One in all 2022’s most viral hits within the Spanish-speaking world was Puerto Rican rapper Villano Antillano’s session with Argentinian superstar producer Bizarrap. The monitor is arch and formidable assertion of introduction: fanning herself and throwing up peace indicators within the studio, Villano flexes that she’s agile like a tennis participant (“Toy cachando puntos con sus bolas por el Insta”/“I’m scoring factors along with his balls on Insta”), delicate just like the Chilean poet Gabriela Mistral, and explosive like a terrorist. She jumps seamlessly from a high-octane tech home instrumental to a suspenseful boom-bap beat and, close to the top, spells out “mala mía” (“my dangerous”) in of essentially the most memorable Latin rap hooks of the yr. It was a real breakout second for Villano, who has since obtained an unprecedented degree of success for a trans girl within the style.
Villano extends the identical dynamism and confidence from her BZRP session to her debut album, La Sustancia X. Located in between your commonplace reggaeton and trap bangers is “Puesta,” which stands out for being nearer to the nu-metal-tinged rap-rock popularized by artists like Rico Nasty than something within the Latin mainstream. “Puesta” is a collaboration with Cuban vocalist and flutist La Dame Blanche, whose spirited half-sung, half-rapped verse offers a pleasant counterpoint to Villano’s cool, rapid-fire flows. Their verses deal with the hardships they and plenty of different girls have endured—girls throughout the Caribbean and Latin America, trans girls, black girls—and the strategy feels combative, highly effective. “Si me buscas tú/Tú me encuentras” (“Should you search for me/You can see me”), they sing in unison on the hook, which feels like a menace to anybody who’s silly sufficient to fuck with them. “Puesta” is a testomony to their power and perspective, but it surely’s additionally pure warmth.