GElad Pique One of the most talented football players in Spain. On Jan. 11, his former partner, Colombian singer Shakira, made him more famous for his infidelity than his possession. “I’m worth two 22-year-olds,” sings a new song about Mr Peek and his young lover. “You traded a Ferrari for a [Renault] Twingo, replaced Rolex with Casio. The well-trained Mr. Pique should also “use his brains more”.
On video streaming platform YouTube, the superstar’s song broke records, reaching 100 million views in just three days. Gonzalo Julián Conde, the producer behind her, also topped the charts. 24 year old Argentine jKnown by his stage name Bizarrap, he has had over 6 billion views on YouTube since 2017.
This song is a popular song. But he was the most successful of a group of young Argentines who achieved global fame in the genre known as “trap”. A close relative of hip-hop, it emerged in Atlanta in the 1990s and became popular with artists from crime-ridden neighborhoods—a name alluding to “trap houses” where drugs were sold. It took the hemisphere by storm, and “freestyle” (improvisation) rap concerts became very popular in Buenos Aires in the mid-2010s. It helps that the government gives every student in a public secondary school a free laptop, allowing them to record their first track even if their test scores aren’t much better.
The undisputed king of Latin trap hails from Puerto Rico: Bad Bunny, the most streamed artist on Spotify, the world’s largest music streaming platform, for three years in a row. But Argentina is catching up.Its singers tend to be younger, many of them women, said Leila Cobo, chief content officer for Latin music billboard, American Music Magazine. Bizarrap is an exception: It’s usually the women — notably María Becerra, 22, and Nicki Nicole — who have gained fame abroad.
The rise of Argentine music is part of a wider globalization of Latin music. In 2016, none of the 50 most played tracks on Spotify were in Spanish. There were 14 last year. In 2021, Latin America’s recorded music market will grow by 31%, well above the global average of 18.5%.according to gravity indexa market research firm, Latinos lead the world in the average amount of time they spend streaming songs — almost two hours a day.
Unlike their hardline American counterparts, many Argentine trap artists were middle class. The lyrics are less about drugs and violence; more about bonking, branding and bottom. “I’m a nasty girl, it’s great / This bum is natural, no plastic,” Argentinian singer Nathy Peluso proudly says in a song with Bizarrap. An analysis of 692 songs by the 20 biggest Argentine trap artists showed that the most mentioned names were footballer Lionel Messi, God and Robin Hood – and brands like Nike and Ferrari. Like Mr. Piqué, brands can quickly discover that Argentine artists have made or damaged their reputations. ■