Three generations of Puerto Rican hit makers join forces this week as Ricky Martin, Residente and Bad Bunny kick off our new music offerings. Rosalía continues her stellar run of singles and artists definitely deserving of more recognition are also represented.
Just days before the Latin Grammys air on Thursday, three of Puerto Rico's G.O.A.T.s released "Cántalo" on Tuesday. The salsa-reggaeton hybrid sounds almost perfectly calibrated to offset the criticism the Latin Grammys have received this year for shortchanging urbano in all categories except the urbano-specific one. A reimagined version of Hector Lavoe's "Mi Gente" with the help of giants like Johnny Pacheco, Rubén Blades and Danay Suaréz, "Cántalo" celebrates the uplift of the Puerto Rican people through music — a mission all three artists championed this year during the #RickyRenuncia movement. Their performance of the song at the Latin Grammys will provide a much-needed (if still lacking) urbano presence on that stage. — Stefanie Fernández
Rosalía's 2019 has included collaborations with Ozuna and J Balvin, an EP half in Catalán, and a much-deserved conversation about appropriating Latinidad. Since her album El Mal Querer came out a year ago last week, the pop-flamenco singer has been trying on new identities in more ways than one. On "A Palé," produced by El Guincho and Frank Dukes (who both produced "Con Altura"), she gets a little more experimental with electronic sounds and her lower register, reverting to the industrial aesthetic inspired by the trucking industry of her childhood neighborhood. Even if I don't totally get it, I think I much prefer Strange Rosalía. (Though something's up with that false unibrow and gold teeth.) — Stefanie Fernández
Miami producer Mike Diaz has been serving delectable chillwave for a decade as MillionYoung, and his latest track is just as elegant. "Respiro" breathes with loops of synths, bongos, and bass that sound pulled from a Miami mall twenty-five years ago, colored with the pastel nostalgia that gave us vaporwave, but better. — Stefanie Fernández
As a kid from the hip-hop generation, Henry Cole was inspired by Puerto Rico's rich drum history. The jazz drum set called out to him and he forged a path heavily influenced by the music he heard on the streets.
"Caminando" is a '70s funk-styled groove with reggaetonero Tego Calderón making a guest appearance not so much as a rapper or a singer, but as a spoken word artist.
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