Stream New Music From Bad Bunny, Alice Bag And Princess Nokia : Alt.Latino Bad Bunny's YHLQMDLG is the buzz of the Latinx internet, but we also speed through 14 other essential releases.

Spring Forward With Bad Bunny, Alice Bag And Princess Nokia

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(SOUNDBITE OF X ALFONSO SONG, "SIEMPRE HAY SOLUCIÓN")

FELIX CONTRERAS, HOST:

From NPR Music, this is ALT.LATINO. I'm Felix Contreras. We have a ton of new music - like, just a bunch. And as we start spring and look toward the rest of the year, it's all gathered up. And, of course, I needed help to do it, and I called in Stefanie Fernández. Stefanie, welcome back.

STEFANIE FERNÁNDEZ, BYLINE: What's up, Felix?

CONTRERAS: OK, we got a ton of stuff, man - lots of music, lots of important music this week. We're starting with a track from X Alfonso. This is an artist we've been featuring. He's doing a single a month until his album comes out in September. This is the latest. It's called "Siempre Hay Solución." Tell us what you think about it afterwards. First, this is X Alfonso.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "SIEMPRE HAY SOLUCIÓN")

X ALFONSO: (Singing) El pobre siempre es el que paga el error de aquel que no se empapa. ¿Decisiones para quién? ¿Restricciones para quién? ¿A favor de quién se mueve esta balanza? Sí que hay solución. No sé. No sé. Siempre hay solución. No sé. No sé. Sí que hay solución. No sé. No sé. Siempre hay solución. No sé. No sé.

Un control prepotente, la inflación ascendente, enfocado y pendiente al vecino hasta frente pongo un touch coherente. Mira adentro a tu gente. No me saques los dientes porque piense diferente. Somos punta de lanza. La confianza crea la esperanza. ¿Restricciones para qué? ¿Objeciones para qué? No se puede idealizar si no se avanza. Y sale a flote la tardanza. Ya se torna más un avalancha. ¿De problemas para quién? ¿Sacrificio para quién? ¿A favor de quién se mueve esta balanza?

Sí que hay solución. No sé. No sé. Siempre hay solución. No sé. No sé. Sí que hay solución. No sé. No sé. Siempre hay solución. No sé. No sé. La solución dice Pepe que la vida se va en este brete, que hace siglos atrás, siempre ha sido todo igual. Lo mejor es vivir el presente. Sí que hay solución. No sé. No sé. Siempre hay solución. No sé. No sé. Sí que hay solución. No sé. No sé. Siempre hay solución. No sé. No sé. No sé. No sé. No sé. No sé. Sí que hay solución. No sé. No sé. Siempre hay solución. No sé. No sé.

CONTRERAS: "Siempre Hay Solución" from X Alfonso, a meditation on the power of the individual and a really creative intersection of electronic and Cuban rhythmic sensibilities. We expect nothing less. It's all leading up to an album that's going to be released in September of 2020. It's called "Inside."

FERNÁNDEZ: You were saying you would expect nothing less from X Alfonso. I would expect nothing less from a cubano...

CONTRERAS: Right? (Laughter).

FERNÁNDEZ: ...That - quien sabe ritmo, that knows rhythm.

CONTRERAS: Right?

FERNÁNDEZ: He's awesome.

CONTRERAS: Yeah, he's got a lot of stuff going on, and every track is so different. What ties it all together is the electronic sensibilities but all these other underlying rhythms and stuff. Every track's just been fascinating, and just once a month - what a great idea. OK, we're not going to talk a lot 'cause we got new music. Next up, we're going to feature an album that everybody's talking about right now.

FERNÁNDEZ: This is a little album - maybe you've heard of it - by Bad Bunny called "YHLQMDLG," meaning I do what I want. And we already knew that Bad Bunny did whatever he want, but this sophomore album is an incredibly ambitious 20-song masterpiece all about distilling the essence that is true Puerto Rican reggaeton - reggaeton duro, reggaeton viejo that was made in Carolina and played at marquesina parties in garages across Puerto Rico. Bad Bunny has become one of the most visible Latin artists that we have now, but he's always been committed to honoring his roots. And this album is a beautiful example of that.

CONTRERAS: So a combination of the critical cred, artistic cred, street cred.

FERNÁNDEZ: Absolutely, after his debut album "X 100PRE" came out on nochebuena in 2018, which saw him go from genre to genre with breakneck speed, he's back to honoring Puerto Rico purely. And he succeeds.

CONTRERAS: OK, we're going to play two tracks from the album. What's the first one we're going to hear?

FERNÁNDEZ: We're going to hear "Safaera."

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "SAFAERA")

JOWELL AND RANDY: Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, hey, yo, yo, yo, yo, yo, yo, yo, (vocalizing), blow, blow, (singing) diablo, qué safaera - tú tienes un culo cabrón. Cualquier cosa que te pongas rompe la carretera (vocalizing). Muévelo. Muévelo. Muévelo. Muévelo. Qué safaera (vocalizing) - tienes un culo cabrón. Cualquier cosa que te pongas rompe la carretera. Muévelo. Muévelo. Muévelo. Muévelo.

RANDY NOTA LOCA: (Singing) Qué falta de respeto, mami. ¿Cómo te atreves a venir sin panty? Hoy saliste puesta para mí, yo que pensaba que venía a dormir, no. Vino ready ya puesta para una cepillá. Me chupa la lollipop. Solita se arrodilla, hey. ¿Cómo te atreves, mami, a venir sin panty?

ÑENGO FLOW: Mira, dímelo. DJ Orma, ¿qué tú te crees? - jodido cabrón. Yo hago lo que me da la gana. Díselo, Conejo.

BAD BUNNY: (Singing) Hoy se bebe. Hoy se gasta. Hoy se fuma como un rasta si Dios lo permite, si Dios lo permite, si Dios lo permite, que si Dios lo permite. Hoy se bebe. Hoy se gasta. Hoy se fuma como un rasta si Dios lo permite, si Dios lo permite.

ÑENGO FLOW: Real G, orientando las generaciones nuevas con la verdadera, (singing) bellaqueo a lo galactic, sí, para que se te mojen los panty - métele bellaco a lo versátil. Más puta que Betty Boop - la que se puso bellaca, mami, fuiste tú. Sigo matando con la U. Chocha con bicho, bicho con nalgas, chocha con bicho, bicho con nalgas, sí, chocha con bicho, bicho con nalgas, te estás rozando mi tetilla.

Este año no quiero putillas. Te ven con muchas prendas, y se quieren pegar. Te ven bien activado, y se quieren pegar porque estás bien buena, porque estás bien buena - tetas bien grandes como Lourdes Chacón, las nalgas bien grandes como Iris Chacón. La chocha no sé porque no la he visto, pero vamos para la cama a clavarte en panty.

RANDY NOTA LOCA: (Singing) Hoy se bebe. Hoy se gasta. Hoy se fuma como un rasta si Dios lo permite, si Dios lo permite, yeah, yeah. Y hoy se bebe. Hoy se gasta. Hoy se fuma como un rasta si Dios lo permite, si Dios lo permite. Mami, ¿qué tu quieres? Aquí llego tu tiburón. Yo quiero perrearte y fumarme un blunt, ver lo que esconde ese pantalón. Yo quiero perrearte y perrearte y perrearte. Yo quiero perrearte y fumarme un blunt. Yo quiero perrearte y perrearte y perrear. Yo quiero perrearte y fumarme un blunt, un blunt. La rola ya me explotó. La nena bailando se botó. Ese culo se merece todos, se merece todos, se merece todos, yes. Ese culo se merece todos, se merece todos, se merece todos.

BAD BUNNY: Ah, yo pensaba que se ponía lenta. Está bien. Está bien. Vamos de nuevo, de nuevo. Velen a Orma. Velen a Orma que está bellaco. (Singing) Mi bicho anda fugado, y yo quiero que tú me lo escondas. Agárralo como bonga. Se metió una pepa que la pone cachonda. Chinga en los Audi, no en los Honda. Si te lo meto, no me llames, que esto no es para que me ames. Si tu novio no te mama el culo, para eso que no mame. Baja para casa, que yo te lambo toda. Mami, yo te lambo toda. Baja para casa, que yo te rompo toda, que yo te rompo toda. Baja para casa, que yo te lambo toda. Mami, yo te lambo toda. Dime, sierva, si tú fumas yerba.

JOWELL: Jowell, bebé, bebé, bebé, jaja, (laughter) (singing) perreando en la bichota - se ve que chinga rico en la nota. Yo quiero tirarme un selfie con esas nalgotas. Parado, parado, parado lo tengo, y se me nota. ¿Qué vamos a hacer con esas nalgotas? En la uni que son A, A, A, pero esas tetas son C. Tu eres una súper bellaca. Mami, yo lo sé. Yo también soy bien bellaco. ¿Qué vamos a hacer? Con ese bum-bum - guíllate. Bum-bum - guíllate. Ese bum-bum - guíllate. Bum-bum, si tienes ese bum-bum, guíllate. Bum-bum, si tienes ese bum-bum, guíllate.

CONTRERAS: I have purposely not listened to the record...

FERNÁNDEZ: Oh, my God.

CONTRERAS: ...Because I wanted to wait until we did it today.

FERNÁNDEZ: ALT.LATINO reacts to "YHLQMDLG" (laughter).

CONTRERAS: I think this is just as significant or just as profound as "To Pimp A Butterfly" was for hip-hop in a lot of ways 'cause sonically - 'cause I always listen musically. And what he did just on that one track alone is just amazing, just drop-dead amazing.

FERNÁNDEZ: Absolutely, this song - this whole album is breaking the internet, but this song is driving Latinos on the internet absolutely wild because if you in 2006 went to a marquesina party in Puerto Rico, and there was a DJ, and he was playing any pop song, this is the kind of song that you would hear. It's a mixeo, meaning that it's made in the style of a song that has been revamped by a DJ and remixed and layered with different samples and beats to make it that much more danceable, that much more perreable, that much harder. A friend of the show, Isabelia Herrera, called this song a reggaeton symphony and counted eight movements of tempo changes and beat changes and parts of the song that all bangs.

CONTRERAS: Just in this song.

FERNÁNDEZ: Yes - reggaeton legends Ñengo Flow and Jowell y Randy show up on this, and the production - the first minute with that extremely warped loop and that hard beat before it gives way to the full mixeo. That part is very Tainy, producer Tainy, that Bad Bunny has been working with for a while now. And the mixeo is mostly done by DJ Orma, who is a longtime friend and Bad Bunny's personal DJ who came up with him when he was playing these kinds of parties.

So the fact that the original song is the mixeo was a pretty powerful statement and a really beautiful homage to that kind of music. Among the samples you hear, like, the little tumbi toque from Missy Elliott's "Get Ur Freak On" later in the song - and it's just this whole album - incredibly nostalgic and treats Puerto Rico like the birthplace of so much art that it always has been.

CONTRERAS: Wow, nostalgic and forward-looking at the same time. OK, we're going to break format and play two tracks from the album 'cause it's so good. What do you got next?

FERNÁNDEZ: Next we've got "Hablamos Mañana."

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "HABLAMOS MAÑANA")

BAD BUNNY: (Singing) Yo hago lo que me dé la gana. Yo fui quien pagó mi cubana. Yo ni sé cómo tú te llamas. Chao. Hablamos mañana. Yo hago lo que me dé la gana. Yo fui quien pagó mi cubana. Yo ni sé cómo tú te llamas. Chao. Hablamos mañana. Una zeta de krippy - con eso me calmo. Cada coro que tiro se convierte en salmo. Me tiran, pero no me alarmo. Una cubana en el cuello, la otra en cuatro, movie - ya no estamos en teatro. Esto me sale fácil. Ni lo trato - easy. Si quiero me retiro. Estoy hecho hace rato.

Mami anda en Mercedes, papi en Mercedes, mi hermano en Mercedes, todos mis panas en Mercedes. Yo ando en la Lambo si no en Mercedes. Toma 30 para gas. No vaya a ser que te quedes. Ya mismo llego a Chile. Estoy pasando Quito, después para Buenos Aires a visitar par de culitos. Los muchachos en el jet capsuleando estoy loquito. Ya yo ni fumo. Estoy volado a lo perrito. Yo hago lo que me dé la gana. Yo fui quien pagó mi cubana. Yo ni sé cómo tú te llamas. Chao. Hablamos mañana.

PABLO CHILL-E: (Singing) Chao les dije a los giles. Hola les dije a los miles. Hago la mierda que quiero. La bitch tiene pelo. La hago que se depile. Mami, le pago los biles. Y no tengo un Richard Mille, pero al final del video no hay ningún joyero que prendas me pide. Tú haces lo que puedes. Yo hago lo que quiero. Como la hipoteca, man, por eso hago dinero, hielo en la cadena, subzero, tu cuenta del banco, en cero.

Siempre estoy brillando, no me cachan, humo lila. En la party me preguntan que si soy de Carolina. Debe ser por el piquete puro, como cocaína y porque me la perreo como en una marquesina. ¿Cómo te llamabas tú? No me acuerdo. No poder comprar algo ya es un recuerdo. Estamos frío en todos lados, y no es invierno. Si tú no me hablas de money, bye. Lo siento.

BAD BUNNY AND DUKI: (Singing) Yo hago lo que me dé la gana. Yo fui quien pagó mi cubana. Yo ni sé cómo tú te llamas. Chao. Hablamos mañana.

DUKI: (Singing) Hago lo que me da la gana. No sé por qué ellos me llaman. No sé quiénes son. No conozco sus caras. Me quieren bajar. Se mueren de ganas. Suelto el humo mientras bajo la ventana. Lleno de oro, papi - parezco El Cigala. Esto es moda. No es un chaleco antibalas. En el aeropuerto viajo sin escala. A mí no me cambia la fama. Es otras bitches prende las ramas. Salgo a cazar fantasmas. Salvo la ciudad como Batman. Le doy Candela. Body like Carmelo, le dediqué un tema, y la llevé hasta el cielo. Que no nos importe nada. Hagamos lo que da la gana. Baby, te quiero en mi cama. Cuando quieras, tú me llamas. Yo hago lo que me dé la gana. Yo pagué mi cubana. Yo sé cómo te llamas. Chao. Hablamos mañana.

CONTRERAS: Unbelievable.

FERNÁNDEZ: Yeah (laughter).

CONTRERAS: I'm speechless.

FERNÁNDEZ: So was I when I first heard this song. You know, what's so special about this album is that every collaboration across the whole record is so intentional and so full of respect for those who came before him. You know, you have legends across the album like Arcángel, like Daddy Yankee, of course, and Sech and more. But on this track, you see two of the only non-Puerto Rican artists on the record - Duki, who's from Argentina, and Pablo Chill-E, who's from Chile, and it's my favorite song off the album because it is an emo dream. It is a hardcore song, and there's this misconception, you know, in the American perception of urbano and in the Latin music perception of urbano that it's not artful, that it's not inspired by the same genius that inspires so many of the other artists that have been venerated in Latin music. The production here from Tainy - it is a trap song through and through, but it is also a rock song by the end of the song. It's very, very palpably full of that nostalgia from 2008, listening to, like, Slipknot at the mall and Linkin Park. It leans so much into just that earnestness, and it's really, really special.

CONTRERAS: I'm speechless. I don't have the words, which is - doesn't happen very often. It's just so profound. I just - so much respect, now I'm going to go back, set some time aside and listen to the record from beginning to end.

FERNÁNDEZ: Please do. I have to - before we leave this, Felix, I have to shout out two more just quick hits from this album - "Bichiyal" with Yaviah, who's a legend in Puerto Rican reggaeton, who only released a handful of songs in his career. And Bad Bunny coaxed him to come out of his long seclusion for an excellent, excellent song. And the track "Yo Perreo Sola," which is a female independence perreo anthem with the chorus sung by Génesis Ríos aka Nesi - I shout her out because the irony is that the only female feature on the album is not credited as a performer in the track list. So we want to shout out Nesi. We want to end this long tradition of reggaeton leaving out the female vocalists.

CONTRERAS: Right.

FERNÁNDEZ: And we want to give her flowers.

CONTRERAS: Bad Bunny obviously is a major artist of our time, and this record is just - it's going to take a while to sink in.

FERNÁNDEZ: And we better enjoy it because on the last track, which is "A Little Heart Emoji" (ph), he teases that he's going to release another album in nine months, and then he plans to retire, so...

CONTRERAS: Wow.

FERNÁNDEZ: ...We'd better hope he doesn't go the way of Yaviah and appreciate him while we have him.

CONTRERAS: Wow, we're going to continue with another artist from Puerto Rico, one of the tracks that I brought in. Slightly older but certainly part of the incredible music scene coming out of Puerto Rico, Residente has been releasing singles leading up to a new album at some point later this year, and he put out a single called "René." And you have to see the video as well as hear the song. It's incredibly personal.

Where before he was always looking out at the world and one of our leading spokespeople about what's going on in Latin America and what's going on in Puerto Rico, this one is looking in and what's going on with René. And this particular track - it's like a therapy session, and you watch the video. I challenge you to not end up crying at the end. This is called "René," and this is from Residente from an upcoming album.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "RENÉ")

FLOR JOGLAR: René, ven. Vamos a estudiar. Sí, te voy a hacer una pregunta. Tú me la contesta. ¿Con qué parte del cuerpo jugaban pelota los indios taínos? René, contéstame. Sí, es fácil. Atiéndeme. Atiéndeme. Mírame. ¿Con qué parte del cuerpo - piensa - jugaban pelota los indios taínos? Ya sé. Te la canto, y entonces así tú te la vas aprendiendo - (singing) cabeza, rodilla, muslos y cadera, cabeza, rodilla, muslos y cadera, cabeza, rodilla, muslos y cadera, cabeza, rodilla, muslos y… Ya

RESIDENTE: (Singing) Desde pequeño quería ser beisbolista. No llegué así que aprendí a batear hits por encima de una pista. Volví a tomar alcohol en mi despacho. Escribo bien sobrio, pero escribo mejor borracho. Cuando caigo en depresión, mis problemas se los cuento a la ventana del avión. El estrés me tiene enfermo. Hace 10 años que no duermo. El IRS me sigue investigando. Me estoy divorciando, pero no importa. Yo sigo rimando. Cometo errores, pero hago lo que pueda. Aprendí a aterrizar sin ruedas. Y aunque en la calle me reconocen, ya ni mis amigos me conocen. Estoy triste, y me río. El concierto está lleno, pero yo estoy vacío. En la industria de la música todo es mentira. Mi hijo tiene que comer, así que sigo de gira.

Solo me queda lo que tengo. No sé para dónde voy, pero sé de donde vengo. Me crié con Christopher, mi pana. Tiramos piedras juntos. Rompimos un par de ventanas. Corríamos por la calle sin camiseta en las parcelas de Trujillo cuesta abajo en bicicleta, la bici encima del barro con un vaso de plástico en la goma para que suene como un carro. Recargábamos batería con malta india y pan con ajo. Nadie nos detenía. Eramos inseparables hasta que un día lo mataron entre cuatro policías. Mi alegría sigue rota. Se apagaron las luces en el parque de pelota. Ya no queda casi nadie aquí. A veces ya no quiero estar aquí. Me siento solo aquí en el medio de la fiesta. Quiero estar en donde nadie me molesta, quemar mi libreta, soltar mis maletas.

Quiero llamar al 755-0822 a ver quién contesta. Las peleas con mi padrastro cuando perdía el control las resolvía con él viendo un partido de beisbol. Me invitó a palear un par de veces. Me escapé de casa un par de veces, pero nunca faltó el alimento. Nos defendió con música tocando en casamientos. A veces al horno, a veces de lata y microondas - compartíamos todo. La mesa era redonda. Clase media-baja - nunca fuimos dueños. El préstamo del banco se robaba nuestros sueños. La cuenta de ahorro vacía, pero mami bailando flamenco nos alegraba el día. Dejó de actuar para cuidarnos a los cuatros, y nos convertimos en su obra de teatro. Ella se puso nuestras botas, y su vida fue de nuestros logros y nuestras derrotas. Mi padrastro se fue con otros peces. Nos mudamos de la Calle 13. Me fui a buscar la suerte en un mar de pajas, y mi vida entera la empaqué en una caja. En la universidad de arte me becaron.

A la mitad de mis amigos los mataron. Empecé a rapear de nuevo. Empecé a creer de nuevo. Volví. Saqué un disco. Me comí el mundo de un mordisco. En Puerto Rico despidieron empleados. Insulté al gobernador. Quedó televisado. Censuraron cuatro años de mi calendario. Abuela murió. No me vio tocar en el estadio. Dije todo lo que sentí. Me quieren más afuera que en mi propio país. Pero aunque mis canciones las cante un alemán, quiero que me entierren en el viejo San Juan. Puede que la tristeza la disimule, pero estoy hecho de arroz con gandules. Y me duele. No importa que el ron de la madrugada me consuele. Desde adentro de la pulpa, si la cagué a mi país, le dedico cuatro pisos de disculpas.

Ya no queda casi nadie aquí. A veces ya no quiero estar aquí. Me siento solo aquí en el medio de la fiesta. Quiero estar en donde nadie me molesta, quemar mi libreta, soltar mis maletas. Quiero llamar al 755-0822 a ver quién contesta. Y si me contestan, quiero decirles que quiero volver, que quiero salir de este hotel y desaparecer.

Y si me contestan, quiero decirles que quiero bajar el telón, que a veces me sube la presión, que tengo miedo que se caiga el avión, que no me importan las giras, los discos, los Grammys y que en la Calle 11 quiero volver a ver el cometa Halley con mami. Quiero volver a cuando mis ventanas eran de sol y me despertaba el calor, a cuando me llamaban pa' jugar, a cuando rapeaba sin cobrar.

Quiero sacar las cartas del pelota del envase, volver a robarme segunda base, en verano y navidades limpiar la casa con mis hermanos escuchando a Rubén Blades. Quiero volver ir al cine en la semana y llegar a la escuela de artes en la mañana. Quiero quedarme allí. No quiero salir de allí. Quiero volver a cuando no me dejaban entrar porque me vestía mal. Quiero volver a sentir, a cuando no tenía que fingir. Yo quiero volver a ser yo.

JOGLAR: (Singing) Cabeza, rodilla, muslos y cadera, cabeza, rodilla, muslos y cadera, cabeza, rodilla, muslos y cadera, cabeza, rodilla, muslos y cadera.

RESIDENTE AND FLOR JOGLAR: (Singing) Cabeza, rodilla, muslos y cadera, cabeza, rodilla, muslos y cadera, cabeza, rodilla, muslos y cadera, cabeza, rodilla, muslos y cadera.

RUBÉN BLADES: (Vocalizing).

CONTRERAS: The track "René" from Residente with a guest appearance by Rubén Blades at the end, again, another profound - but what's going on over there, man?

FERNÁNDEZ: Dude, speaking of nostalgia, it is in the air.

CONTRERAS: It's a look back but also, again, a look forward and just statement right now of what's going on in Puerto Rico with these musicians and these incredible artistic output. OK, you're up. You're next. What do you have?

FERNÁNDEZ: Oh, OK.

CONTRERAS: (Laughter) I know. This is...

FERNÁNDEZ: I'm putting myself back together after that.

CONTRERAS: (Laughter).

FERNÁNDEZ: Well, next we have Angélica Garcia's "Agua De Rosa" from her most recent album, "Cha Cha Palace." So Angélica Garcia is an east LA-raised and Richmond-based artist. This isn't her debut album, but it is a reinvention of sorts. And why don't you let us know what you think?

CONTRERAS: OK, here we go.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "AGUA DE ROSA")

ANGÉLICA GARCIA: (Vocalizing). (Singing) Hija mía, young blood y naive, yeah, agua de rosa, chica - ven aquí. Ven aquí, bonita. Your mother, boy - we planted the seeds. Agua de rosa, chica - sin nosotros, tú no existes. The fruit dripping off the guava tree, yeah, agua de rosa, chica - aquí naciste. Aquí no permite. You can dance around it, but all your movements split. Agua de rosa, chica - mira aquí. Mira allá, mija, (vocalizing) rosa, (vocalizing) rosa, (vocalizing) rosa. Hija linda, as far as we can see - agua de rosa, chica - ven aquí. Ven aquí, bonita. You ride the bloodlines of the in between. Agua de rosa, chica - sin nosotros tú no existes. The paradox makes sacred hearts weep, yeah. Agua de rosa, chica - aquí naciste. Aquí no permite. Mujer bendita, is the force soaring? agua de rosa, chica (vocalizing) agua de rosa (vocalizing) agua de rosa, mi hija, mujer bendita, agua de rosa, mi hija, mi hija, no miente el agua de rosa, mi hija, bendita.

CONTRERAS: Another amazing track - a very young talent but already almost fully formed.

FERNÁNDEZ: Absolutely. I said that this was a reinvention because her previous work has been very heavily rock and acoustic. And I find it really refreshing that on this record, she really lets the production and the loops and these little tricks that she throws into the music shine.

On this track in particular, it becomes this, like, really meditative memory sequence of all these Spanish phrases - of being called mija and bonita - and this album sees her embrace more explicitly than she has in the past her Chicana identity. And it's all over the record - in this iconography of la Virgen de Guadalupe on the song that we featured on the playlist a couple of weeks ago - and just honors that place that is so tender for so many of us.

In my mind, I think of, like, the "Cha Cha Palace" as, like, this real mental place where, like, anybody who grew up as a Latino in the U.S. as a kid - where you just live full time before you realize that we're different from everybody else, and then we return to that place whenever we are with community or see something that reminds us of our past. And I think this album is just a beautiful exercise in that.

CONTRERAS: The track is called "Agua De Rosa." It's Angélica Garcia - great new talent.

FERNÁNDEZ: We saw her Tiny Desk recently, and, gosh, what a treat.

CONTRERAS: Yeah, that's going to come out soon.

FERNÁNDEZ: You're all in for a treat.

CONTRERAS: Yeah, that's going to come out soon. It was very, very powerful. OK.

OK, you mentioned her playlist. I do want to remind people that we do a weekly playlist every week on both Spotify and Apple Music, and some of this stuff this week is going to be on the playlist this week. We're going to mix the two.

FERNÁNDEZ: Un mixeo, like we said.

CONTRERAS: (Laughter) OK, I'm going to play a track, and it came out in 2020, but it's a little older 'cause I just discovered it. This is a Spanish singer named María José Llergo - right? - and she is a young flamenco singer from the south. And her album is called "Sanación," healing, and it's an amazing mashup of traditional flamenco and electronic and a production vision that just completely blew me away.

Just - I'm having a - I'm going to have a hard time this year choosing between this one and the Bad Bunny album - I'm sure - as what's going to be my favorite record because this record is just - all the way through, just perfect, exactly what I needed to hear. And I'm such a big fan, and I wanted to play a track even though it's been out for a minute, but I wanted to play it on this week's new music show. This is called "Soy Como El Oro."

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "SOY COMO EL ORO")

MARÍA JOSÉ LLERGO: ¿Para qué llora y llora el corazón mío si llorando no gana lo que ha perdido? ¿Para qué llora y llora mi corazón si llorando no gana lo que perdió (vocalizing)? (Singing) No, no, no, no, no, (vocalizing) no, soy como el oro. Soy como el oro. Mientras más me desprecias mas valor tomo. Mientras más me desprecias mas valor, valor tomo. (Vocalizing). Soy como el oro. Soy como el oro. Mientras más me desprecias mas valor tomo (vocalizing).

CONTRERAS: Anybody who's been listening to the show for more than a minute knows that all that electronic stuff is just the stuff that I just dive into and love like cheesecake or something, like flan.

FERNÁNDEZ: So, so precious.

CONTRERAS: Yeah.

FERNÁNDEZ: I don't know what it is about today's show, Felix, but every song has, like, stabbed me in the heart in a different way.

(LAUGHTER)

FERNÁNDEZ: And it's a lot.

CONTRERAS: Yeah, I don't know if it's a matter of whatever's going on in the air in the world right now or this incredible collection of music that goes right to the heart and speaks to a lot of different things in the most eloquent and musical way possible.

FERNÁNDEZ: I told myself I wasn't going to mention it, but I have to mention it. When we're in a moment where flamenco has really reentered pop in a very big way, thanks to Rosalía, and there's now all this controversy about whether Rosalía belongs to Latin music because she's Spanish - spoiler, she doesn't.

Her first controversy was actually, you know, singing music from Andalucía - Romani music, which is, of course, the primary influence of flamenco, and for Llergo, who is a Romani artist, to be able to have space to make this music and now that there's kind of this open ear towards flamenco again - at least in the rest of the world - it's really encouraging to see her bring this artistry and to be embraced so widely.

CONTRERAS: I did an Apple Music playlist of my own with this record, with Camarón de la Isla, Paco de Lucía, some other jazz artists like Chano Domínguez, even a Spanish singer named Martirio who does more Spanish song, canción. It all works perfectly because there's a sensibility of exploration. There's a sensibility of tradition but, at the same time, exploration, and I think that this what works for her.

FERNÁNDEZ: So beautiful, so beautiful.

CONTRERAS: These first few tracks that we've played are just - we could stop right there, but we're not going to stop right there. We're going to do something that I did a few years ago on a show. I did a speed dating show, played a bunch of songs and have just a few comments. So we're going to do that. We're going to hear just a few seconds of each song. We're going to talk a little bit about it, and then we're going to move on to the next song, like speed dating.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "PEDAZO DE")

KORDELYA: (Singing) No soy un pedazo de nadie. No soy tu pedazo, no soy tu pedazo de piel.

CONTRERAS: And we're going to start with this. This is called "Pedazo De," and the artist is Kordelya. Mexican American electro-pop - the single is a journey of empowerment of the self.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "PEDAZO DE")

KORDELYA: (Singing) No soy tu pedazo, no soy tu pedazo de piel. No soy un tentempié. Si no me comes bien, no te voy a ser fiel.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "NADA (FEAT. LI SAUMET)")

LIDO PIMIENTA: (Vocalizing).

FERNÁNDEZ: This is "Nada" by Lido Pimienta featuring Li Saumet, and like everything we've heard off of Lido Pimienta's upcoming "Miss Colombia," it's a celebration of Afro-Indigenous and Afro-Colombian culture.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "NADA (FEAT. LI SAUMET)")

PIMIENTA: (Singing) Todo lo que yo sentí y todo lo que yo viví, de todo lo que presentí ya no me queda nada. Por todo lo que yo sufrí, por todo lo que yo aprendí, de todo lo que yo te di, ya no me queda nada.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "GIVE ME ANOTHER CHANCE")

EMPRESS OF: (Singing) Give me another chance.

CONTRERAS: This is "Give Me Another Chance" by the artist known as Empress Of - as usual, captivating vocals, engaging lyrics and a seriously groovy electronic musical foundation - Empress Of.

FERNÁNDEZ: Love her.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "GIVE ME ANOTHER CHANCE")

EMPRESS OF: (Singing) I can be willing, heal when I'm hurt. Love is a labor. I want to do work. If I got to lose you...

CONTRERAS: An abrupt change.

(SOUNDBITE OF ALICE BAG SONG, "BREADCRUMBS")

CONTRERAS: This is Alice Bag with her song "Breadcrumbs," an upcoming album. The madrina of Latin punk is on a roll with music and production where she's in peak form with brash energy tinged with sabiduría, wisdom - Alice Bag.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "BREADCRUMBS")

ALICE BAG: (Singing) Once long ago you vilified me. You let me know I came on strong. Well, you weren't wrong.

(SOUNDBITE OF PRINCESS NOKIA SONG, "SOUL FOOD Y ADOBO")

CONTRERAS: Let's hear it for the ladies. This is Princess Nokia. The track's called "Soul Food And Adobo." She did something interesting. She has two albums out right now. One is called "Everything Is Beautiful" - very jazzy. The other one is called "Everything Sucks..."

(LAUGHTER)

CONTRERAS: ...Which is more hip-hop - which is more of the hip-hop she is known for. This is from "Everything Is Beautiful." This is called "Soul Food And Adobo."

FERNÁNDEZ: Both are true, for the record.

CONTRERAS: (Laughter).

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "SOUL FOOD Y ADOBO")

PRINCESS NOKIA: (Rapping) I love that soul food, adobo, a little mixed with sancocho, that mashed up plantain mofongo, that arroz, chicken and pollo. I pour libations in soil. It's three leches and Goya. It's the leftovers in Tupperware and the plates left in foil.

(SOUNDBITE OF BARDA'S "PASEO TELÚRICO")

CONTRERAS: Next up, an Argentine DJ - it's a mix of electronic and organic music. This track is called "Paseo Telúrico" from Barda.

(SOUNDBITE OF BARDA'S "PASEO TELÚRICO")

CONTRERAS: The musical speed dating continues with my favorite singer that you can't categorize but still love. This is Teri Gender Bender and Le Butcherettes, and they have a great new EP out called "Don't Bleed." This track is called "Don't Bleed, You're In The Middle Of The Forest" - Le Butcherettes.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "DON'T BLEED, YOU'RE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE FOREST")

LE BUTCHERETTES: (Singing) You're growing on me. Yes, I can tell. They'll disagree. Just like those savage creatures out there lurking behind the shadows for you, I want a taste. Don't bleed.

(SOUNDBITE OF OLMECA SONG, "THE MESSAGE")

CONTRERAS: Activist, musician, visionary - the artist known as Olmeca continues to impress with all of the above. The name of his new album is called "Define." This track is called "The Message."

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "THE MESSAGE")

OLMECA: (Singing) Somos de aquí. Somos de allá. Somos de aquí. Somos de allá.

(SOUNDBITE OF JUNGLE FIRE'S "SLIPSHOT")

CONTRERAS: Somebody said this sounds like Felix.

(LAUGHTER)

CONTRERAS: This is "Slipshot" by Jungle Fire - Southern California Latin funk. Killer grooves, reminds me of the best of '70s funk and Latin music - they call it tropi-funk. This is Jungle Fire.

(SOUNDBITE OF JUNGLE FIRE'S "SLIPSHOT")

CONTRERAS: Changing it up just a little bit, this is "El Corrido De La Caravana" from the collective known as Mexican Standoff from Southern California. The video is dedicated to all who leave home in search of a better life for themselves and their children. Check out the video. It's very moving. This is Mexican Standoff.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "EL CORRIDO DE LA CARAVANA")

THE MEXICAN STANDOFF: (Singing) Caravanas, caravanas partieron desde Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Guatemala. Primero eran 10, luego 100, luego 1,000. Había hasta bebés, y se fueron todos juntos hacía México querido.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "ME DESORDENO")

OMARA PORTUONDO: (Singing) Me desordeno, amor. Me desordeno.

FERNÁNDEZ: Omara.

CONTRERAS: The unmistakable voice of Omara Portuondo with Orquesta Failde with the track "Me Desordeno" - the leader of the band, Ethiel Failde, is reviving the grand tradition of danzón in Cuba. With a fabulous orchestra and friends like Omara Portuondo, how can they go wrong? This is Orquesta Failde featuring Omara Portuondo.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "ME DESORDENO")

PORTUONDO: (Singing) Te toco con la punta de mi seno, y con mi soledad desamparada y acaso sin estar enamorada me desordeno, amor. Me desordeno.

CONTRERAS: OK, speed dating.

(LAUGHTER)

CONTRERAS: Lots of music, lots of music crammed into one thing 'cause there's just so much great music out right now.

FERNÁNDEZ: There is.

CONTRERAS: And all kinds of different styles and genres and feelings and approaches, but we do it every week, right?

FERNÁNDEZ: We do it.

CONTRERAS: This is what we do. OK, you get the last word on this new music show. What do you got?

FERNÁNDEZ: Well, I don't think throughout this whole show that we've heard an artist quite like our next one. This is Guaynaa, "Rompe Rodillas."

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "ROMPE RODILLAS")

GUAYNAA: (Rapping) Ey, El Guaynaabichy - Play-n-Skillz, ¿qué lo que? Estamos en LA, ey. ¿Qué es lo que tú quieres, mami? ¿Qué es lo que tú quieres, mami? ¿Qué es lo que tú quieres, mami? Rompe rodillas. ¿Qué es lo que tú quieres, mami? ¿Qué es lo que tú quieres, mami? ¿Qué es lo que tú quieres, mami? Rompe rodillas. Mételo con cintura, mami. Dale movimiento. Mételo con cintura, mami. Dale movimiento. Rompe rodillas. Rompe rodillas. Rompe rodillas, mami. Dale movimiento. Chiquilla, rompe rodilla. Si tú eres de Cali, Pereira o de Barranquilla, si tú eres de México, Argentina, Chile o tú eres de Aguadilla, ¿sabes qué, chulita, mami, mami? Rompe rodilla. En España estamos por Sevilla. Eso está muy guay, bebé.

CONTRERAS: Just like every other Latino party, we started out almost crying, and now we're dancing.

FERNÁNDEZ: Yes, exactly.

(LAUGHTER)

CONTRERAS: This show this week (laughter).

FERNÁNDEZ: Ooh, that's real.

CONTRERAS: (Laughter).

FERNÁNDEZ: So what I love most about Guaynaa - what I love most about this kid born Jean Carlos Santiago is that he is such a goof. His biggest song to date has been "Rebota," which took over the summer of 2019, and now he's back with a song that mixes reggaeton duro and cumbia. He's so much fun, and he's going to absolutely kill this industry this year.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "ROMPE RODILLAS")

GUAYNAA: (Rapping) En verdad, en verdad, no te miento que Raquel y Laura tienen que meterle al dale movimiento. Discúlpame. Sorry. Lo lamento. Si estás escuchando, tienes que meterle al dale movimiento. Pierdes si fallas en el intento, pero si no intentas, no lo sabes, mami. Dale movimiento. ¿Qué es lo que tú quieres, mami? ¿Qué es lo que tú quieres, mami? ¿Qué es lo que tú quieres, mami? Rompe rodillas. ¿Qué es lo que tú quieres, mami? ¿Qué es lo que tú quieres, mami? ¿Qué es lo que tú quieres, mami? Rompe rodillas.

CONTRERAS: I do want to remind you, check out our playlist every week at npr.org/alt.latino. Don't forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter. We are NPR's ALT.LATINO. It may take a while for us to get back to you, but we will answer your messages and emails. Again, Stefanie Fernández, thank you so much for coming in.

FERNÁNDEZ: Thank you, Felix. We're going to keep doing lo que nos da la gana.

CONTRERAS: (Laughter) Exactly, exactly. You've been listening to ALT.LATINO from NPR Music. I'm Felix Contreras. Thank you for listening.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "ROMPE RODILLAS")

GUAYNAA: (Rapping) Rompe rodillas. Rompe rodillas. Rompe rodillas, mami. Dale movimiento. ¿Qué lo que? Estamos en LA. ¿Qué lo que? Estamos en LA. Mi chichi, el Guaynabichy - tú sabes quien es. No te haga el loco. Rompe rodillas.

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