|Cultural origins||2000s–2010s, in Puerto Rico.|
Latin trap is a subgenre of trap music that originated in Puerto Rico. A direct descendant of southern hip hop, and influenced by reggaeton, it gained popularity after 2007, and has since spread throughout Latin America. The trap is slang for a place where drugs are sold. Latin trap is similar to mainstream trap with lyrics about life on la calle (the street), drugs, sex and violence, without censorship.
Latin trap is a subgenre of Latin hip hop, taking influence from Southern hip hop as well as Puerto Rican genres like reggaeton and dembow. Vocals include a bend of rapping and singing using synthesizers and voice distorted autotune, often in Spanish, while still maintaining the trap style sonic circuitry. The lyrics in Latin trap are often about street life, violence, sex, drugs, and people who live on the other side of the law and are proud of it.
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 first Puerto Rican artists using early Latin trap beats to rap, began posting their songs through social media platforms. Mid 2015 Cuban artist TRAUMATIZE out of Miami, FL releases "Aguadulce" latin trap record, a collaborator of the American Hip Hop group Bone Thugs-n-Harmony. This new sound eventually gained popularity in Puerto Rico, and many Latin trap hits emerged, such as Anuel AA’s “47 Remix” Bryant Myers' "Esclava Remix", Farruko's "Ella y Yo", and De La Ghetto's "La Ocasión", the latter to which Ozuna and Anuel AA credits with expanding Latin trap internationally.
A Spanish version of "Panda" was released by Almighty on the Miami-based label Carbon Fiber Music. The single reached #36 on Hot Latin Songs and #23 on Latin Rhythm Airplay. Borrowing the original version's beat, it features Farruko, owner of said label, while a subsequent remix adds Daddy Yankee and Cosculluela. Additionally, Anuel AA released a scathing diss track towards Almighty, entitled "RIP Panda", after being taken down from the remix.
In July 2017, The Fader wrote: "Rappers and reggaetoneros from Puerto Rico 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. His debut album X 100pre was released in December 2018 and was awarded with a Latin Grammy for Best Urban Music Album.
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.
Bad Bunny is the most influential latin trap artist being named one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People of 2021. Bad Bunny is currently at his peak being named Spotify's most streamed artist of 2021 and 2022. On May 6, 2022 Bad Bunny released his album Un Verano Sin Ti reaching the milestone of most-streamed artist globally in one day, with 183 million streams.
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, Anuel AA'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. He later issued an apology for the song.
On September 15, 2021, Colombian artist J Balvin released his track "Perra" along with music video featuring Dominican artist Tokischa. On October 17, 2021 the music video was taken down from YouTube due to the controversy that followed it. Many called the video sexist and mysoginistc due to the visuals with showed J Balvin walking two Black women on leashes, a group of Black people made to look like dogs and Tokischa on all fours inside a doghouse being fed chicken and cereal in a dog bowl. On October 11, 2021 Colombia’s vice president, Marta Lucía Ramírez, called the visuals sexist, racist, and misogynistic in an open letter. On October 24, 2021 Balvin apologized to the black community and anyone who might have felt offended in a series of instagram posts.
- Portilla, Christina (August 23, 2017). "Latin Trap Brings New Music to Miami". Miami New Times.
- Raymer, Miles (November 20, 2012). "Who owns trap?". Chicago Reader. Retrieved May 18, 2022.
- "Inside Latin Trap, the Viral Sound Too Hot for American Radio". Rolling Stone. Retrieved April 16, 2018.
- "Ozuna, Bad Bunny, De La Ghetto, Farruko & Messiah Narrate a Brief History of Latin Trap". Billboard. Retrieved April 16, 2018.
- Zraick, Karen (January 10, 2019). "Kevin Fret, Openly Gay Latin Trap Artist, Is Shot and Killed in Puerto Rico". The New York Times. Retrieved January 10, 2019.
- "Spanish Version of Desiigner's 'Panda' by Puerto Rican Rapper Almighty Debuts on Hot Latin Songs". Billboard. April 29, 2016.
- "8 "Panda" Remixes You Need to Hear". XXL. April 6, 2016. Retrieved April 13, 2016.
- "Almighty - Al Grano Con El Guru (2da entrevista)". YouTube.
- "Trap's Latin American Takeover". The FADER. Retrieved April 16, 2018.
- "Ozuna, Bad Bunny, De La Ghetto, Farruko & Messiah Narrate a Brief History of Latin Trap". Billboard. Retrieved April 1, 2019.
- "Rappers Discuss Brief History Of Latin Trap". Vibe. August 21, 2017. Retrieved April 1, 2019.
- Leight, Elias (November 7, 2017). "Inside Latin Trap, the Viral Sound Too Hot for American Radio". Rolling Stone. Retrieved April 1, 2019.
- Telemundo Entretenimiento (March 11, 2018). "Bad Bunny nos habla de cómo el éxito le cambió la vida – Don Francisco Te Invita – Entretenimiento". Retrieved June 11, 2019 – via YouTube.
- FARRUKOVEVO (December 22, 2017), Farruko, Nicki Minaj, Bad Bunny – Krippy Kush (Remix) ft. Travis Scott, Rvssian, retrieved April 16, 2018
- Cardi B (April 5, 2018), Cardi B, Bad Bunny & J Balvin – I Like It [Official Audio], retrieved April 16, 2018
- "Bad Bunny: The Four-Billion-Stream Man Leading the Latin Trap Explosion". Rolling Stone. Retrieved April 16, 2018.
- Cobo, Leila (December 24, 2018). "Bad Bunny to Drop Debut 'X100PRE' Album on Christmas Eve: Exclusive Interview". Billboard. Retrieved December 24, 2018.
- "How Latin Trap Helped My Heartbreak, A Love Story". Vibe. February 5, 2019.
- Lopez, Julyssa. "Record labels said Latin trap was 'going nowhere.' Billions of YouTube views proved them wrong" – via www.washingtonpost.com.
- "The Times Have Changed: What 'I Like It' Hitting No. 1 Means to Latin Music". Billboard. Retrieved July 3, 2018.
- LeDonne, Rob (August 28, 2018). "Cardi B's 'I Like It': An Oral History of No. 1 Smash's Grueling Seven-Month Gestation". Billboard. Retrieved May 18, 2022.
- Rowley, Glenn (February 1, 2020). "J Balvin, Bad Bunny and Other Surprise Guests to Appear at 2020 Super Bowl Halftime Show". Billboard. Retrieved May 18, 2022.
- Roiz, Jessica (September 15, 2021). "Bad Bunny Named One of Time's 100 Most Influential People of 2021: 'He's an Artist, Period'". Billboard. Retrieved May 18, 2022.
- Iasimone, Ashley (May 8, 2022). "Bad Bunny Tops Spotify Records for Most-Streamed Album in 2022, Most-Streamed Artist Globally in a Day". Billboard. Retrieved May 18, 2022.
- "Maluma Responds to Online Petition Against His Song 'Cuatro Babys'". Billboard. December 6, 2016. Retrieved April 16, 2018.
- Leight, Elias (September 12, 2018). "How Puerto Rican Producer Tainy Became an Architect of Modern Reggaeton". Rolling Stone. Retrieved June 11, 2019.
- Fernandez, Suzette (September 13, 2018). "Anuel AA Apologizes For Offensive Song Directed at Cosculluela: Watch". Retrieved December 29, 2018.
- Iasimone, Ashley (October 24, 2021). "J Balvin Apologizes for 'Perra' Music Video After Removing It From YouTube". Billboard. Retrieved May 18, 2022.
- "J Balvin apologizes for controversial 'Perra' music video". NBC News. Retrieved May 18, 2022.
- Henderson, Cydney. "J Balvín apologizes, deletes music video out of 'respect' after backlash over 'racist' depictions". USA TODAY. Retrieved May 18, 2022.