“The Mexican,” a 1972 song that was written and produced by SAE Nashville Audio Technology Department Chair Alan Shacklock and recorded by his band Babe Ruth, was featured in the debut episode of HBO’s boxing documentary “24/7: Cotto vs. Canelo.”
“I composed ‘The Mexican’ while I was in my last year at the Royal Academy of Music in London where I was studying classical guitar and orchestration, and I put Babe Ruth together to try out my compositions,” says Shacklock. “Our sound was a combination of classical music, Motown, Western film scores, and progressive rock, and we eventually got signed to Harvest Records, which was also the label for Pink Floyd and Electric Light Orchestra. HBO did a great job using the song and their inclusion of it in ’24/7′ was very flattering.”
Artists that have utilized “The Mexican” in their productions include Jellybean Benitez, Pete Rock, N.E.R.D., Sugar Ray, R. Kelly, The Prodigy, Helloween, Deekline, and Ghostface Killah. The song is regarded by international music critics and historians as being the defining anthem of hip hop culture. It was an essential component of the late 70s and early 80s breakdance scene in the Bronx, New York as a result of its ubiquitous usage by legendary DJs Grandmaster Flash, Afrika Bambaataa, and Kool Herc. In March 2015, a new cover version of “The Mexican” was released on Babygrande Records by Tom Morello (formerly of Rage Against the Machine) and GZA (formerly of The Wu-Tang Clan). The duo performed their version of the song on NBC’s “The Tonight Show.”
The episode originally aired on November 7 and is currently available for viewing on YouTube and HBO.com. Mr. Shacklock’s track begins at 2:57.