'Satisfacción' Guaranteed: Our Favorite Latin Songs This Week
This week, there's something new for every corner of the Latinternet. On the pop music front, Nicky Jam brought on Bad Bunny and Arcangel for "Satisfacción," proving themselves some of the busiest Latinos in music this summer. Internet kids Cuco and Clairo teamed up for a sweet trying-to-appear-older track because the law virtually required it, Miguel leaned in further to his Afro-Mexican roots on a Spanish version of "Banana Clip," and Ivy Queen tore a vicious vecina to shreds with a hilarious diss track.
This playlist is part of a weekly Spotify series of NPR Music's favorite Latin songs that will be updated every Wednesday. Catch our weekly thoughts and hot takes here.
Nicky Jam, Bad Bunny & Arcangel, "Satisfacción"
This song is four minutes of pure tension, brought to you by the trio that won't quit this summer: Nicky Jam, Bad Bunny and Arcangel. "Satisfacción" opens with Nicky Jam's slow and sensual voice, complementing the tautness the beat brings to the track. When Bad Bunny's verse arrives, it's immediately clear that this is the one we're going to be reciting on repeated listens. We don't know who they're talking about, but we know for sure she means business. Although "satisfacción" only appears twice during the song, it's implied between every line. — Coral Murphy
Miguel, "Banana Clip (Spanish Version)"
Miguel has been exploring his Afro-Mexican roots since his 2015 album Wildheart, but in 2018 it seems he's making a more concentrated effort to lean into his heritage, and we're here for it. In March, he released a Spanish-language version of "Sky Walker" from 2017's War & Leisure. In May, he collaborated with Chicano Batman on a rendition of their song "Black Lipstick," giving the song a sultrier R&B edge. And now, the Spanish version of "Banana Clip" shows he has no intention of compromising that identity.
The breezy love ballad is seamless in Spanish, as if it was always meant to be sung en español. Perfect for the waning days of summer. — Stefanie Fernández
Cuco & Clairo, "Drown"
This collaboration between Internet kids Clairo and Cuco was bound to happen. In the last month of the summer, they're giving the people what they want with "Drown," and it sounds exactly like fans might imagine (maybe even better because of Cuco's passionate swearing in the beginning). Clairo's sweet, glittery melodies mix with Cuco's warm Spanglish lyrics about the push-and-pull of a fleeting relationship, which the duo brings to life in unison if not harmony. The chorus sounds like an emotional discussion between the two, making it resemble more of a telenovelathan the summer jam that it's destined to be. — Coral Murphy
Ivy Queen, "Mi Vecina"
This is certainly not Ivy Queen's first rodeo. The queen of reggaeton since the 1990s has been reclaiming her crown in the past couple years. (Not to mention her 2003 hit "Quiero Bailar" shook the world of reggaeton a year before Daddy Yankee's Gasolina, and ranked No. 60 on our Turning the Tables list of the 200 greatest songs by 21st century women+.) She has laurels and then some that she could rest on, but instead the Queen is releasing floor-fillers about your pesky chismosaneighbor.
She's enviosa and Ivy Queen is going to give her a chelitoor two to buy herself a personality. I didn't expect such a specific read in last Friday's new music drop, but all the great women of Latin music in the 20th century broke barriers for singing about the everyday experiences of Latinas in the world, and yeah, chismosa neighbors are part of that, too. — Stefanie Fernández
This playlist is updated weekly.
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