Trap music has been around the block. Since its rise and explosion in the South during the early-to-mid 2000s, the bass-heavy, leaned-out sound has traversed the four corners, throwing around its influence across communities worldwide, spawning twerking workshops at the Y and rampant Auto-Tune abuse. Whether it’s a hi-hat firing at 140 BPM on the morning train ride, or distorted trunk-rattling bass on the block; trap has taken hold in a big way. So much so in fact, that it has heavily dictated the production standard in much of today’s rap music.

Globally speaking, some of the most ardent adoption of trap production has come from the Spanish-speaking world – specifically Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, New York and Spain (amongst others). Although this is not a new development, Spanish-language trap music, aka Trap Latino, aka Trap En Español, has been around for at least the past four-plus years. But the release of new material seems to have accelerated since 2015, and 2016 is shaping up to be the year the genre breaks out for good. What a great segue to hook you on Pandora’s Trap Latino genre station!

Prestige_by_Daddy_Yankee_cover_artMany of the artists who have cut their teeth on reggaetón and dembow production are now leading the way with trap releases. Household names in the Latin urban music game, like Arcangel, Mozart La Para, De La Ghetto, Lapiz Conciente, Farruko, Fuego and Daddy Yankee are pushing the genre into the mainstream, introducing a new listenership to the laid-back subsonic aesthetic.

Also making their presence felt is a new generation of artists. Included in this camp are artists like Messiah, Mike Towers, Anuelcover400x400 AA, Joyce Santana, Álvaro Díaz and many others who are making waves in the global trapasphere while also attracting a younger audience into the fold. Be on the lookout for broad crossover appeal in the US with this group, as many of them already straddle multiple cultures and can get down in Spanish and English.

Audri-Nix-portadaAs with all emerging genre trends, there are artists who are pushing the envelope with experimentation, and this is also true of the Trap Latino phenomenon. On the experimental side of things, vocalists and producers like Jesse Baez, El Dusty, Audri Nix and Sango are innovating on top of innovation, ensuring the continued health if the movement by breathing fresh life into it.

A revamp of the Latin Urban music scene was inevitable, and Trap Latino is the natural progression of this. It will be exciting and interesting to see where the trend will lead in the coming year, or if it will only be representative of a brief moment in time. Either way, we’re enjoying it while it’s here and you can too!

Musicologist

Vintage and classic Latin American music is my wheelhouse, but I’m the last person to put myself in a genre box - life is too short.

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