It can take approximately 45 minutes to drive from Humacao to the Coliseo of Puerto Rico José Miguel Agrelot, or as it’s commonly known, “El Choli.” But for Eladio Carrión, it took almost five years of grind and hustle to get him from his hometown in Puerto Rico to performing at the island’s most important venue for artists of “el género.” As he made it clear in one of his recent Instagram posts, these three sold-out concerts are one of the most important events of his life and career. He recently even released the track “Si Lo Puedes Soñar,” a song celebrating the manifestation of making his dreams come true.
Eladio, a former competitive swimmer who later became a popular Vine influencer and comedian, started demonstrating his rapping skills while making parody songs and videos. Eventually, he turned his career towards making music, specifically Latin trap. The self-anointed “sen2 kbrn” has released five albums and numerous singles and collaborations, in which his punchlines and bilingual lyrics set him apart from the rest of the crop. His standout flow has earned him praise from fellow music peers like Bad Bunny.
“…His punchlines and bilingual lyrics set him apart from the rest of the crop”
Last year, around these dates, Eladio sold out three concerts at the Coca-Cola Music Hall in Puerto Rico. Bad Bunny surprised him during one of the shows, performing their hit “Kemba Walker” together. Benito took advantage of his time centerstage to recognize Eladio as a great rapper. He declared he could fill El Choli up to five times if he wanted to — and also to thank him for being among the first people to help him during his skyrocketing career.
For the first night of the three sold-out concerts, in which we attended, Eladio performed various tracks from his past and recent hits, a dynamic 46-song setlist that went over two hours. He performed songs like “Sin Frenos,” “Progreso,” and “Entre Tantas” to a filled crowd, or as they say in Puerto Rico, de tepe a tepe (from top to bottom) at Choli. He also performed newer tracks like “Hellcat” and “Nota.” While Eladio has touched on reggaetón and dancehall rhythms, his main beat is trap — which made it even more impressive to see people moving euphorically and vibing to music that is not typically considered danceable.
One of the many standout details of the show was that Eladio didn’t include any backup dancers in his performances. Instead, he chose to enhance his show with special effects, including light, fire, smoke, fireworks, and more. But while he didn’t have any dancers — he did have star power in attendance.
Over the three nights, artists like Karol G, Tokischa, Myke Towers, De la Ghetto, J Quiles, Omy de Oro, Shooter, Sech, and others joined Eladio for their collaborations. Friday’s show featured Corina Smith, Ovi, Noriel, Jon Z, and YOVNGCHIMI. But aside from those sets, it was just him and the bare stage.
During Friday’s show, the artist took the time between songs to give shout-outs and thank yous to his family and fans from Puerto Rico. Then, he paused the show at precisely 11:11 p.m. to urge all in attendance to make a wish, and later, he made a toast for progress and love. In these moments, the concert felt more like a family-like celebration.
As if it couldn’t feel more like a show amongst family, those who follow Eladio’s social media antics were overjoyed when he brought out his French bulldog Kemba and lifted him in the air, just as Rafiki presents Simba in The Lion King and, in fact, played that film’s “Circle of Life” song during the gag. What’s a family event without the host’s best companion?
From a crowd happy to welcome his pet to all the special guests, the love was felt in the arena — and could get anyone excited for what’s to come for the artist. Bad Bunny’s words from last year rang true this past weekend: Eladio sold out El Choli. He’s not only proving to be a talented rapper who surprises with his rare chameleon ability as an artist and strong charisma, but he has also demonstrated to be a hard worker whose sacrifices have paid off. He has sauce to spare and can only go higher from here.