Featherweight’s life before fame: waiter and worker between Texas and New York

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Featherweight He has become one of the most groundbreaking Mexican artists of the last decade. Thanks to his reinvention of the “lying corridos” -a subgenre that has increased its popularity enormously in the last year, combining traditional music and urban rhythms- has strengthened its position as one of the most listened to Latin stars this past 2023

And since the beginning of last year, the artist born in Zapopan (city in Jalisco, Mexico) began to occupy strategic positions in the most relevant music lists in the industry. A priori, it seemed that the artist had come out of nowhere, although there are numerous cultural and temporal aspects that can explain his rapid growth inside and outside of Mexico. However, perhaps the main question here is, where did Featherweight really come from and what was his life like before fame?

Little Hassan

If you have followed the trajectory of “the Double P” You may already know that it has a name that does not come entirely from the Mexican valleys: Hassan Emilio Kabande Laija. And his paternal family is of Lebanese origin, while his maternal side is from Sinaloa. His name is one of the most common in Arab culture, as it is the one that Muhammad’s grandson received, and it means “he who does good.”

With an adolescence between New York and Texas, the author of Genesis He started playing guitar and writing when he was between 14 and 15 years old. The main reason for doing it was to face depression. “As a teenager you experience many changes and you feel alone, you feel sad. I have always been a very depressive person and I think that music for me is my therapy. When I write, when I sing, when I dance, when I take my little steps, it is my way of getting my feelings out and I think it is my therapy.”reveals the artist in a CNN interview.

In those years, he worked in the United States in the field of construction and hospitality. In fact, a few months ago a video uploaded by Hassan himself was leaked, where we can see him doing his internship in a Mexican restaurant in New York, explaining the tasks he performs in the restaurant as part of a school project. “In general, I liked the work in the restaurant, but I would not study gastronomy,” he indicates in the 2017 clip, where we can see a very young 17-year-old Featherweight.

Rise to fame

La Doble P began her journey working with her cousin, Roberto “Tito” Laija García, and although Peso Pluma released her first solo album in 2020 (Oh and what?), his name began to be heard more and more loudly since he released his “narco-corrido” The Belicon in 2022 with Raúl Vega, who currently accumulates more than 270 million views on YouTube.

In this release, Peso Pluma seemed to finish outlining what would be his own style, the same one that would contribute to transforming the music industry from top to bottom; The main theme of his songs is associated with the so-called “narcoculture”, since it makes references to substance consumption and its movement, in addition to luxury, lust and other hedonistic elements. This would be the main reason why the young Mexican’s music would have transcended the way he has, according to academics.

Featherweight and Nicki Nicole at the 2024 GRAMMYs

Featherweight and Nicki Nicole at the 2024 GRAMMYs / Gilbert Flores

“(The success of Peso Pluma) is related to the issues of mass media and social networks that generated an identity about our country, but it is closely linked to drug trafficking that is very present within our imagination and within our society ( …) are like superheroes or role models, they mainly seek respect. They do not have a great voice, it is the conjunction of different factors, it is feeling identified that they had not been represented by that social sector, they want to become like them. Now being a Featherweight is the model to follow”, anthropologist Horacio Mendízábal revealed to Infobae México.

However, it is worth noting that love (and heartbreak) is another of the powerful themes in the Jalisco catalog, as shown by its very viral She dances Alone along with Eslabón Armado, the first regional Mexican song in history to reach the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 and to exceed one billion views on Spotify, certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) , with more than a million copies sold. Other hits that undoubtedly follow this line and have contributed to strengthening the Mexican’s career are The baby with Young Lvcas, PRC either Lady Gagafrom his album GENESISwhich recently won a Grammy for best Mexican Music album.

And you, how do you imagine Featherweight before fame?


Written by

Christopher Johnson

Christopher Johnson is a dedicated writer and key contributor to the WECB website, Emerson College's student-run radio station. Passionate about music, radio communication, and journalism, Christopher pursues his craft with a blend of meticulous research and creative flair. His writings on the site cover an array of subjects, from music reviews and artist interviews to event updates and industry news. As an active member of the Emerson College community, Christopher is not only a writer but also an advocate for student involvement, using his work to foster increased engagement and enthusiasm within the school's radio and broadcasting culture. Through his consistent and high-quality outputs, Christopher Johnson helps shape the voice and identity of WECB, truly embodying its motto of being an inclusive, diverse, and enthusiastic music community.