Editor’s note: Because of the success of our “Where I Live” series, we are offering people the opportunity to write personal essays on other subjects, too. Some possibilities include where I work, shop, play, explore, volunteer or learn. To submit your essay, please email Managing Editor Thomas Martinez at thomas.martinez@fortworthreport.org and hello@fortworthreport.org.

Lorenzo Zenteno

 To most, “Centro Popular” is the first all Latin and urban music festival in Fort Worth in over 12 years, but to me, it means so much more: It’s history, it’s lineage, it’s my family’s legacy.

My mother, a Mexican migrant, owned and operated “Centro Popular,” her own independent record store from 1985-1997 in the heart of Fort Worth. The record store was on North Main Street (in the Historic Stockyards,) and she sold only Spanish music records. She also rented out movie titles both in English and Spanish. I spent the first 12 years of my life growing up in the record store.

If You Go:

Where: Wild Acre Live – 1734 East El Paso Street

Fort Worth TX 76102

When: 2:00 p.m., Saturday, July 31, 2021

Line-up: King Lil G, Baby Bash, Frankie J, Twista, Krystall Poppin, Emilio Rojas, Aj Hernz, Renizance, xBValentine, Anna Mvze, Castro Escobar, High Rollaz, Louie TheSinger, Soup Flame, Lil Cas.

Cost: $40 – $100

Website: https://www.centropopular.com/

For more information, contact visit CentroPopular.com.

I remember catching the T Bus with my mom to go to work with her during the summer. I remember sharing some of the greatest memories of my life in that store with my older brother. I used to always think that my entrepreneurial spirit came from my father, but it wasn’t until this year that I finally realized that it was my mother who laid that foundation in me. She embodied what the American Dream is all about. 

Fast forward to 2021, and here we are just days away from the launch of my first festival appropriately titled “Centro Popular” at Wild Acre Live. It will feature King Lil G, Baby Bash, Frankie J, Chris Perez and many more. I’ve spent the past 14 years honing my craft, learning the in’s and out’s of this business — from event management to situational management to people management. For the longest, I couldn’t wrap my head around how I could honor my mother’s legacy after she passed in 2009 — until now. I knew if she was here, she would be proud, not because of the accolades, but because I have never given up on what I set my mind out to do over 23 years ago. 

Even though I’ve had higher budgeted events, this just feels bigger, it just feels like the accumulation of all the work I’ve put in. This feels very personal to me. Saturday, July 31, will be a night to remember. It is my honor to be able to bring this name back to life because heroes get remembered but legends never die.

Lorenzo Zenteno, also known as Smooth Vega, is a Fort Worth-born artist manager who has had more than 20 years of experience in the music industry. Zenteno has worked with a grand list of artists that include: The Game, Nipsey Hussle, Royce 5’9, Joe Budden, Erik B. & Rakim, Dave East, Chamillionaire, Ginuwine and more.

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