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Spanglish Bops: The Hottest Trend in Music 2K18

It’s a really, really good time to be obsessed with the Spanish language and have an interest in working in the music industry. Basically… it’s a really good time to be me. 

The influx of Latin flare into the mainstream music scene in the US has been incredibly notable over the past year. There have been a number of chart-topping hits since 2017, the year that blessed our ears with Justin Bieber’s rendition of “Despacito” and J Balvin’s “Mi Gente.” These two songs absolutely dominated the music scene—not only in the US and in Spanish-speaking countries, but everywhere in between. With the global success of these two songs, it’s no wonder 2018 has seen so many American rappers teaming up with Latin artists to create bilingual bangers. #HALA 

The following is a list of 2018 Spanglish bops: 

1. I Like It – Cardi B ft. Bad Bunny and J Balvin (Released April 6, 2018) 

When one of the hottest American rappers teams up with two of the most influential Latino rappers, you know it’s gonna be straight fuego. Since its release in April, this song has revolutionized the power of having two languages in one song—getting all the Cardi B fans to be J Balvin and Bad Bunny fans and vice versa? Not only is it ingenious exposure, but it’s normalizing the beauty of mixing Spanish and American rap… I like it like dat. 

Spotify link: https://open.spotify.com/track/58q2HKrzhC3ozto2nDdN4z?si=nEnQfEkzTZe4C5XHyQB6OQ


2. Pa Mi – Tory Lanez, Ozuna (Released June 8, 2018)​

The combination of Tory Lanez and Ozuna’s soft musical seduction is exactly what the doctor ordered. I must confess, Tory’s chorus isn’t exactly saying the most profound things in Spanish: “Lo siento mamacita / Esta noche yo te quiero pa’ mi / tu eres bonita” aka “Sorry babygirl / Tonight, I want you all for me / You’re pretty.” But nevertheless, we still love this song all the same. Especially when my boy Ozuna hops on the track and seduces me with that whiny voice of his that I just adore. 

Spotify link: https://open.spotify.com/album/0ddRkZjGcRWxyCQWkWF3UN?si=DZTLZxYiTw2CGri-m_cxLQ


3. Icon – Reggaetón Remix: Jaden Smith feat. Will Smith & Nicky Jam (Released June 11, 2018)

The Smith family is unparalleled in levels of badass-ness. Jaden couldn’t simply have his dad featured on any ordinary track, claro que no. He had to have his dad featured on the reggaetón remix with Nicky Jam… to say the kid is an icon is an understatement. The spicy reggaetón additions make this song a total hit and separates it from being just any father/son duo. Side note: Will Smith just featured on another Latin banger called “Está Rico” by Bad Bunny: dude is really making a comeback. 

Spotify link: https://open.spotify.com/track/5e1D90g8borqYvbIt2S2Mr?si=earkPWFxQAGSkkykUxRggQ


4. BEBE – 6ix9ine feat. Anuel Aa (Released August 31, 2018)

6ix9ine dropped this tropical number entirely in Spanish. Safe to say he got excited about the recent Spanish influence in music and decided to go all out. ¡Me encanta la dedicación! 

Spotify link: https://open.spotify.com/track/7ATATJztoWLcqDAcVVof0C?si=-ArKOfbrScyopm3isfDPNw


5. Taki Taki – DJ Snake (with Selena Gomez, Ozuna, and Cardi B) (Released September 28, 2018)

Rappers aren’t the only ones teaming up with Latin artists, DJ Snake wanted to hop on the bandwagon too and add his own interpretation. DJ Snake’s “Taki Taki” gets bodies MOVING with that flirtatious beat and with my girl Selena whispering in Español. Let’s get this bread. Can’t wait for Major Lazer and artists alike to continue this explosive trend. 

Spotify link: https://open.spotify.com/track/4w8niZpiMy6qz1mntFA5uM?si=haYusJObQ5mgXPIR5VJx2w


6. MIA – Bad Bunny ft. Drake (Released October 11, 2018)

If Drake doesn’t hop on the track, does the trend really exist? Bad Bunny teamed up with Drake to create the catchiest song of the year. Drake’s Spanish pronunciation in the chorus is underratedly on point, and I would like to personally congratulate him on that DUB. Drake really just changed the rap game in the U.S. by teaming up with Bad Bunny—and that’s what happens when two of the most influential artists in rap decide to drop an absolute banger. Bad Bunny so humbly refers to this Latin phenomenon as “the new religion.” I’m all on board with that. Gracias, mis reyes. 

Spotify link: https://open.spotify.com/track/116H0KvKr2Zl4RPuVBruDO?si=wnfnJefDQruxpjqFdJzcUQ


7. Arms Around You (ft. Maluma) – XXXTENTACION, Lil Pump, Swae Lee (Released October 25, 2018)

XXXTENTACION and his team must’ve recognized the trend long before his death in June, when they recorded this unreal track. Posthumously released in October, and this vibey jam gets people feeling some type of way with Lil Pump’s poppin’ verse contrasted with Maluma’s angelic verse. ¡Vaya! 

Spotify link: https://open.spotify.com/track/2LskIZrCeLxRvCiGP8gxlh?si=c4O1sbNCR2abe3urBGgw5g


Taki Taki, MIA, and Arms Around You are currently placed at 7, 8, and 9 on Spotify’s top 50 chart. It’s quite easy for me to say that I LIVE for this cultural infusion. Nothing gets me going quite like hearing Bad Bunny rattle off Spanish words with his wild pronunciation, while I’m out at one of the least linguistically diverse bars ever: Skeeps. Thank you to all of the managers, producers, and record labels in LA that have their eyes on the prize (money), which has subsequently brought me such intense joy (hearing Spanish everywhere I go). Love that. Never change. 


Images courtesy of rollingstone.com, rap-up.com, covermytunes.com, hotnewhiphop.com, albumoftheyear.org, and hot97.com

Just tryin' to spread my unconventional wisdom in a semi-conventional way. 
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