2020’s Best Post-Regional Tracks

Art by Alan Lopez for Remezcla

A rising generation of artists continued to inject new life into Regional music this year. From 19-year-old Natanael Cano’s braggadocious corridos tumbados to Snoop Dogg’s swerve into a banda track, here are our top 10 post-Regional tracks of 2020:

Banda MS ft. Snoop Dogg – “Que Maldición”

Banda Sinaloense MS de Sergio Lizárraga hit number one in the U.S. Billboard Latin chart with their album Que Bendición in February. This year, they turned the tables and blessed us with a curse—and they brought Snoop Dogg along for the ride. “Que Maldición” is a funky, chilled-out banda rap tinged with lightly-delivered heartbreak. It should come as no surprise that the LA-native rap mogul is on this banda track—Snoop was blasting Banda MS on a viral video two years back. Clearly, it planted a seed of collaboration in bandleader Oswaldo Silvas’ head. The result, hopefully, will be the genre getting its due in the mainstream music world. —E.R. Pulgar

Junior H – “Mente Positiva”

Along with the uncertainty from early 2020 came a song that reminded us that life can be great even when we’re in the middle of a “desmadre.” In the introspective single “Mente Positiva,” Guanajuato-born singer-songwriter Junior H gives us insight into the joy of his music career’s early success. He sings of the contentment and fulfillment of living his wildest dreams while keeping negativity at bay. In 2020, the corrido tumbado star became one of the youngest artists to reach top 10 on Billboard’s Top Latin Albums chart, and he landed the 22nd spot for Top Latin Artists. If this crazy year showed us anything, it’s that corridos tumbados are definitely here to stay. —Joel Moya

Chiquis, Becky G – “Jolene”

Mexican-American banda singer Chiquis Rivera and reggaetonera Becky G joined forces this year on Rivera’s Playlist album. If their bouncy and fresh as hell cumbia cover of Dolly Parton’s “Jolene” is any indication, the pair didn’t come to play. Far from a mere reimagining, the stomping, Spanish-language rendition of the classic has a fleshy chugging beat at its core, complete with an exacerbated accordion break, handclaps and shouts of “cumbia” and “Jolene” near the end. “El es el único para mí, Jolene,” Chiquis snarls as Parton’s supplication becomes a protective growl. Take her man if you can, pendeja. —E.R. Pulgar

Natanael Cano – “Yo Ya Se”

The delightfully braggadocious corridos tumbados Natanael Cano has been making have struck an important nerve with the mainstream, one that led to a cross-fusion corridor with Latin Trap titan Bad Bunny on the remix of “Soy el Diablo.” Far from done with injecting the regional genre with some much-needed swagger—or rather, highlighting the swagger that’s already there—”Yo Ya Se” is a reflection on power gained. Over fast-paced guitar, El Nata’s drawled vocals let haters know he’s not listening to the noise from so high up. For every good brag comes a reminder of humble origins at the end—he’s riding high, but keeps it “puro rancho humilde.” —E.R. Pulgar

Ivonne Galaz – “A Mi Modo” (En Vivo)

Ivonne Galaz, Rancho Humilde’s first female signee, broke out this year with the release of her debut single “A Mi Modo.” After teaming up with her labelmate Natanael Cano for a few duets, Galaz cuts loose with her first solo release. “Let’s get it!” the Sonora, Mexico native says at the start of the fiery track. She boasts about her pen game, adding it took her 20 minutes to write this one. In the male-dominated corridos tumbados scene, Galaz is representing women. “My turn!” she asserts at the halfway point. “A Mi Modo” is a testament that Galaz will be one to watch in 2021. —Lucas Villa

Eslabon Armado – “Con Tus Besos”

Eslabon Armado is the breakthrough regional Mexican music act of the year. Following in the footsteps of Del Records’ Ariel Camacho, the trio of Mexican teens is reviving the campirano Sierreño sound that Camacho once popularized for a new generation. Now on Del Records themselves, the group led off their top-selling debut album Tu Veneno Mortal with the dark love song “Con Tus Besos”—a sweet serenade in pure Sierreño style that was hard to resist. —Lucas Villa

Ely Quintero ft. Rosa Pistola (Brun OG Remix) – “Quiero Andar al 420”

Corridos have never gone out of fashion in Mexico or beyond, but that hasn’t stopped rebellious new waves like corridos tumbaos or corridos verdes from claiming their rightful spots in pop culture. Falling into the latter category, Ely Quintero’s 2018 smash “Quiero Andar al 420” got an unexpected facelift earlier this year with a shapeshifting trap remix from Mexico City producer Brun OG featuring Colombian reggaeton reina Rosa Pistola. Bolstering the song’s original guitar melody with high hats and pulsing bass kicks, Quintero’s devilish stoner cheers are made all the more endearing by her candid recollections of smoking behind the bleachers and her mother’s stash-discovering freakout. —Richard Villegas

La Plebada ft. Kinky – “Me Gusta”

Just a few years ago, the idea of trap beats and banda sierreña instruments coexisting might have fueled a novelty upload at most. However, Mexico’s La Plebada used this approach to drive their wave to the top in 2020, and “Me Gusta” confirmed their status; a link-up with electro pop rock legends Kinky established a bridge between generations of fusionists. La Plebada provided the year with sick beats, irresistible auto-tuned choruses and poppin’ norteño vibes. —Marcos Hassan

T3R Elemento, David Bernal y Ruben Figueroa – “Jalo Y Exhalo”

T3R Elemento, the band leading the corridos verdes movement, returned this year with the feel-good anthem “Jalo y Exhalo.” Mexican-American lead singer Kristopher Nava teamed up with his Del Records labelmates David Bernal and Ruben Figueroa—who both hail from Sonora, Mexico—for this one. Released before the pandemic hit, the three artists sing about lighting one up and cruising into 2020. While the year ended up being a bumpier road than expected, this song was a reminder of the good of greens during difficult times. —Lucas Villa

Omar Apollo – “Dos Uno Nueve”

On his debut album Apolonio, Omar Apollo honored his Mexican roots with the song “Dos Uno Nueve”— which refers to his area code in his hometown Hobart, Ind. On this R&B-infused corrido, Apollo sings with soul about how he started from the bottom and earned his luxurious lifestyle. There’s a moment where he almost lets out a Mexican grito before playfully adding, “Just kidding.” Apollo gave the age-old corrido a refreshing update with a style and swagger that only he can deliver. —Lucas Villa


David Santos – “No Eres La Oficial”
Herencia De Patrones – “En La Movida” Ft. Legado 7
Millo – “AL TIRO”
W. Corona – “La Carga Pesada”
Fuerza Regida – “Agusto “GTR””