Wednesday, Oct. 14's Daily Pop took the time to celebrate with E!'s Lilliana Vazquez, Erin Lim and Victor Cruz joining co-host Justin Sylvester to honor their roots and catch up with a few of today's biggest Latinx stars, including J Balvin!
"Right now it's a beautiful moment that people really are loving our culture," he told Lilliana.
2020 has been a big year for the "Mi Gente" singer, especially when you recall his appearance at the iconic Super Bowl halftime show. While performing alongside Jennifer Lopez and Shakira, he gave his signature shout out to the "Latino gang," explaining on Daily Pop that his purpose for constantly doing so is pretty simple: "Just the fact you're Latino, you just want to elevate yourself, basically everybody in the world."
"Even if you're not Latino and you vibe with us, just say you're part of the Latino gang," J Balvin continued. "This is about inclusion."
Lilliana went on to express her own gratitude for her Hispanic heritage, beginning with one of the things she loves most: "This culture—our culture—is adopted all over the world. And it's not just one culture. There are so many countries that represent Hispanic heritage."
"It's like all over and I feel like, you know, it's our moment to celebrate and to share what we are all about," she added, pointing to cultural staples like food, music and dancing. "I think it's awesome that when you go to other places around the world you will see Mexican food, Peruvian food or Puerto Rican food. We are so ingrained in the fabric of America as well so I love that we get our moment to celebrate."
The Daily Pop crew also spoke to the Latin American boy band CNCO, which consists of members Joel Pimentel, Erick Brian Colón, Christopher Vélez, Zabdiel De Jesús and Richard Camacho. As the latter told Justin, National Hispanic Heritage Month means a lot to them.
"Just the culture in general is just so beautiful and so genuine and so loving; so free at the end of the day too," Richard expressed. "That's what I love about our culture. We don't really accommodate to anything, we just do what we do. We work for what we want, reach for that goal and take risks as well."
And while National Hispanic Heritage Month may technically be coming to a close tomorrow, Oct. 15, Lilliana made it clear that in her house, it's celebrated "every damn day."
"It never stops!" she laughed before noting that it's still important to have an official month "because it brings awareness and attention to all of the incredible success and splendor and achievements of the Latinx community in the United States."
"And so often we're underrepresented, we're overlooked," she continued. "I think this is a time for everyone else to come and be part of the Latino gang."
Victor also opened up about what National Hispanic Heritage Month means to him: "It's very important for me because, you know, when I was growing up I had both sides of it—I was very much embedded in the Black side, my Black culture and my Black family, and I was heavily involved, obviously, in my Latin side [too]."
"My grandmother danced every single day in the living room from 2:00 until, like, 10:00 p.m.," Victor added. "It was just a thing, it was what she did. Now when we're here, we have dance offs all the time. [Kennedy] likes to dance the salsa more than I do, believe it or not."
Later on the Daily Pop episode, Erin pointed out that she, Victor and Lilliana are all biracial, and that at least for her, it sometimes feels like she's having "a little bit of an identity crisis."
"It's like what Selena's father said," Erin explained. "You're not Mexican enough for the Americans, you're not American enough for the Mexicans."
Lilliana echoed Erin's sentiment, noting that she's glad to have grown up "with two really distinct cultures," but because she attended a "very white high school and middle school," she understands "always feeling like you're not quite enough."
"I saw it with my friendships," Victor chimed in. "I had my group of Black friends and I had my group of Spanish friends—those friends were never mingling together. That was the part I didn't understand until I got older."
He continued, "I struggled with that as a kid. It wasn't until later where I understood or tried to understand why the two didn't get along as much. And that really affected me when I was young because I couldn't party with both of my friends...I felt, like, divided; like I was split between two people."