It’s fair to say that Neymar, Jr. is a worldly guy: the 25-year-old Barcelona superstar has traveled to every corner of the globe as part of the Catalan giants, while also taking time to soak in the sights and sounds of his homeland of Brazil, which still informs both his flair on the pitch and his taste off of it. That’s why his new mixtape, a partnership between his sponsor Nike and Barcelona artists Ernest Desumbila, Flavio Rodríguez, and Ba$$ilones, feels momentous (if you were expecting Neymar to spit bars, sorry fam, you’re out of luck – although maybe that’s for the best).
Nike is billing the 17-track tape as a Neymar-approved snapshot of the forward’s eclectic taste. Surprisingly enough, the mix taps some of the most vibrant producers and rappers of the Iberoamerican universe; Spanish trap’s poster boy Yung Beef, dancehall siren Bad Gyal, and Rio hip-hop trio StartRap all make an appearance. Artists from across the globe are also represented; check features from UK funky legend Donae’o and British rapper Paigey Cakey for proof.
It’s clear that Nike tapped Desumbila, Rodríguez, and Ba$$ilones to curate the tape, but the wealth of bangers here raises the question: is Neymar’s music taste actually fire? We decided to investigate.
Last September, Filtr Brazil asked the star to create a 40-song playlist that he bumps before every match – a selection envisioned in conjunction with Sony Music, according to SPORT. The selection is…paltry, if we’re being honest – it’s dominated by cookie-cutter Brazilian pop, though bright spots include a baile funk moment from MC Livinho, the Anitta-Maluma collab, and Rihanna’s “Work.” There’s also Justin Timberlake’s “Mirrors,” a slapper for the ages, as well as some Michael Jackson love. But one thing’s for sure: nothing approaches the bangers of Neymar Jr. Mixtape here.
Like any 25-year-old, Neymar regularly posts selfie videos on Instagram – expect Future singalongs, old school Brazilian ballads, and more. In 2015, Dani Alves and Neymar teamed up for an Instagram rendition of Nicky Jam’s “El Perdón.”
Points to Neymar for his perreo fandom; he and Nicky even met earlier this year.
So yeah, not exactly the SoundCloud-scouring dabbler of music portrayed by the Nike tape, but the eclecticism is captured well. Even if Neymar didn’t personally choose the tracks for his first release, putting his name (and the Nike promotional machine) behind more obscure artists should help them out, while putting the Brazilian towards the top of the Musical Athlete Power Rankings.
He’s still no Dani Alves, though; the reigning, defending King of Futbolero Reggaeton remains undefeated on the all-important Instagram stage.
Check a promo for the mixtape below, and stream it via SoundCloud or YouTube now.