Welcome to the holidays in Miami, where coquito reigns over eggnog, kids build sandcastles instead of snowmen, and “the only thing roasting on an open fire is a pig, not chestnuts,” joke Michelle Sicars and Giancarlo Sabogal, creators of Sh*t Miami Girls Say.
Sicars and Sabogal, who have been based in Los Angeles for nearly a decade, are reminiscing about their Miami holidays with a Sh*t Miami Girls Say six-part holiday series, The 6 Days of Christmas. Earlier this month, the BFFs released the first video, which stars, Papi Chulo, the crowd-favorite Miami character from their Halloween special.
“You see papi chulos all over in Miami... We always have one actor or musician that defines Miami for a moment," Sabogal says. "In the '80s, it was Gloria Estefan, and it’s Pitbull now. Pitbull is Papi Chulo... It’s an important character in the Miami spectrum. He doesn’t know how ridiculous he is. He’s harmless. He’s never getting any play — he thinks he is, but he’s not.”
Titled “Papi Sin Pena,” which translates to “Papi Got No Shame,” the first video of the series is a Miami twist on the Christmas movie favorite Home Alone. In the 1990 film, a prepubescent Macaulay Culkin plays a boy who slaps aftershave on his face. But Sh*t Miami Girls Say shows a Papi Chulo who's freshly shaven, um, everywhere, playing out the scenario.
“I feel like I know a lot of guys in Miami who would do this. He would be shaving that under area, not realizing the aftershave was going to sting,” says Sabogal, who plays the character.
In the second video, “Un Poquito Coquito,” which was released Friday, two Caucasian characters take shots of coquito and progressively become, as the creators describe, “more Latin” as the drink takes hold.
Sh*t Miami Girls Say will release the other four videos of the Christmas series over the next week before Noche Buena and Christmas Day. In true Sh*t Miami Girls Say style, the videos lampoon Miami holiday traditions.
Papi Chulo makes another appearance, in “Baby, It’s Hot Outside,” when he flirts poolside with a disinterested woman while “Mi Burrito Sabanero” plays on Power 96.
In “Midnight Mass Confession,” a Miami woman prays to the Lord for all the wrong things, including butt implants and a vibrant sex life.
“Y el Novio?” recounts an experience that, Sicars says, “every single woman in Miami has experienced at Noche Buena. All the relatives ask who you are dating. ‘You’re 30. Where's your boyfriend?’” Tia Cuchi, the croqueta-loving auntie from the Halloween special, is back and joined by a typical Miami uncle, Tio Pepe. “We are all mimicking what it’s like to be at Noche Buena in our own homes,” says Sicars.
Sicars and Sabogal are especially excited about their last installment of the series: a music video for a trap rap song produced and performed by the duo. They are still deciding on a title, but the chorus involves Frankincense, one of the Magi’s gifts to Jesus.
“It’s in the style of Cardi B. The three wise men are rapping straight out of Bethlehem to celebrate Baby Jesus. Then, in comes the virgin, Cardi B... These biblical characters are rapping on a tight trap rap beat. It’s something people will understand 100 percent if they know the biblical stories. We’re paying homage to Baby Jesus," Sabogal says.
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For the past five years, Sh*t Miami Girls Say has been a passion project for Sicars and Sabogal, who also work full-time in L.A.’s film industry. Their first two videos, released in 2012, were viral sensations, but the duo took a break and produced different kinda of videos during what they call their “experimental years.” The Sh*t Miami Girls Say video series resurfaced this year with the Halloween special and this Christmas series.
Finding time to produce the videos between auditions and day jobs can be difficult, they say. But the they feel inspired by the public’s responses to the videos. Sabogal says, “People used to say, ‘You made Miami more Miami by putting those videos out’... We want to be the next Issa Rae. If [Sh*t Miami Girls Say] is a platform that can help us, that’s awesome. How L.A. is the background for Insecure, Miami is the background [for our videos]. The city is a character.”
Sicars adds, “We want to incorporate the culture we grew up with. We want Miami as a big character in our setting. It would be great to get to a place where we do have a web series.”
For now, the two are excited to drop the next installments of their Christmas series, especially their trap music video. Sicars confesses, “I hate 'Feliz Navidad' the song. I hate it. It plays and it plays. [My new favorite Christmas song] is going to be our trap rap song.”