Music

Here’s How Cult Band RBD Impacted the Gen Z Generation

Lead Photo: Art by Stephany Torres for Remezcla
Art by Stephany Torres for Remezcla

The music of Mexican pop group RBD will be available digitally for the first time ever. Next month, fans will be able to stream all the albums by the early 2000s cult favorites.

Like what happened with The Beatles catalog, there were many years of clearance issues with RBD’s music and band name that prevented the release of their albums online. Those issues were finally settled and all of RBD’s studio albums will be available to stream on every digital platform starting Friday, September 4.

RBD rose to fame in 2004 when the band formed on the teen telenovela Rebelde. Their album named after the show followed later that year and turned them into global pop stars. RBD received a Latin Grammy nomination for the second album, 2005’s Nuestro Amor, and the sextet reached their commercial peak with 2006’s Celestial. That same year they also dropped their first English-language album Rebels. Another Latin Grammy nomination came RBD’s way for 2007’s Empezar Desde Cero.

During RBD’s brief time together, the band also recorded Portuguese versions of their albums for Brazilian fans that will also be available to stream starting Sept. 4. RBD disbanded in early 2009 with the quiet release of their last album Para Olvidarte de Mí. Fans who were a part of generación RBD in the 2000s will be excited about the digital release of the band’s catalog.

To get the next generation of fans ready for the RBD nostalgia storm that’s coming, here’s a primer on why Gen Z should pay attention to the telenovela band.

Before Élite, there was Rebelde

Before people were talking about Las Encinas on the Spanish Netflix series Élite, the private high school that was the talk of the town in early 2000s was Elite Way School in Rebelde. While the former became famous as a murder mystery, the latter was not that serious. Rebelde only amplified the everyday drama and angst that a teen at the time faced for the telenovela crowd, usually with comical results.

RBD released teen angst anthems

Not only did the five members of RBD live teenage drama in the Rebelde series, the band defined the 2000s generation with anthems in their music. That was especially true with RBD’s first album, 2004’s Rebelde. The title track is a pop-rock anthem on feeling misunderstood and rebelling because of it. “Sólo Quédate En Silencio” is for the puppy love crushes and “Sálvame” is teen melodrama taken to the max.

RBD inspires the new generation of stars

Even though RBD disbanded in early 2009, the Rebelde show, and their music, continues to inspire the latest generation of Latinx stars. On TiKTok, Élite actress and Mexican pop princess Danna Paola reenacted Anahí’s osea role of Mia Colucci from the telenovela. She also covered “Sólo Quédate En Silencio.” On TikTok, Puerto Rican singer Rauw Alejandro embraced the “Rebelde” song as a head-banging anthem.

RBD was a major Latinx act with an openly gay member.

Before Puerto Rican superstar Ricky Martin came out as gay in 2010, RBD made headlines in 2007 when member Christian Chávez came out as gay while the band was at its commercial peak. That was a progressive move at the time, especially considering the machista homophobia of the Mexican and Latin media. Chávez’s bandmates released a statement in support of him, and RBD’s next album, Empezar Desde Cero, opened at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Latin Albums chart.

RBD was part of the reggaetón movement

Reggaetón is the top genre in Latin music at the moment. From the genre’s first global takeover in the early 2000s, you can find a few reggaetón tracks RBD released that still bump today. On “Money Money” from 2006’s Rebels album and “Lento” from Mas Flow: Los Benjamins, they worked with the top producers Luny Tunes and Tainy. RBD was about that perreo life on those club bangers.