Spain’s rap en español scene has been undergoing a rapid transformation. From east to west, there’s been a pretty prolific and interesting new wave of sounds that are veering from the political, boom-bap and dancehall-inspired style that has been dominating the peninsula over the last several years. Instead, we’re seeing MCs adopting more of a Caribbean flow, layering a reggaeton-ish auto-tuned vocal style with trap-driven instrumentals (2014 and 2015 have really been all about Ibero-Americans’ fascination with trap…).
We’ve been following some of these new crews, including Agorazein, Arkestra, and even PXXR GVNG – but among them, there’s one group that’s making a comeback after a long recess. Banana Bahia is a crew / label hailing from the distant city of Vigo way out on Spain’s West Coast, on the Ria de Vigo near the Atlantic Ocean. These guys are a 360 degree DIY project; they produce their own beats, style themselves, and make their own videos, like their latest release for “After Hours” by one of their top guns Kaixo.
This video is the perfect example of Banana Bahia’s array of ideas. They grab references from the very on-trend, dry and aggressive American trap style and weave in melodic ideas more in tune with 90s hip-hop (but with a 2k15 edge in the instrumentation). Their live shows are filled with energy and punk vibes.
The crew’s outstanding roster of MCs includes stand-outs Kaixo, who stands out as an MC with a very bright and loud style that kind could easily work on some dancehall tracks; Lacosta, with his Atlanta trap vibe; and Wolf Rayet, a dynamic performer who raps and sings. This is just a set of three of my personal favorites, but the Banana Bahia team also includes Kongo Lacosta, Elecesar, D. Aviles and Yung Noguera to name a few more – it’s a large family of pretty talented artists out there.
As far as upcoming releases, we’ve learned that an LP for Kaixo entitled SNIFF SNIFF drops July 15th, so we’ll be sure to keep our ears up to catch some fresh sounds from the Spanish west coast. We encourage you to do the same, and don’t miss out on listening to their rather wide catalogue up on Soundcloud.