PREMIERE: J.Littles ft. Bodega Bamz and Thirstin Howl the 3rd “Tres Leches” Video

When it’s your birthday, you tend to let your responsibilities for the day slip away. And then your friends, family members, and their friends surprise you with a block party in a car garage…

Wait, not even on your birthday? Well, all of us can’t live like Thirstin Howl the 3rd. In the Ray Cuts-directed video for “Tres Leches,” the Lo-Life god heads to get some unfinished business taken care of and gets surprised by J.Littles, Bodega Bamz, the Tanboys, and company. (The party is currently nominated for Function of the Year.) Hopefully, you immediately start singing Santana’s “Oye Como Va” as soon as Thirstin’s verse kicks in.

We spoke to J.Littles about the kickback he hosted for the video and the strong sense of community within the Latino neighborhoods.

Mass Appeal: Who came up with the premise for the video where Thirstin is going to pick up a car?

J.Littles: I thought up the treatment for the video, with additional ideas and suggestions from my team. What we were aiming for was to show our Latino culture in classic form. What better way [than] to display that through Hondas and low-riders at a cookout? There was a few discussions with Thirstin Howl and the Tanboys family on how we could make this video stand out as much as possible in a way that represents our culture and what we stand for.

How important is the original sample for the song, “Oye Como Va,” to you as an artist and as a Latino?

Personally, the song “Oye Como Va” is one of my favorite Santana records. My father use to have it on repeat when I was a kid, so when I first heard the beat, I knew it was special. I actually had it in the stash for almost three years, but I never released it because I felt it was one of those nostalgic-type records and I just wanted to make sure it came together proper. Being that Benny Blanco infused it with a boom bap twist, I had to make sure that I freaked it right—being that it’s such a legendary sample. You can’t just touch records with that status and not go all-in.

Why did you choose to get Thirstin and Bodega as the guest features for the song?

Originally, I had two verses, the first verse was the one I used for the record, and the second was completely in Spanish. I was working on doing something extra for the hook, but I lost my phone at the time, which had my second verse, so I never fully recorded the track. Fast forward a few months later, I ended up connecting with Thirstin to build on some music and clothing ventures for my clothing line, MadLimited. We put out a monster remake of the Polo bear. Thirstin came through the studio to build with a friend of mine that was helping him with his Lo-Life brand, we cracked some Henny and the rest is history.

After doing some mixes on the record, my man suggested we get Bamz on it to put the icing on the cake, being that we really rep our culture to the fullest. Thanks to some mutual friends, I was able to get him to my studio and he delivered a great verse to wrap the record. The vibe with both artists was incredible.

The video looks like it was a lot of fun to shoot, but it also looks like something you do every weekend when it’s nice out. How important is the sense of community to you among Latinos, including the children, as an artist?

Our community is everything, and the kids are the number one priority, as far as I’m concerned. I come from a tough generation being raised in the ‘90s, where things were slightly different, but the struggle remains the same. The difference now is we try to encourage the youth not to make the same mistakes we made in our childhood.

As role models and leaders, it’s our due diligence to try and keep our families and communities unified so we can help each other upgrade our living conditions instead of staying stuck in an ignorant mentality. The best way I can give back to my people is by showing them by example that hard work does pay off, and you can achieve it if you believe it. Besides, there’s no better cooking than Abuela’s arroz con gandules, so a cookout every here and there doesn’t hurt—just bring a six pack of Coronas if you coming through.

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