Trap Latino is a hip-hop subgenre that’s been gaining steam 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’s been slowly taking over the charts, with many Latina singer-songwriters taking the scene by storm.
With their unapologetic lyrics, these 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.
Don’t sleep on these women. Check out our first of two lists of women who should be on your trap playlist.
Her name is Noris Diaz, but she’s better known as Tokischa. Having studied fine arts and dramaturgy, Tokischa took up professional modeling at the age of sixteen before moving on to work in a call center. By the time she turned eighteen, she had turned to sex work to make ends meet.
During a photoshoot for a magazine in her hometown of Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic, at the age of twenty, she crossed paths with Raymi Paulus, a producer, who would eventually invite her to sign with his label.
Her lyrics are characterized by explicit expressions of sexual liberation and party culture, all set to the rhythms of trap, dembow, and reggaetón. This Afro-Dominican queen isn’t afraid to speak her mind, a trait that has often led to her being deemed, “ controversial,” something she doesn’t apologize for, even when she took heat for being a part of J Balvin’s use of Black women as dogs in the Perra video.
She told Rolling Stone,
"I understand the interpretation people had, and I’m truly sorry that people felt offended. But at the same time, art is expression. It’s creating a world.”
Tokischa has gained recognition as a feminist and queer icon, largely due to her unabashed bisexuality, candid discussions about her past work as a sex worker, and bold fashion choices. She uses her platform to promote and celebrate Afro-Latine culture, while also making sure her message of self-love and in-your-face confidence resonates with her fans all over the world.
While walking the magenta carpet at Premios Lo Nuestro, where she was nominated for Artista Revelación Femenina, she expressed her admiration for all the women dominating the urbano genre, saying, “I feel like we are all winners, because we are all representing our countries, our culture, showing that women are powerful.”
For Your Playlist:
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, 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, has a podcast show, and has a YouTube channel. She also appeared in the video for "Immigrants (We Get the Job Done)" from "The Hamilton Mixtape."
Snow has called out the blatant gender wage gap not only in the urban music scene but in all jobs, stating, “I rap better than 90% of the male rappers who are popular right now, but I get paid much less. Whether we are cooks, doctors, or maids, it doesn't matter, I want men to take into account our talent, not our gender.”
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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’s 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.”
“I don't consider myself an activist or anything like that; I just exist. My existence ends up being activism,” she has said regarding her being seen as a pioneer of the Latino LGBTQIA+ movement. Villano has 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.
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You might know her as "La Nena Fina" straight outta the colorful city of Medellin, Colombia. An Afro-Colombian icon, her music is a fusion of trap, hip-hop, reggaeton, and pop, with powerful vocals, catchy hooks, and socially conscious lyrics.
She was raised in a family where music was everything; her father's guitar playing, and her mother's singing inspired her to pursue her passion. Before becoming a music sensation, she ventured into modeling and acting, landing a role in the hit Colombian TV series "Sin Senos No Hay Paraíso" in 2008.
Fast forward to today, and Farina has become a bonafide star in the Latin music scene, winning countless accolades along the way, including a Latin Grammy nomination for Best New Artist in 2018.
Her talent and fierce commitment to female empowerment have earned her critical acclaim and a massive fan base. Her fierce talent and commitment to championing women's empowerment have won her legions of fans. "I feel like I have a massive responsibility in the rap world, and I want to kick open doors for other ladies," she declared in a recent interview with Notimerica.
For Your Playlist:
For far too long, the music industry has been a man's world, with Trap and Reggaeton often falling prey to misogynistic lyrics and male-dominated vocals. But there's a new wave of Latinas taking over and revolutionizing the game, creating a community where women can empower each other and inspire one another to reach new heights, and it's about time.
Keep an eye out for the upcoming part 2.
- 5 Latina Trap Artists That Are Killing The Game ›
- The Evolution of Reggaeton: From Machismo to Mujeres ›
- Latinas Rule the Stage on Bad Bunny's Musical Agenda ›