News Latino, Poder, VidaVibrante, and HipHopDx. She is also the founder of the infamous music and politrix blog GN$F! Follow Dita on Twitter.