Trap Latino is a hip-hop subgenre that has been gaining traction worldwide for the past few years. Originating in Puerto Rico during the late 2000s, this genre comes directly from southern U.S. hip-hop and rap music and is heavily influenced by reggaeton and dembow. It has been slowly taking over the charts, with many Latina singer-songwriters taking the scene by storm.
With their unapologetic lyrics, these badass Latinas also lend their voices to the Latin American feminist movement, using their platforms to lift each other up any chance they get, creating new feminist anthems, constantly advocating for more women in the urban scene, and offering a fresh take on urban music, lyrics, and imagery from a woman’s perspective.
As a teenager, Nicole Cucco spent her time spitting bars at freestyle rap battles with her friends around the plazas in Rosario, Argentina. Then, at just 19 years old, she released her first single “Wapo Traketero,” a song that would end up trending on YouTube and taking a spot on Billboard Argentina’s Hot 100, as well as Spotify’s Global Top 50. She’s 21 now, and despite having entered the scene only two years ago, rapper/singer/songwriter Nicki is blowing up fast. She has collaborated with many top artists and became the first Argentinian singer to visit The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.
A self-proclaimed feminist, Nicki constantly speaks up about the presence of women in trap and rap genres and the need to support each other. She has said, “lo más bonito que está sucediendo en el mundo de la música en estos momentos es la sororidad que hay entre mujeres.”
Nicki pinpoints two core influences in her music style: Amy Winehouse and freestyle rap, which reflects in her soulful voice and R&B rhythms matched with candid lyrics derived from her reality as an Argentinian woman, which can go from championing female empowerment to referencing her country’s femicide epidemic.
Add To Your Playlist:Nicki Nicole - Colocao (Video Oficial)
Villano Santiago Pacheco is a 27-year-old rapper, singer, and songwriter from Bayamon, Puerto Rico. She describes herself as non-binary, transfeminine, and bisexual. She is the first transgender and non-binary artist to enter Spotify’s Global Top 50 list with her song “BZRP Music Sessions Vol. 51”, a collaboration with popular Argentinian producer Bizarrap.
Her lyrics revolve around sexual liberation, women’s empowerment, and fighting against transphobic rhetoric. Her beats are aggressive and catchy, with a touch of reggaeton and house music here and there. Villano interchanges male and female pronouns in her songs, plays around with gender, and always shows her authentic self, completely uninterested in fitting into boring, conventional standards, which is part of why she calls herself a “villain.”
“No me considero activista ni nada por el estilo, yo existo y ya. Mi existencia acaba siendo activismo,” she has said regarding her being seen as a pioneer of the Latino LGBTQIA+ movement. Villano’s been very clear about being more interested in making music that reflects her life and experiences and resonates with other queer people, rather than being embraced by cis-hetero people. She's also said she’s not striving for people's tolerance, she demands their respect.
Add To Your Playlist: VILLANO ANTILLANO || BZRP Music Sessions #51
After finishing middle school, Argentine rapper, singer, and songwriter Julieta Cazzuchelli started working and saving up to pay for her first recordings and video clips. “Fuí mi primer inversora, plata que hice, plata que invertí en videos y canciones” she states. Starting off as a cumbia artist under the artistic name “Juli-K” and then venturing into the rock genre without much success, she eventually began making trap music in 2017, which at the time wasn’t nearly as popular as it is today, and adopted the stage name “Cazzu.”
After hitting the charts for the first time with her song collab “Loca” along with Khea, Duki, and Bad Bunny in 2018, Cazzu has steadily risen to the top. With her distinctive goth e-girl aesthetic and sweet, unique voice, she has established herself as one of Argentina’s most prominent urban artists.
She has spoken out about women being more harshly criticized as urban artists, despite the majority of them being badass rappers, amazing singers, and also writing their own songs, something that many male urban artists don’t necessarily do. “Los espacios para las mujeres en el trap siguen siendo criticados desde un punto más hostil,” she said, “la crítica siempre va a ser más minuciosa cuando se trata de la mujer, aunque lo esté rompiendo y haga muy buen trap."
Add To Your Playlist:Cazzu - Mucha Data (Video Oficial)
Snow Tha Product
The daughter of Mexican immigrants, 35-year-old Claudia Madriz became involved with music as young as 6 years old, participating in school talent shows and performing with her grandfather’s mariachi band. As a teen, Claudia started freestyling with her friends and eventually decided to go head-on into the urban music scene, releasing her first collab in 2007 and becoming an independent artist in 2018.
Another rapper/singer/songwriter (you know us girls, we like doing our own thing), Snow is known for her rapid-fire rapping style and is influenced by artists from Missy Elliot and Aaliyah to Selena Quintanilla and Lupita D’Alessio. She is bilingual and records in both languages, has had several acting roles, and even has a podcast show and a YouTube channel.
Snow has called out the blatant gender wage gap not only in the urban music scene but in all jobs, stating “yo rapeo mejor que el 90% de los raperos que están pegando ahorita, pero me pagan mucho menos. Si somos cocineras, doctoras o maids, no importa, quiero que los hombres tomen en cuenta nuestro talento, no nuestro género.”
Add To Your Playlist:Snow Tha Product - Bilingue (Official Music Video)
A Puerto Rican star on the rise, María Ramírez, known by her stage name Young Miko, strives to give voice to feminism and the LGBTQIA+ community with her music. Her music videos are filled with women and queer people having fun, owning their sexuality, and enjoying each other’s presence. Once again a successful rapper, singer, songwriter, and a talented tattoo artist on top of that, Young Miko points to Ivy Queen as being one of her biggest influences. She is good friends with Cazzu and Villano Antillano, having stated that women in the trap scene don’t compete, they support each other. “Es un orgullo ser parte del crecimiento que estamos presenciando ahora mismo. Gracias a Dios son muchas más las nenas que estamos en el spotlight, aunque siempre hubo mujeres dándole,” Miko has commented.
At just 25 years old and with only a couple of singles out, Miko has taken the world by storm with her low, breathy voice and moody trap beats, recently appearing alongside Bad Bunny on stage at his latest tour and launching her very first EP, “Trap Kitty.”
Add To Your Playlist:Young Miko - Riri
Trap and Reggaeton have been constantly dominated by male artists and plagued with misogynistic lyrics, so having these Latinas come and change up the game is certainly a breath of fresh air, especially when they bring with them this sense of sorority and a shared vision of spotlighting other up-and-coming female artists with the platforms they’ve built for themselves so more and more women can find their place in the scene. Add these Latina baddies to your Chingona playlist and bring this can’t-be-bothered attitude into 2023!
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