Latin trap (also known as Spanish trap or trapeton) is a musical subgenre that originated in the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. Also known as Spanish-language trap, Latin trap is similar to mainstream trap which details "'la calle,' or the streets -- hustling, sex, and drugs".The subgenre began to gain popularity in the 2010s. It takes influence from Puerto Rican reggaeton and Dominican dembow, as well as American trap music. Vocals include rapping and singing, often in Spanish.
Latin trap takes heavy influence from Puerto Rican reggaeton and Southern hip hop. Latin trap is typically in Spanish and contains a blend of singing and rapping, while still in the signature beat of reggaeton. The lyrics in Latin trap are often about street life, violence, sex, and drugs.
Latin trap originated in Puerto Rico and gained popularity throughout Latin America. The exact date of origin is unknown and has been widely debated. Puerto Rican reggaeton and Latin trap singer Ozuna states that it originated in 2007 with the song "El Pistolon", performed by Arcángel & De La Ghetto, Yaga & Mackie, and Jowell & Randy (the former two were duo at the time). De La Ghetto on the other hand, states that he has been performing Latin trap since around 2005 or 2006, and that people thought "he was crazy". Reggaeton artists at this time wanted to introduce elements of American hip hop and R&B to a Spanish audience. During this time, Latin trap music was considered to be a form of reggaeton rather than a subgenre of its own.
Latin trap slowly began to gain prominence around 2014 when artists such as Alvaro Diaz, Myke Towers and Fuete Billete, the very first Puerto Rican artists using early Latin Trap beats to rap, properly began posting their songs through social media platforms. This new sound eventually gain popularity in Puerto Rico, and many Latin Trap hits emerged, such as Bryant Myers's "Esclava Remix", Lary Over and Brytiago's "Tú Me Enamoraste Remix", Farruko's "Ella y Yo", and De La Ghetto's "La Ocasión", the latter to which Ozuna credits with expanding Latin trap internationally.
In July 2017, The Fader wrote "Rappers and reggaetoneros from Puerto Rico to Colombia have taken elements of trap -- the lurching bass lines, jittering 808s and the eyes-half-closed vibe -- and infused them into banger after banger." In a August 2017 article for Billboard's series, "A Brief History Of," they enlisted some of the key artists of Latin trap -- including Ozuna, De La Ghetto, Bad Bunny, Farruko and Messiah -- to narrate a brief history on the genre. Elias Leight of Rolling Stone noted "[Jorge] Fonseca featured Puerto Rican artists like Anuel AA, Bryant Myers and Noriel on the compilation Trap Capos: Season 1, which became the first "Latin trap" LP to reach Number One on Billboard's Latin Rhythm Albums chart."
The popularity of Latin trap is contributed by many other reggaeton and Latin trap artists. Bad Bunny led an explosion to the popularity of Latin trap. Bad Bunny produced several songs that made it into Billboards Hot Latin Songs chart and has multiple collaborations with popular American artists such as Nicki Minaj, Travis Scott, and Cardi B. He shortly became the face of Latin trap's sudden rise in popularity. Through collaborations with other artists, such as his appearance in Becky G's "Mayores", Bad Bunny was among the first Latin trap artists to ever rap on the radio. His appearance on the radio has led to an increased recognition of Latin trap in the United States.
Latin trap's inability of being played on the radio is mainly due to the profanity and suggestions of the lyrics. The song "Cuatro Babys" by Maluma has received much controversy over its lyrics as they arguably appear to suggest direct violence towards women. A petition was posted on Change.org demanding for the removal of the song from digital platforms. Despite this controversy, the popularity of "Cuatro Babys" has only risen with the song having gone 4× Platinum. Because of this, Latin trap has had a large but primarily underground following.
A remixed version of Cardi B's hit single "Bodak Yellow" (which reached number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart), dubbed the "Latin Trap Remix", was officially released on August 18, 2017 and features Cardi B rapping in the Spanish language with Dominican hip hop recording artist Messiah contributing a guest verse. American rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine released a single titled "Bebe", featuring Latin trap artist Anuel AA, reached the Top 40 of the US Hot 100.
Arcángel has claimed to be a major pioneer to the Latin trap subgenre. He appeared on the 2006-2007 hit "El Pistolon" along with De La Ghetto, with whom he made a duo, as well as duos Yaga & Mackie and Jowell & Randy. While it wasn't that successful at the time, it is regarded as a classic nowadays. He had also been releasing similar songs before the movement rose to fame in 2015; these include "No Me Dejes", "Rico Por Siempre", and "Flow Cabron". He had also been helping rising stars at the time, such as Anuel AA and Bad Bunny; this was followed by his appearances in "La Ocasion" (with Ozuna, De La Ghetto, and Anuel AA), "Diles" (with Bad Bunny, Ozuna, Farruko, and Ñengo Flow), "Tu No Vive Asi", "Me Acostumbre" (both with Bad Bunny), and "Ahora Dice" (with Ozuna and J Balvin), all of which became worldwide successful. In 2018, Arcángel released his fourth studio album Ares, his first to be focused in trap. It has been supported by singles "El Granjero", "Original" (with Bad Bunny), and "Me Gusta".
NY-born De La Ghetto has also self-identified as another major pioneer to the movement, as well as one of the first Latin trap performers, as he claims to have started between 2005 and 2006. Around this time, "El Pistolon", on which he appeared, was released. Latin trap hits released by De La Ghetto include "Fronteamos Porque Podemos" (with Yandel, Daddy Yankee, and Ñengo Flow), "La Ocasion" (with Ozuna, Arcángel, and Anuel AA), "Cali Kush", "Se Que Quieres", and "F.L.Y." (with Fetty Wap). De La Ghetto was raised by his Puerto Rican mother in the island, and his father is from the Dominican Republic.
Bryant Myers is a Puerto Rican reggaeton and trap artist. He is known for his really deep vocals. His most notable songs are "Pa Ti" and "Un Ratito Más" both with Bad Bunny. He was also featured on "Cuatro Babys" with Maluma, Noriel, and Juhn.
Anuel AA is a popular Latin trap artist, known for his rough and explicit lyrics. Anuel AA has more than 20 million views on YouTube and features on tracks like De La Ghetto's "La Ocasion" has more than 200 million views. In 2016, the rapper was arrested in Puerto Rico after police found three guns and 152 rounds of ammunition in his car. Following his arrest, the #FreeAnuel movement became viral as he was releasing tracks from prison.
Puerto Rican artist Bad Bunny has been moving at a great pace. In November 2017, he sang with J Balvin at the Latin Grammy Awards, where the duo were nominated for their hit "Si Tu Novio Te Deja Sola" one of 15 Bad Bunny singles to chart on Billboards Hot Latin Songs tally in 2017. His rising fame led to a deal with a local label, Hear this Music, in 2016. He spent the next 18 months releasing many songs with great artists, including Wisin, Ozuna, Prince Royce and Daddy Yankee. His most recent collaboration has been with Canadian artist Drake.
Karol G is a Colombian reggaeton and trap artist. She is best known for her song "Ahora Me Llama" with Bad Bunny. She released her debut album in 2018.
Jon Z is a Puerto Rican rapper, Jon Z started raising fame with "0 Sentimientos" and "Nunca Me Amo". One of his most popular songs is "Viajo Sin Ver", of which a hugely popular remix featuring De La Ghetto, Almighty, Noriel, and other urban artists was made.
Noriel is a popular Latin trap artist, he is famous for the first official Latin trap album Trap Capos: Season 1 in 2016. He is known for singing with Maluma's "Cuatro Babys" and his sexually explicit lyrics towards woman.
Farruko is a popular Puerto Rican reggaeton artist. Farruko collaborated with Bad Bunny for his trap single "Krippy Kush". Farruko also released his first full length trap album "TrapXficante" in 2017.
Lary Over is a trap artist signed to Farruko's Carbon Fiber Music. He released his debut album "El Wason BB" in 2018. He his known for his hit song "Que Tengo Que Hacer" and his collaborations with Farruko, Anuel AA, and Sebastian Yatra.
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