And now we have come to the final iteration of my column in which I rant obsessively about what is likely my favorite music genre at the moment. My abrupt attachment to Latin trap and reggaeton had nothing to do with my Spanish classes and everything to do with the 2020 most-streamed Spotify artist Bad Bunny.
Reggaeton and trap often fuse together while seamlessly sampling from more traditional Central and South American music. Daddy Yankee, the “King of Reggaeton” and the man who essentially created the genre, is of course the first reggaetonero to discuss. His groundbreaking album “Barrio Fino” (2004) brought reggaeton songs like “Gasolina” and salsa-style tracks like “Lo Que Pasó, Pasó” to an international audience. Daddy Yankee continues to remain relevant 16 years later with hits like “Adictiva” (2018) with Anuel AA, “Con Calma” (2019) with Snow and “La Santa” (2020) with Bad Bunny.
Thanks to Daddy Yankee, we have artists like Anuel AA and his successful 2020 album “Emmanuel” which features trap bangers like “Somo o No Somos” and pure reggaeton tracks like “Así Soy Yo” featuring Bad Bunny. Other stars also released amazing albums in 2020. The album “Easy Money Baby” highlights Towers’ unique trap flow in songs like “Ronca” and “La Playa” while also showcasing a powerful reggaeton track: “Funeral.”
Mexican trap rapper Alemán also appeared on my radar with a 2019 collaboration with producer Bizarrap. His 2018 album, “Eclipse,” featured “Rucón” — my favorite of his songs. More than that, there’s also Duki, DrefQuila, Paulo Londra and countless others worth your time.
Additionally, the often-overlooked women of Latin trap and reggaeton include some of the classics like Shakira and a wealth of upcoming artists. Becky G and Natti Natasha achieved the smash hit “Sin Pijama” in 2018, while more recently Karol G’s 2019 album “Ocean” featured my personal favorites “Go Karo” and the collaboration “Mi Cama – Remix” with J Balvin and Nicky Jam.
However, my favorite rising female reggaeton artist is Chilean American Paloma Mami. Focusing on songs that are less explicit and demeaning for women, Mami offers up her versatile voice. Her songs “No Te Enamores” (2018), “Mami” (2019) and “No Te Debí Besar” (2019), with C. Tangana and Alizzz, are all noteworthy.
Of course, I must give a short shout-out to Bad Bunny. His four albums and dozens of singles are all amazing in my opinion, but some of my favorite of his songs have to be “Hablamos Mañana” (2020), “Soliá” (2020) and “Ser Bichote” (2018). I also want to mention his SoundCloud drop “Compositor del Año” (2020) which is part diss track, part social commentary and wholly powerful; I recommend looking up the translated lyrics for a full experience.
Sadly, I must sign off. I could honestly write for pages about reggaeton and Bad Bunny specifically, but I can only hope you’ll come to love the genre, and him specifically, as much as I do.
So, for the last time, happy listening! I hope that music continues to unite us. Thanks so much for exploring it with me.