2017 might be coming to an end, but there’s still plenty of time for another WTF collaboration between a Latino artist and mainstream pop star to raise your blood pressure. After the Bieber and Yoncé features on “Despacito” and “Mi Gente,” these general market remixes have been flying left and right; the latest artists to claim this moment for themselves are none other than Nicki Minaj and Atlanta rapper 21 Savage.
Over the weekend, a preview of the rappers’ verses on Bad Bunny and Farruko’s “Krippy Kush” was unleashed to the world, featuring a couple of bars from Onika in Spanish. Today, the remix was unveiled on Apple Music’s Beats 1 show.
One of the verses finds Nicki rapping as one of her many alter egos Rosa. “Now I’m ballin like Sosa/In a Lamborghini rosa/Yellin’ viva Puerto Rico/All my bitches is hermosa.” Elsewhere, 21 spits a couple bars El Conejo Malo would be proud of. “Aha, smoking krippy kush/Fill the backwoods up with a whole bush.”
As we reported yesterday, this is not Nicki’s first outing en español (who could forget the endless side-eyes induced by her feature on Romeo Santos’ “Animales”?). Onika is well aware of this marketing strategy, and in this, our delightful capitalist universe, cultivating and maintaining a Latinx fanbase is essential for any pop star in 2017.
The 21 Savage feature is a savvy nod to the trap en español movement’s origins in Atlanta. Plus, the co-sign from both rappers is a blessing for Bad Bunny and Farruko, as Latino artists face continued segmentation and pigeonholing in the music industry. As hip-hop becomes the dominant form of pop music in the U.S., it’s possible that traperos like Bad Bunny or Farruko may find a permanent space in the mainstream music landscape; after all, hip-hop has become an internationally recognizable art form, and the trap en español wave has little do with the tropicalized tropes or stereotypical understandings of Latinidad that catapulted Ricky Martin and Shakira to the mainstream, making these artists palatable for foreign listeners. Only time will tell – in the meantime, hit play on the remix via Apple Music and Spotify below.