There’s a new wave of Latine artists that are reclaiming the male-dominated urbano space.
These Puerto Rican and Dominican vocalists are pushing boundaries, and at the same time demonstrating that their voices are ones to be heard – as risqué and bold as they may be perceived.
Both fans and artists are taking note of the emergence, too. For example, during Bad Bunny’s “El Choli” shows in August, he brought on stage three out of the five magnetic femme rappers we’re highlighting today. He showcased the talents of RaiNao, Young Miko, and Villano Antillano in front of his sold-out shows.
But who exactly are these Latines? From RaiNao to paopao, here are five chingonas taking over the urbano scene.
RaiNao’s debut U.S. performance is actually this month. The singer from San Juan, Puerto Rico is set to perform in New York City’s The Brooklyn Monarch on September 22. “I’m creating and building from my ideas…” she wrote in a previous biography. “My music criterion and knowledge, and my love for diversity. It’s that simple. I fell in love with urban music, and I’m looking forward to elevating and changing the color of that genre.” What’s her music sound like? She intertwines her soft, yet hard-hitting voice with alternative pop, trap, hip hop, and reggaeton beats. Our favorites include “Limbo,” and “Un Amarre,” which features Villano Antillano.
Young Miko is from Añasco, Puerto Rico. She’s performing in major U.S. cities for the first time next month – her tour dates include Texas, California, Chicago, Atlanta, Miami, and New York City, to name a few. Her distinguished flow paired with reggaeton and trap beats make her one of the genre’s must-listen-to artists. On top of it all, she’s a proud and open lesbian – one of the first in Puerto Rico’s trap scene. “This generation is tired of the same. They’re accepting and receptive to something new,” Young Miko said in a recent interview. “Maybe [my lyrics] are not how I feel but how I’d like to feel. I write to myself, too.” Our favorites include “Riri,” and “Besties,” which feature Joyce Santana.
Tokischa’s one of the more mainstream artists of the bunch, yet she’s still in the process of recording her debut album. The Dominican rapper’s rise to the top has skyrocketed quickly – she’s even dropped a dembow-injected version of Madonna’s 2005 hit “Hung Up On Tokischa,” with the Queen of Pop herself on September 19. She’s also had features with Ozuna, J Balvin, and Rosalía, to put her work in perspective. Our favorites include “Hung Up On Tokischa,” which features Madonna and “Combi Versace” sung alongside la Rosalia.
Villano’s another Puerto Rican force to be reckoned with in the urbano space. She was also one of Bad Bunny’s surprise guests during his shows in Puerto Rico. Villano’s story is unmatched – she’s always real about her life, and only supports artists’ work that resonates with her authentic self. Rolling Stone also describes her as “one of the most compelling MCs in Spanish-language rap today.” What’s she sound like? Hard-hitting reggaeton beats with racy lyrics that encapsulate what you wish you could say but are too afraid to say it. Our favorites include: “BZRP Music Sessions #51,” which features the prominent Argentinian producer Bizarrap.
Last but not least is paopao – a Puerto Rican artist who blends alternative pop and perreo. She recently released her newest remix single “algo así remix” with Mora. Her distinctive music embodies vulnerable lyrics paired with moody reggaeton which is part of what makes her work unique. “Labels are used to hearing a certain formula, so they’re okay with it,” she told BELatina News. “…And when you’re pushing the boundaries for that they can get pretty scared really easily.” Well, it’s a good thing she went with her gut because her new EP diamantes y espinas is placing her as the Latine music industry’s next must-know artist.
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