Latin trap (also known as Spanish trap) is a Latin style of trap music that originated in Puerto Rico. The genre takes influence from Southern hip hop, gaining popularity after 2007, and has since spread throughout Latin America. Latin trap is similar to mainstream trap with lyrics about life on la calle ("the street.")
|Stylistic origins||Trap, Southern hip hop, Latin music|
|Cultural origins||2000s–2010s, Puerto Rico|
Latin trap takes influence from Latin hip hop, particularly Southern hip hop, while also being influenced by Puerto Rican reggaeton, dembow. Vocals include a bend of rapping and singing, often in Spanish, while still maintaining the trap style sonic circuitry. 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 Pistolón", 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.
Latin trap 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, began posting their songs through social media platforms. This new sound eventually gained 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 an 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."
Many other reggaeton and Latin trap artists contributed to the popularity of Latin trap, such as Bad Bunny who led an explosion to the popularity of the genre. Bad Bunny produced several songs that made it into Billboard's 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.
In April 2018, the song "Te Boté", a mix of Latin trap and reggaeton, was released by Nio Garcia, Casper Magico, Darell, Ozuna, Bad Bunny and Nicky Jam. It became the first song with Latin trap elements in it to reach number one on the Billboard Hot Latin Songs chart. It currently has over 1.8 billion views on YouTube.
Latin trap's inability to be played on the radio stems from the profanity and lasciviousness 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 quadruple Platinum. Because of this, Latin trap has had a large, but primarily underground, following.
On September 15, 2018, Anuel AA released a diss track aimed at fellow rapper Cosculluela. The track was widely criticized due to its foul language and offensive remarks about homosexuality and HIV patients. Due to the public backlash, Gazmey's concert at the Coliseo de Puerto Rico venue scheduled for October 12 of that year was canceled by his production staff and main producer Paco López. Gazmey later issued an apology for the song.
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- "Trap's Latin American Takeover". The FADER. Retrieved 2018-04-16.
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- Leight, Elias; Leight, Elias (12 September 2018). "How Puerto Rican Producer Tainy Became an Architect of Modern Reggaeton". Retrieved 11 June 2019.
- Fernandez, Suzette (13 September 2018). "Anuel AA Apologizes For Offensive Song Directed at Cosculluela: Watch". Retrieved 29 December 2018.