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Omar Fuentes "Rude Boy" won the contest, Tengo Talento Mucho Talento
Omar Fuentes "Rude Boy" won the contest, Tengo Talento Mucho Talento | Photo Courtesy of Facebook Omar Fuentes (Rude boy)

Honduran rapper Rude Boy immigrates to Texas, signs record deal

In one of the rounds, I sang "La voz del pueblo," a song I wrote to talk about what my compatriots and I were experiencing. I wanted the world to know what we went through and suffered in the country.

Omar Fuentes "Rude Boy"
Interview Subject
Omar Fuentes, who goes by “Rude Boy,”, is a Honduran who lives in the United States. He left Honduras along with his wife in a migrant caravan in 2018. Upon arriving in the U.S., he competed in the program Tengo Talento Mucho Talento (“I have talent, a lot of talent”), in which he managed to win first place.

He signed a contract with Ventura Records and on July 29, 2022, he released his new song “La Vida en la USA.”
Background Information
The Central American migrant caravans heading to the United States or simply migrant caravans are a series of exoduses that began in October 2018, with the main objective of entering the country in search of better living conditions. The first of them was initiated by about a thousand Hondurans on October 13, 2018, who left San Pedro Sula, Honduras, some with the aim of reaching Mexico to request asylum, others pushed by poverty and violence in their country of origin.
It was followed by a second caravan of almost a thousand Hondurans, which departed from Esquipulas, Guatemala, on October 21 and another three caravans made up of Salvadorans, who departed from El Salvador in the following days. Since then, this kind of migration has become frequent in the Central American region.
The first caravan was criticized, from its inception, by the US government, especially by President Donald Trump, while the Mexican government asked the United Nations (UN) for support to serve the migrants.

TEXAS, United States — When I lived in El Progreso, Yoro in Honduras, I never imagined myself in another country. I always dreamed of representing my country in contests but never thought of migrating. The decision to flee my land overnight came quickly.

I left with my wife, Keylin, who was pregnant at the time. We took the road to the United States along with thousands of other people who came in the migrant caravan. I had no money. I did not know the route. We just hoped to reach Keylin’s family.

Along the way, I felt desperate, not knowing what to do, but I had no other choice but to stay calm. I could not do anything except trust in God. It’s what I’ve done all my life. Unexpectedly, a person helped us when we were in Mexico and brought us to the United States.

Detained in prison for months, away from my wife and newborn son

When I arrived in the United States, I did not know what to do or how to act. I did not run or oppose the authorities; I just let them stop us. They took us to a migrant detention center. I tried to pretend I didn’t know my wife. I didn’t care if I could not stay, I wanted her to be with her family. Suddenly, they took her away to examine her and I thought I would never see her again. 

At that time, I could not focus on anything. I saw people move their lips, I heard a lot of noise, and words in other languages. It felt like I was not there and could hear nothing. It felt as if my spirit left my body, and I could see myself in the middle of the whole crowd. Detained for seven months. I could not see my son who came into the world five days after we arrived in the country. What disturbed me most was not knowing if Keylin managed to get to her family. I knew nothing of her whereabouts.

During my time in detention, I saw many comrades leave. Policemen called them by name, and when they got up, we all applauded, celebrating that they got to finally leaving. I felt happy for them, and I wanted to leave like that. When I finally left, the modality changed. The policemen arrived one morning while we slept. They woke me up and made me go out. I never got to say goodbye to the friends I made there. It seemed bittersweet – a mixture of happiness and sadness.

Being the only Honduran performing at Tengo Talento Mucho Talento contest

Upon reuniting with my wife and son, I felt complete. My desire to get ahead in life grew. I felt ready to follow my dream of dedicating myself to music, something that served as a hobby in Honduras while working as a motorcycle mechanic to survive.

Omar Fuentes with his wife and two children | Photo courtesy of Facebook – Omar Fuentes (Rude boy)

Even though many people discouraged me, saying I would achieve nothing in this country, I dared to dream. One day a social media follower told me about casting on the show Tengo Talento, Mucho Talento (the longest-running talent competition show on U.S. Spanish-language television). I decided to go to the audition.

I felt confident and sure of myself knowing the judges would like my song. The applicants came from various Latin countries, but I remained the only Honduran. It felt strange. Eventually, they called me and told me they selected me for the show! I can’t describe the excitement I felt. It seemed like a great opportunity for people to get to know me. I never imagined I would win!

The first round proved quite a challenge. I had to travel 24 hours by bus with my wife and son, to get from Texas to Los Angeles. Back then, I did not know that despite my immigrant status, I could take a flight. I had been working only for a short while. This meant I had to spend all my salary just to get there. So, I asked the production of the contest to pay for my stay and the return ticket, and they accepted.

Using my music to talk about our suffering

Being on stage in the United States was a dream come true. I felt ecstatic! Using up all the energy and enthusiasm I felt, holding the microphone, I sang my heart out. When I finished, the jury and the public stood up and applauded. I became the center of attention.

In each performance, I gave it my best. Even if I lost, at least I had the satisfaction of having done well. In one of the rounds, I sang “La voz del pueblo,” a song I wrote to talk about what my compatriots and I experienced. I wanted the world to know what we went through and suffered in the country.

Fortunately, I succeeded through each episode. The public supported me increasingly, and that became my greatest reward. For my last performance, I created a new song I prepared in one day and managed to win the contest!

I am a Honduran with many dreams. Though I am not where I want to be, I am not where I started either. Winning the award has opened doors for me to reach the goal of bringing my music to thousands of people, and I am satisfied.

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Honduran journalist with more than 12 years of experience in the media. A communication and advertising sciences graduate of the University of San Pedro Sulha, Xochilth has worked on different radio and television channels and taught at the university level. She currently collaborates as an editor of a digital newspaper.