“Sin filtro tú te ves más buena,” Nicky Jam sings to one and all in the intro track to his new, highly-awaited album Intimo. Coincidentally, the same goes for the 38-year-old reggaeton veteran himself. During a live sit-down interview with El Hormiguero, a popular talk show in Spain, the Puerto Rican singer was as candid as ever, touching on subjects like his past drug addiction and some near death experiences with Daddy Yankee during the early innings of their career.
Aside from the release of his album, Nicky Jam (born Nick Rivera Caminero) was on the show to promote El Ganador, a biopic which details his wild life experiences from youth to now.
Most notably, perhaps, is the depiction of the time he and Yankee – who went from friends to partners to enemies and friends again – got a death threat following the murder of a partner who was in the music business with them in Puerto Rico. Rivera briefly touched on it during the interview.
According to the Grammy winner, they were essentially forced to flee to New York and lay low – but trouble found them there too. “Let’s go back and confront that guy who wants to kill us and let’s make music,” Nicky remembers telling El Cangri. “Porque es que nosotros lo que hacemos es música!”
Though he opted for leaving the details of that encounter a mystery for those who have yet to see the show, it’s safe to say everything worked out in the end.
Though many know that Latin America, like everywhere else in the world, is socioeconomically diverse and it’s possible for no two people experience a place one and the same, Nicky wanted to make one thing clear. “Don’t go thinking that we’re all from the hood,” he joked to the live audience. “No, no, no… Esta Luis Fonsi, esta Ricky Martin, esta Marc Anthony,” he said, listing as many notable polished artists in other genres as he could think of.
“Puerto Rico is a beautiful country… you can go and enjoy the beaches,” he proclaimed. Nicky… we know, mijo!
At the end of the day, Nicky says the reason he shares his story is to help upcoming youth stay clear of that path, and grow into the best version of themselves.
El Ganador has been available on Netflix in Latin America and Spain since November 2018, and is finally available in the U.S. on Telemundo.