Urbano has always been defiant in nature and stance. Its sexually tinged riddim, and the barrio culture that best fosters it, makes it almost impossible for it not to be so despite its often lyrically light, high-spirited essence. In “Muévelo,” or more specifically its video pairing, the fight for the genre’s future – and that of all music – comes to life. On the other hand, it’s simply a light-hearted, easily chart-topping (albeit far from genre-shifting) song that once again borrows from a reggae classic to ensure the aforementioned, plus appeal to a wider audience.
Daddy Yankee and Nicky Jam, the iconic duo known as Los Cangris in the rudimentary stage of their careers, take the track together for the first time in 20 years. Although it took this long to come to fruition, the aftermath comes off as an easy feat. It’s loopy, instantly memorable chorus (produced by duo Play-N-Skillz) is a call for breaking the dance floor sandwiched betwixt echoes of the track’s title, which translates to “move it.” The na-na-na-na-na intro is a sample from Ini Kamoze’s “Here Comes the Hotstepper” from 1994.
Each artist stays true to their style here, with Nicky hitting the breaks for his verse, stripping the reggaeton beat to sweeten the air with his romantic flare, while Yankee does what Yankee does best – spit fire with what appears to be zero effort or breaths. By the time his verse hits, the song nears its tail end and the listener is left swaying mid-air, unsure of whether this is the start of the 2020s or 2000s.
All in all, this is a safe bet from these urbano living legends. Similarly to “Con Calma” and “China,” they borrow from reggae and dancehall classics to build on what’s become a recipe for an assured hit. A part of me says “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” while another screams please, please break it and build anew.
Here’s the video for this Summer in mid-Winter’s instant classic, “Muévelo.”