There’s virtually no better way to announce yourself in a crowded room than to be both loud and self-assured. Or, at least that’s what a new class of urbano artists seem to have been taught. While some newcomers opt for cautious intonation, others go straight for the aorta, and adopt the hubris of vets.
In Nino Augustine’s “Me Toca a Mi,” his latest EP’s titular track, the Panama native shows he isn’t waiting for an invitation to the front of the line, he’s pushing his way there. “Nino es el más duro, eso es ley eh,” he spits in the bridge.
In its accompanying video, premiering here today, Augustine doubles down on that claim with unapologetically self-centered visuals. A large, elevated cement cube that sits on a desolate site is his throne of choice. His hype gang is melanin-heavy, reflective of his country of origin and the genre’s roots.
“Latin artists are really taking charge of where this genre should be,” Augustine told Remezcla earlier this year. “I’m just glad to add more color to it, because it needs more color.”
Before the BPM speeds up on the track, Augustine’s mom keeps him humble with a recorded voicemail in which she asserts her queendom and alludes to his roots. While someone serves Augustine his first drink of the day, we can hear as his mother presses, inquiring on where he is and making it known she has “ojaldas” (Panamanian term for fried dough) and braised beef waiting at home. But, it’s safe to say he has other priorities in mind.
A voice distorter makes the chorus sound more like a threat than a warning. “Me toca a mi.”
This is the second official video to accompany his August-released EP. This is Augustine’s time. But, even more so, this is Panama’s time.
A reminder, via the video below: