3ball MTY: Haters Gonna Hate

PHOTO: DJ trio 3BallMTYFacebook/3BallMTY
DJ trio 3BallMTY

You know you've made it when you've got haters.

Such is the case for the three DJs who make up 3ballMTY - Erick Rincón, Sheeqo Beat, and Otto. Not only have they topped the charts with their hit "Inténtalo," but they've also won a Latin Grammy for "Best New Artist" and opened for Justin Bieber at the Zócalo in front of 200,000 people - all at the tender age of 20. Now, it turns out they are playing the prestigious Coachella festival in California this April, sharing the stage with international acts such as Blur, Phoenix and Red Hot Chilli Peppers.

When their Coachella performance was announced last week with the release of the festival's full lineup, los tribales were inundated with as many congratulatory messages as they were with hate tweets and messages. Unsurprisingly, they said, most of the hate comes from fellow Mexicans.

Why would DJs who spin the lowbrow cumbia mashup genre known as "tribal" be invited to a mainstream American music festival? How does that represent contemporary Mexican music (insert disdain gasp here)? They don't even play instruments or sing.

"It's really weird, it's what we call the 'fenómeno de los cangrejos'," said Sheeqo in Spanish (literal translation: crab phenomenon). "It's when a crab doesn't let the other crab go up, the crabs knock each other over and pull each other down and no one can go up. It was just here in Mexico, we got a lot of good vibes everywhere else, especially in the US."

And these kids don't just spin mp3s, they can also wax poetic.

"That's how we Mexicans are, we're always criticizing," Sheeqo continued. "But this was our dream, and I'm sure we're going to do well. When they [haters] become doctors or whatever, I'm not going to be in their face."

In a particularly un-diverse lineup, the only other notable "Latino" act on the Coachella 2013 bill is rock band Cafe Tacvba.

High profile TV news anchor Carmen Aristegui added to the "3ballMTY Coachella hate train" when she tweeted a disapproving (and racist and some say, classist) message last week (her team later apologized and deleted the offensive remarks). 3ballMTY producer Toy Selectah tweeted that the incident reminded him of the Jay-Z in Glastobury criticism (remember that nonsense?!).

"While they were hating, their favorite bands were congratulating us," added Erick. "Diplo, Dillon Francis, even [Mexican band] Los Klaxons, they were all happy for us. It's just funny."

The guys from 3ballMTY (in case you're still wondering, it's pronounced "tree-ball Monterrey") have indeed become popular much faster than your average indie band or club DJs, appearing regularly on Spanish-language TV and playing huge music festivals, but they've also stayed true to their roots, playing clubs from Corpus Christi to their hometown of Monterrey, as well as new markets such as Costa Rica.

And they're not stopping.

This Spring, they're releasing a new album featuring Afrojack, remixes from Steve Aoki and rising singer/rapper Becky G on a track. Erick, Sheeqo and Otto got to record the Becky G track at big-time producer Dr. Luke's Los Angeles studio just last week.

The ultimate seal of approval from Dr. Luke? He tweeted about them: "that @3BallMTY / @iambeckyg song is dope...."