Mexican singer Peso Pluma is facing criticism in his home country after a video surfaced of him disparaging the Mexican national soccer team during a recent concert in Argentina.
The singer, whose real name is Hassan Emilio Kabande Laija, was performing in Buenos Aires on Dec. 8 when he praised the Argentine team for beating Mexico 2-0 in the recent World Cup.
Singer Shows Support for Argentina, Messi
“How cool it is to be with the damn world champions,” Peso Pluma told the Argentine crowd. “They stuck it to us in the World Cup against Mexico.”
The singer, wearing an Argentine jersey with Lionel Messi’s number 10, also called the Argentine star player “dad” and said, “Messi is Messi.”
His comments brought cheers from fans but outrage on social media in Mexico. Videos of the concert circulated widely, showing Peso Pluma denigrating Mexico’s team while currying favor with Argentines.
“They got our vrga in the World Cup to Mexico, but man, Messi is daddy,” he shouted to everyone.
Backlash Evokes Past Controversies
The incident evoked memories of other figures who have faced Mexican anger for showing insufficient national pride.
In 2014, star soccer player Carlos Vela refused a call-up to play for Mexico in the World Cup, drawing criticism at the time. Last year, singer Ángela Aguilar proclaimed her partial Argentine ancestry while cheering their championship run — triggering an unforgiving fan response.
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“Neither Vela dared so much,” wrote sports journalist Patricio Constante regarding Peso Pluma’s World Cup comments.
Singer Aims to Solidify Ties in Argentina
Sources indicate Peso Pluma’s flattering statements in Buenos Aires represent an effort to further ingratiate himself with Argentines. His girlfriend is popular Argentine singer Nicki Nicole, though she did not join him on stage as some fans expected during his Dec. 8 show.
And in June, Pluma collaborated with famed Argentine producer Bizarrap on a hit single that brought the singer acclaim across Latin America.
“You don’t know how much this kid loves the country, the respect he has for Argentina,” Bizarrap told the Buenos Aires crowd.
Ongoing Success and Controversy
Peso Pluma has quickly risen to fame over the last two years with his trademark corridos tumbados style — a fusion of traditional Mexican folk ballads and contemporary trap beats popular among young listeners.
The 26-year-old singer’s songs have drawn hundreds of millions of streams globally. But his sometimes violent lyrics have also stoked safety concerns, especially after a drug cartel forced him to cancel a concert in September under threat of violence.
As Peso Pluma looks to expand his reach outside Mexico, his effort to endear himself to Argentines has clearly alienated fans back home. Striking the right balance between pride for his roots and broader ambitions will continue to pose challenges moving forward.