Jonathán Pérez, better known as Serio, is a Mexican American Rap Artist from Los Angeles, California, United States. When Serio was a child, his grandmother said that he always had a serious look on his face. It was for that reason she gave him the nickname, “Serio” which is Spanish for “Serious”.
One of Serio’s first memories from childhood was when he was playing outside in the yard. His older cousin, José, and a friend were standing in front of the house hanging out. When a strange car rolled up and shots were fired. Both José, and his friend were shot, but José survived while his friend did not. This is just one of the many reasons for Serio's serious nature and the main reason his mother relocated him to the Northwest.
Shortly after leaving Los Angles, Serio’s cousin, Ramón, who was like a brother to him, was murdered at the age of 13. Within the first few months of living in the Northwest, Serio was headed back to L.A. to attend the funeral of his cousin. It was during his return trip back to the Northwest that Serio turned to writing down rap songs to express the events of his early life.
When he first started rapping, he would rap for his friends and at house parties. People always told him that he was really good, but he was his own worst critic. He was surprised that nobody gave him any negative feedback. In fact, he doubted himself so much that one day he took all of his notebooks, full of lyrics, and tossed them in a dumpster outside of a gas station so he could never find them again. He didn’t see the point in keeping them since, according to him, he wasn't that good anyway. He soon forgot about the notebooks.
Not long after that, Serio was arrested and charged as an adult for his alleged involvement in a shooting. He didn’t write or rap at all during his first sentence. Serio simply did his time and got out. After being released, he discovered that one of his friends had gotten into music and making beats while he was locked up. His friend remembered that Serio was into writing and rapping before he was arrested, so he assumed that he had continued. Serio told him that he didn’t write or rap anymore. His friend shared that while he was making beats, he always envisioned Serio rapping to them. Serio still declined to get involved.
Shortly after his first release, he was arrested again. This time, he was charged for his alleged involvement in a burglary and possession of stolen firearms. It wasn’t until he was serving time for those crimes that he met another Chicano who liked to rap. He would rap his songs and Serio would listen. One day, Serio told his friend that he used to write and rap a little himself. So, his friend convinced him to write a song. Serio free styled his first song that day and wrote it down on a piece of paper in his cell. He called it, “Nightmares Turned Into Reality”.
The next day, he went out to the yard and rapped the song for his friend. His friend loved it and told him that he should really do it for a living when he got out. As time passed, Serio’s friend pushed him to keep rapping. In fact, one day, his friend got all the homies together on the yard and told everyone that “Serio” was going to rap a song for them. At first, people kind of laughed since no one else there knew he rapped. His friend, convinced of Serio’s talent, told everybody to shut up and listen. After Serio finished, people were like, “When’s the album coming out?” They were serious! Everyone pushed him to keep rapping, so he did. Serio basically wrote his whole first album (as well as material to be used on later Serio CDs) while he was incarcerated.
When he got out the second time and was on probation, he made up his mind to put out a CD. He didn’t know how, but he was determined to succeed. Somebody recommended a studio, so he met with the owner and made it happen. Serio put together his first album in a couple of months, much to the shock of those at the studio. They had been in the music business a while, had spent several years on other projects still unfinished, and were amazed that someone so new to the industry could get things done so easily. At that time, he didn’t know anything about marketing, advertising, radio play, or the Internet. He basically started promoting his music by doing shows, parties, and selling merchandise out of the trunk of his car. As he continued to meet more people in the business, he learned very quickly how the music business really worked. The advantages to using the Internet and social networks to market and advertise his music were endless.
He made his professional debut as a rap artist in 2005 by doing shows and leaking out his first single, “They Call Me Serio” before the release of his first album. In 2006, Serio released his first album, Nightmares Turned Into Reality, which is one of the most popular Serio albums of all time, moving over 150,000 units. Later, one of his singles, “I Got To Have You” gained rotation on select radio stations throughout the country. This was a great accomplishment for an underground Chicano Rap Artist from L.A.
In 2008, to preview his upcoming album, Serio released the single, “Serio Controla”. This track was to be featured on his sophomore album, N.T.I.R. Part 2: The Revenge Of Serio, released in 2009. This time, his CD included a guest appearance by, none other than the Godfather of Chicano Rap, Kid Frost on the track, “In L.A.”. In 2010, Serio went on his first international tour. In addition to his U.S. dates, he visited Mexico, Japan, Spain, Germany, France, the Netherlands, and Australia.
In 2011, Pérez trademarked his pseudonym, “Serio”. With his newfound notoriety came fans from all over the world. With the good, comes the bad. Unfortunately, other people started to use the name; “Serio” to mislead fans and misdirect Internet searches. To eliminate confusion and fraudulent claims by imposters, it is now officially recognized by the United States Patent and Trademark Office that Serio is Jonathán Pérez, the one and only Serio. In addition to trademarking his name in 2011, Serio released his third album, Gansterism Part 3, which features MC Magic on 2 tracks, “Serio Come Back” and “I’ll Never Forget”.
Also featured on the album are Lighter Shade of Brown, Conejo, and Mr. Midget Loco. Soy Chicano Rap is Serio's newest album, released on February 13, 2013. Serio doesn't disappoint fans with his controversial song, "Don't Hate Me Because I'm Mexican," a statement designed to put pressure on the current administration to develop an equitable, just approach to immigration reform. Another great song, "Sexy Ladies," leaked to club DJs prior to the album's release, can already be heard across the country.
Serio has accomplished a lot in his career (even coining the term, “Washifas” meaning “Washington” on a recognized list of Caló words). He has moved over a quarter-of-a-million units worldwide and he continues to work in the music industry. Serio has plans to release his first book in the near future and hopes to focus on developing a career in acting. He has and will continue to be a voice for Mexican rights and to strive to be the best he can be in everything he does. In 2012, Serio released his newest single “Don’t Hate Me Because I’m Mexican” featuring Proper Dos and Conejo.
The song is Serio’s response to people like the Governor of Arizona, Jan Brewer, who signed into law Arizona SB 1070 also known as the infamous “Show Me Your Papers Law”. A law that, according to many, is one of the most racist laws to exist in the United States. Maybe it’s a response to the people and politicians who called for both political parties to “step up the fight against illegal immigration.” It could be a response to people like President Barack Obama, who sent 1,200 National Guard troops to the Mexican border to enforce the new law in Arizona. This song is definitely Serio’s message that it’s time for La Raza to stand up and tell everyone, “This is our land too” These laws affect us all, Mexican and Chicano alike. We should be treated as fairly and equally as anyone in the United States. “Don’t Hate Me Because I’m Mexican” is the first single off his new album “Soy Chicano Rap” recently released on February 13, 2013.
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