“Without Papers” is a follow-up to “Sin Papeles” , which was released on Shine Flow EP with DJ Icewater, June 2009. “Without Papers” is a lighter and more hopeful version of the same concept, made specifically for “Papers” the movie.
Papers is now available for the first time on DVD for personal use.
The film Papers explores the challenges that undocumented youth face in pursuing higher education. But the film takes on broader issues with respect to American society, American history, and what it means to live in “America”. As artists, we had three and a half minutes to sum up musically not just the themes, but also the energy transmitted on screen.
My verse is a plea for recognition and a demand for visibility. I put myself in the shoes of a young person sin papeles. I’m an American citizen. I was born here, so this is not my story. But it is my father’s story y la historia de mi familia. This is the story of many friends and many young people I work with.
On “Without Papers” I’m focused on the young person struggling for survival, staying strong, demand a space for themselves in this society. As on “Sin Papeles” it’s Aju’s verse that expands the dialogue. Aju tells the immigrant’s story, spanning all races, cultures, and continents.
The national discussion on immigration right is toxic, unapologetically racist and hypocritical. The Americas have always been native land, always will be. Latinos are of Mestizaje blood, mixed descent… but brown folks are indigenous to the American southwest. There is no way around this fact.
Many descendants of immigrants (European and otherwise) have conveniently forgotten their own families’ histories, their journeys, their struggles.
“Without Papers” is a heartfelt reminder that we are all part of the human family.
Aju’s closing hook was taken from “Sin Papeles” to provide direct continuity between the two tracks. The closing city shout out includes only American cities and towns, whereas the “Sin Papeles” outro carried more of a world vibe with international city drops. “Without Papers” is a timeless American story.
Closing shouts out to El Grupo Juvenil, the homeys Juan Carlos, Joes Luis, and Cesar, and the whole Papers crew. You all have taken me on a winding and meaningful ride these past two years. It’s clearly far from over. Adelante.
A.M. Soleil, Retrospectively is a 52-week blog series in 2010 breaking down 5 years of independent music by Molina, one song at a time.