Origin:
Jerez de la Frontera, Cadiz, Spain
Decades:
1998-present

María Rodríguez, also known as La Mala, La Mala María, or Mala Rodríguez (Mala, Spanish for bad), is a Latin Grammy Award-Winning Spanish hip hop singer. Maria Rodríguez was born in Jerez de la Frontera, Cádiz on February 13, 1979. She grew up in Seville and became involved with the city's thriving hip-hop scene as a teenager. The daughter of a hairdresser, she describes herself as being from a middle class family, saying, "My mother and I are both young, and all I know is that my family experienced hunger back then, and that sticks with you. I didn't grow up with luxury, but I never missed a meal either." At age seventeen, she performed onstage for the first time, and adopted the stage name La Mala. She rose to prominence in the late '90s alongside fellow Sevillian hip-hop acts such as La Gota Que Colma, SFDK, and La Alta Escuela. After she adopted the stage name La Mala, she appeared on La Gota Que Colma's album Mordiendo el Micro on the songs "No Hay Rebaja," and "Dando Guerra". She also appeared on SFDK's Siempre Fuertes and La Alta Escuela's En Pie de Vuelo on the song "Espectáculo en la Gancha". She made her solo debut with A Jierro/Toma la Traca, a maxi-single released by Zona Bruta in 1999. The song was originally planned for release by Zeroporsiento, a Sevillian label for which she had recorded the tracks. In 2000, she signed to Universal Music Spain, and released her full-length debut album, Lujo Ibérico. The album went gold and sold over 50,000 copies. Her second album, Alevosía, was also popular, featuring the single, "La Niña". The song gained notability when its controversial music video was banned from Spanish TV because of its depiction of a young female drug dealer.