If thinking about Argentinian music only conjures images of Gustavo Cerati, Fito Páez or Charly García, it’s time to update your playlists. Since 2017, the South American country – well-known for its various rock stars – has been seized by trap’s worldwide reach. And the bass-heavy sound – first cooked up in the underground – has created idols that are here to stay.
This surge in musical talent is one of the first great movements to come out of the country since the cumbia villera breakthrough during the 2001 financial crisis. And just like then, trap is establishing new names in the scene. But there’s a big difference this time around: with unprecedented social media followings and sold out venues across the country, even the traditionally rockist Argentinian press can’t ignore the fervor this new generation of rappers command.
Here are some of are favorite traperos making waves in Argentina:
Anyone who has been to Buenos Aires, and is into music, has surely passed by Luna Park, the most famous indoor venue of Argentina (and a landmark for any artist who hopes to make a big name). Last year, Mauro Lombardo, a.k.a Duki sold out the 10,000 capacity venue without promotion from any mainstream label, and with minimal interviews.
When “She Don’t Give a Fo” was released in 2017, it became a massive hit with virtually no promotion other than through social media. In fact, the song didn’t even have a video. And almost 2 years later, the 22-year-old rapper still keeps it indie: no labels, no industry promotion, and no media – just family, friends and trusted team of confidants
Cazzu’s perspective about women’s empowerment, coupled with her astonishing stage presence and soulful voice has made her one of the biggest names in Argentinian trap. And while rising to the top, she’s never been afraid to wear her feminism on her sleeve, often performing with a green handkerchief, one of the main symbols for abortion legalization in Argentina.
Malajunta Malandro does things his own way – including being based almost two hours outside of Buenos Aires’ cosmopolitan reach. El Mala (as he’s often referred to) sings about issues that echo the working class, often speaking to the marginalized communities living in the sprawl surrounding the city, rather than the city-dwellers themselves.
Raised on Córdoba province, Paulo Londra has turned himself into the king of R&B trap. His talent for melody and unbeatable flow were singular before he became part of Big Ligas team. But when he joined forces with Ovy On The Drums, one of the finest producers of the genre, the game was over. He broke the internet (and every baile in Argentina) with “Adán y Eva,” and recently dropped his album Homerun.
As a teen, Neo Pistéa started experimenting with music thanks to the “Conectar Igualdad” program of Cristina Fernández de Kirchner’s government. The initiative aimed to spread laptops and technology among highschool students from all across the country. Sebastián Ezequiel Chinellato, as he is known to friends and family, was one of those students. Five years later, he merged his generation’s influences with the flavor of Buenos Aires, and emerged with an unstoppable hit based on an unstoppable soccer player.
Dakillah’s story began with her freestyling in public parks. With an unbelievable voice, and a gift for improvisation, Dakillah’s story is far from fully-developed, and we’ve yet to see the great heights that her talents will take her.
Producers are just as important a part of a song’s success as the artists who interpret the music. Mykka’s production is the backbone of many massive trap hits, and her style is a great representation of her generation. Listening to her creative production helps give an idea of the exciting new places the genre is heading.