Day Party Crawl
Mala RodriguezSESAC Day Stage, Austin Convention Center, Wednesday, March 12
Rocking a powder-blue sweater and standing just over five feet with the benefit of three-inch-high cherry-red pumps, Mala Rodriguez doesn't cut an intimidating figure. The good girl facade quickly faded Wednesday afternoon as the Spanish bad girl launched into her saucy reggaeton-flavored single "Toca, Toca" from 2007's Malamarismo (Universal) for die-hard fans and intrigued industry onlookers. She furthered the buena/mala dichotomy on "Por la Noche," as canned classical strings are interrupted by buckshot bullets before Rodriguez launched into her laser-sharp Spanish rap. The femcee has been making noise on the Spanish hip-hop scene since 2000, sparking controversy when her 2003 video "La Niña," depicting a drug-slanging pre-teen girl, was banned from Spanish television. Rodriguez brings the kind of high-energy hip-hop more fit for the club than the Convention Center day stage, but she made the most of it by hamming it up for cameras, equally adept at striking her bravado-filled B-girl stance as a sultry runway model pose. By the end of her 20-minute set, she even succeeded in enticing the linguistically-challenged industry crowd to chant her name.