¿Que Pasa, M.I.A.? Bros Vs. Rockers

The events that happen in childhood shape us, haunt us and turn us into the men and women that will lead the world. It's sociological science fact. When I borrowed a taped copy of Appetite for Destruction from Enrique Fernandez at age nine, I had no idea that 2 Live Crew and NWA were on side 2. I listened to both sides religiously. Sacrilegiously, really. I felt so guilty. So wrong.

These rockers on side one were worshiping the devil and those rappers and the other side were talking about killing cops and all-night sex motels. I loved it and hid it from my parents.

I was at my "cousin" Marco Serna's house later that summer. (He's not really my cousin, but the topic of Cuban cousins, and pretending that people who are not related to you are part of your family, will be elaborated on in a future column.) He walked up to me, giggling, and asked, "José, are you a surfer or a bro?"

I thought about it. I'd never surfed, but, I do have a sister, so, "I'm a bro!" He laughed in my face. I was so confused, he was older and did, in fact, surf; he had a brother, so had to be a bro.

I asked my sister "Why did Marco laugh when I said I was a Bro?" She explained that being a bro meant I liked Power 96 and rap, being a surfer meant I liked rock.

"What if I like both?"

"That's a poseur. That's the worst. You have to pick."

I thought about what side I was on for weeks. I started asking my friends if they were surfers or bros, they all said they were skaters. They liked GNR and did ollies, I owned a skateboard (Nash Nightstalker) so I said I declared I was a skater, too.

I was the worst at it. I caught no air. Plus, I still listened to side two of that tape. I also had a Fat Boys record. The Beastie Boys really confused me. I loved DJ Laz, Sucia and Mentirosa. I was one of the skaters, which later were called rockers. I felt like a poseur -- I loved freestyle and Miami Bass. But I couldn't be a bro. Not out loud.

I remembered being a poseur was the worst of all. I knew that loving both "Shout at the Devil" and "As Nasty as They Wanna Be" was not allowed. I started telling people I was a poseur. It led to ridicule and for a brief period the nickname "Joser Poseur."

Resale Concert Tickets

Powered By
powered by Seats For Everyone SEE MORE

  • Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019 / 4:00pm @ Miramar Cultural Center 2300 Civic Center Place Hollywood FL 33025
    2300 Civic Center Place, Hollywood FL 33025

  • Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019 / 7:00pm @ Coral Sky Amphitheatre 601-7 Sansburys Way West Palm Beach FL 33411
    601-7 Sansburys Way, West Palm Beach FL 33411

  • Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019 / 8:00pm @ AmericanAirlines Arena 601 Biscayne Blvd Miami FL 33132
    601 Biscayne Blvd, Miami FL 33132

As I grew up there were more factions to join. Raver. Punk. Boring goth. Headbanger. Indie. Hip Hopper. Breaker. Ice Chaser. Dragon Rider. I found out in Thrasher magazine that a poseur is a guy who poses to be something he's not.

Liking all things bro made me a super cool dude at dance parties and open houses. One is more likely to feel up a young lady while dancing to Bad of the Heart than while moshing to Reigning Blood.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >