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“Noche Feliz”: La Cotto Kicks Off 2018 with a Great Party Track

In the past few years, Maria Cotto, better known as La Cotto, has been an active member of the Latino arts and music scene in New York participating in various roles in festivals and music videos. However, she decided to start 2018 in a different style with her Latin music and Golden Age Hip Hop influenced single Noche Feliz. By borrowing elements like the storytelling rapping techniques made famous in the 1980s and 1990s hip hop, but doing them in Spanish and mixing them with the sounds of said time along with Latin timbales, La Cotto manages to mix the best of two of the communities which currently surround her, African Americans and Latinos, while creating a fantastic party jam.

(art for the single as found on La Cotto’s Facebook)

The lyrics to La Cotto’s latest single tell the story of her being able to see her father and brother once again. While the tale might seem simple to many, it touches on the important topic of family. La Cotto raps about being extremely happy of seeing her father and her brother being alive. While she’s never specific of why she’s so happy to see her dad and brother, there are various reasons that one might think of. When Puerto Ricans and Latinos move to the United States, they often face problems related to the street life and the situation of having to deal with moving away from their native country as part of the ever moving Diaspora. Thus, as a listener of La Cotto’s “Noche Feliz” one might think that these aspects might play a role in the story being told. If the song indeed is touching on these topics it gives it a heavier cultural weight than it already has created through its production and language choice. This due to the multiple people who might relate to this of situation which, to this day, is still occurring.

(picture of La Cotto as found on her Facebook page)

The musical techniques used by La Cotto in “Noche Feliz” are a great example of the multiple cultures which surround her in New York, this time around the inspiration is drawn from the African American and Latino communities. By rapping a story on a beat which is highly influenced by 1980s and 1990s hip hop, La Cotto proves that the sound can still be relevant if given a little twist. With the heavy use of timbales, especially in the song’s intro and outro, La Cotto manages to add her Latin flavor thereby paying homage to her roots while also keeping it hip hop. Moreover, La Cotto’s use of Spanish instead of English is another form of paying tribute to her Latin roots.

(picture of La Cotto by Jason Ross Savage as found on her Facebook page)

La Cotto’s “Noche Feliz” is a storytelling party track for all. It touches on themes often related to Puerto Rican and Latinos living in the United States. The track also manages to pay homage to 1980s and 1990s hip hop and La Cotto’s Puerto Rican roots. Additionally, her storytelling rap techniques would make artists like MC Lyte, Slick Rick, Salt-N-Peppa and Vico C proud. In short, La Cotto has definitely started 2018 with the right foot.

Listen to “Noche Feliz” on Spotify here


Fernando E. E. Correa González is the author behind over 20 self-published poetry books. He has been published by literary magazines & journals [Id]entidad, El Vicio del Tintero, Sábanas Magazine, Smaeralit and Tonguas. Other than writing, Correa is also a filmmaker, podcaster, photographer and master’s student. He currently lives in his native Puerto Rico.
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