When the launch of La Vendición Records was announced, an air of mystery immediately surrounded the label dedicated to showcasing Spanish and Latinx trap and reggaeton artists. After months of vague shoutouts on tracks from artists across the globe, as well as the appearance of enigmatic logos on cover art from underground rappers, the shadowy clique’s first official project has arrived. As we mentioned in our exclusive profile of La Vendición, the label will release music in seasons, in the style of high-end fashion houses. The imprint is on a mission to further expose Hispanic talent without tying them down to restrictive record and production deals. Fittingly, then, Yung Beef and his PXXR GVNG crew contribute the bulk of the material here. As the poster boy of the trap movement in Spain, Yung Beef serves as an accessible entry point to the ambitious project.
Less of a mixtape and more of a seasonal catalog – indeed, some of the releases in the 12-set collection are standalone mixtapes – La Vendición AW16 represents what fans of PXXR GVNG and their various affiliates already know about their pulsing and hauntingly melodic trap anthems. Beef’s Fashion Mixtape sums up the overall vibe well, with standout track “Dinero de la Ola” serving as a sonic cousin to one of Future’s ubiquitous hits (think “Commas” meets “Where Ya At”).
AW16 includes plenty of other talent, however, including a handful of women artists – a blessing given the male-dominated nature of the genre. Ms. Nina, La Favi, La Zowie, and Lorena Bobbitt all contribute sounds, including Nina and Favi’s bewitching, perreo-ready spell “Acelera,” which comes replete with arcade sound effects. Elsewhere, producer LWLGHT teams up with Takers for a three-track preview of their forthcoming album that calls on nouveau-New York rap influences. AW16 goes international, as well, tapping Americans Fly Migo Bankroll (standout: the O.T. Genasis-evoking “Trap a Lot”) and AC3 for additions to the set.
To close out the catalog, LV wisely reissues some of the best-known tracks of La Mafia del Amor (the reggaeton offshoot of PXXR GVNG), once again leaning on the clique as the bedrock upon which La Vendición will help uplift its artists and affiliates. It’s clear that the goal is to draw curious listeners in with artists they know, and then get them invested in the movement as a whole. It’s a formidable undertaking, especially if the music haus intends to put out this much material seasonally. It seems like they’re off to a promising start.
La Vendición’s AW16 is out now. To stream all 12 releases, head over to La Vendición’s website, or listen to selections from the catalog via the mixtape above.