Music Takeover: Latin Music is Having a Moment

Cardi B


From L to R: Bad Bunny, Cardi B, J Balvin

Over the past few years, Latin artists from all over North and South America have hit the Billboard Hot 100, opening the door for new Latino/a artists.

But this does not mean that Latin artists have never topped US charts before. Hips Don’t Lie by Shakira (feat.) Wyclef Jean peaked at number 1 in 2006; she also had three other songs reach the top 10. Pitbull has 10 hits that have found their way onto the charts; Give Me Everything (featuring Ne-Yo, Afrojack, and Nayer) and Timber (feat. Kesha) both reached number 1. 

Now, a new wave of Latin-infused Rap, R&B, and Reggaeton have broken the internet.

Mi Gente, a reggaeton hit written by J Balvin and Willy Williams, peaked at number 1 on US Billboard charts in the summer of 2017. Written 90 percent in Spanish, it was the first almost completely Spanish song to hit number 1. A close second is Despacito by Luis Fonsi (feat. Daddy Yankee and Justin Bieber) which reached number 1 in 2016. The most recent song to gain as much popularity, with over 1816 million views on YouTube, is the remake to I Like It by Cardi B, Bad Bunny, and J Balvin which not only peaked at number 1, but remained on the top of the charts for 41 weeks. 

Other artists have also joined in on the movement, including Mexican-American rapper 6ix9ine, who first dropped Bebe (feat. Anuel Aa), then MAMA (feat. Nicki Minaj and Kanye West), and finally MALA (feat Anuel Aa) all on his latest album DUMMY BOY. While his name is alarming, the rapper says it has a different meaning than what people think. It is a reminder to remember his origins and allow himself to understand different perspectives other than his own, or as a defense against people who would look at him “upside down.”

“I never lost sense of where I came from,” he wrote. “That’s what makes me 69. The true meaning of 69 is just because you’re right doesn’t mean I’m wrong YOU JUST HAVEN’T SEEN LIFE FROM MY PERSPECTIVE. Turn the 6 upside down it’s 9 but remains the same in a different perspective. Open your mind and heart.”

The fluidity engulfed within the Latin sound will make anyone want to sway their hips or even get up and dance. ”

And his name is not the only thing that makes him stand out from the crowd, he is also known for his vulgar language, eccentric facial tattoos, colorful hair, and grillz.

Additional Latin-infused current songs include Taki Taki by Dj Snake (feat. Selena Gomez and Cardi B) and Arms Around You by XXXTentacion and Lil Pump (feat. Maluma).

The fluidity engulfed within the Latin sound will make anyone want to sway their hips or even get up and dance. That’s what makes Latin music so enticing. The music tells a story and even if you cannot understand the language the instrumentals alone will lure you into the genre. The culture strung within the sound of the music makes you envision yourself in Latin America. 

Latin music has become a worldwide phenomenon”

— Mitch Glazier, President of the Recording Industry of America

“Latin music has become a worldwide phenomenon,¨ said Mitch Glazier, President of the Recording Industry of America, in the new RIAA Mid-Year 2018 Latin Music Revenue report.

Paid subscriptions to Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Unlimited and other services grew 70% to $72 million, comprising 59% of the total Latin streaming market value. While on demand ad-supported streams on YouTube, Spotify’s free version, and similar services brought in $26 million, up 30% from a year ago.

Artists like Bad Bunny and CNCO are even going on American Tours this year. Bad Bunny, Benito Antonio Martínez Ocasio, is a Puerto Rican trap rapper who just announced his US Tour dates in December and is playing two nights at Madison Square Garden, one of the biggest venues in the US. Another group of Latino artists hitting the road are boy band CNCO, who just started their US Tour on January 24, selling out their first New York show scheduled for February 23 and adding another the following day. This group has one of the most viewed videos on YouTube racking in over 1.4 billion views.  The group’s first tour was with Ricky Martin, after each member earned his spot in the band on the show La Banda.

This just the beginning for so many of these Latin artists and may be the first, but is definitely not the last time you’ll hear their names. Latin Music is in demand with more and more people becoming followers of the genre. Will Latin music take over? Well find out soon enough.

Listen to some of the best Latin hits on Spotify:

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