In news that may or may not have given me heart palpitations, early this morning, J Balvin tweeted that he’s spending time in the studio with Big Sean, Kanye West, and Chance the Rapper (he tagged the wrong Chance, but I’ll give him a pass for now):
— J BALVIN (@JBALVIN) January 25, 2016
Balvin is hard at work polishing his follow-up to 2014’s La Familia B Sides, which is slated to drop later this year. This collaboration is just the latest indication of the Colombian reggaetonero’s reach and revitalization of the genre. We’ve seen major crossover moves from Balvin before (his appearance on the Today Show and his feature on the Latino remix of “Sorry,” for example) but this is a step up from those projects.
I can’t help but cheer for this meeting of the minds; in an industry that often perceives Latinos as a segregated market, it’s refreshing to see two not-so-different worlds collide. The reality is that we’re listening to “No More Parties in LA” as much as we are listening to the latest Nicky Jam song, so it’s high time someone took note of these overlapping worlds. What’s more, it’s a display of mutual respect and understanding on behalf of all of the artists involved, despite the language barrier. Let’s hope this collaboration unfolds to thrilling results.
In more Balvin news, Justin Bieber and the “Ginza” singer joined forces to perform the song at Staples Center’s Calibash 2016 concert last night.
— STAPLES Center (@STAPLESCenter) January 25, 2016
Back in November, we spent a little time with Walter Mercado and our inner astrological spirits to offer our predictions for when the two artists would team up for a live performance of the song. While I’m sad that the From First to Last Reunion tour didn’t pan out, the crowd did seem to be appropriately hype for the performance.
The two have flaunted their friendship since last summer, when Balvin taught Bieber how to say “parcero” at the Special Olympics in LA.
After the show, the two artists chilled with Justin “Poo Bear” Boyd, one of Bieber’s go-to collaborators, and took plenty of selfie videos together.
Bieber also teased another collab with the reggaetonero on Twitter:
— Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) January 25, 2016
Here’s hoping 2016 brings Balvin the visibility and mainstream support he deserves.