Gracias, Daddy Yankee

The term GOAT is tossed around haphazardly in our post-TikTok world. But when you speak of true GOAT status in contemporary music, only a few artists can hold the title and represent it as well as Daddy Yankee. With the release of his final album, LEGENDADDY, the unquestioned GOAT of reggaeton retired. The entire Latinx music community let out a collective “bendito” and prayed to the reggaeton gods for one last perreo. Just 45, Puerto Rico’s Ramón Luis Ayala Rodríguez está cansado.

Bruno Mars Cover Story

Bruno Mars doesn't walk; he glides. It’s as if he’s perpetually ready to perform a Motown-style choreography set in front of tens of millions watching the Super Bowl (which he has done twice in the past four years)—even easing his way into a suburban L.A. pizza parlor, where moments earlier, his sexy, chart-topping 2012 hit, “Locked Out of Heaven,” was on blast, as if anticipating his appearance. Mars just has that aura. His outfit is straight Fania-era salsa/blaxploitation swag—Gucci cap over his curls; sunglasses; an open shirt, floral and teal; tan shorts; dress shoes (no socks, to accentuate those smooth legs); and minimal gold jewelry.

‘Cypress Hill’: Hardcore Latin Hip-Hop Begins

It began with a big F-you to authority. “Pigs,” the intro song to Cypress Hill’s emblematic self-titled debut, which celebrates its 30th anniversary on August 13 with a new Expanded Edition, called out the barrio’s overseers. From the get-go you could tell these weren’t your usual Latino MCs rhyming about girls and parties. B-Real, Sen Dog and Latinx-by-association DJ Muggs weren’t about making nice; rather, they were about being heard, smoking bud and stomping out anyone who dare cross them.

Perriando Empowerment: Ivy Queen’s ‘Flashback’ Turns 15

If you were of perriando age in the mid-2000s, you were lucky enough to perriar during the Golden Age of Reggaeton. Daddy Yankee’s “Gasolina” helped globalize the Puerto Rican genre beyond the ’hoods of his beloved island and the extended isle of Ñueva York. Yet, much like its forefathers reggae and hip-hop, reggaeton never addressed the struggles and ambitions of women. In fact, women seemed to go unmentioned — unless, of course, they were the object of lust. Enter Ivy Queen. It’s difficult to

Hamilton's Lin-Manuel Miranda Interview

Albert Einstein was a genius. He was also a horrible dresser—seemingly always disheveled, wearing oversize sweaters—and that hair. Oh, for the love of Pantene, that hair. In comparison, modern-day genius Lin-Manuel Miranda is the coolest motherfunker on planet Broadway—sporting a Fania-inspired T-shirt (“Todo Tiene Su Final”), his hair slicked back in a colonial pony-tail—not a man-bun, thank God. But Miranda does have one thing in common with Einstein: He looks tired.

Remembering Selena’s ‘Amor Prohibido’ 25 Years Later

Few artists have had the chance to inspire a generation with their music, fashion and overall being — let alone in a mere 23 years. In hip-hop, Tupac Shakur is held on a saintly pedestal by anyone who’s ever picked up a mic, fought the system, or battled with good and evil weighing on their shoulders. Similarly, almost every present-day Latinx (and sometimes non-Latinx) artist gives themselves a bendición in honor of the late Selena Quintanilla.

Jennifer Lopez & Ryan Guzman Cover Story

Ryan Guzman’s shirt is open. His abs appear golden, even heaven-sent, in the brilliant afternoon light that bathes the Hollywood Hills. For someone shooting his first Latina cover, the 27-year-old Mexican American actor appears at ease — no jitters, just chill. It helps that his partner-in-style is Jennifer Lopez, his costar in the The Boy Next Door, set for release in early 2015. The iconic boricua superstar, who has graced the cover of Latina numerous times in the magazine’s history, takes total control of the shoot and the day. “There’s too much rock in the background,” she says with authority, looking over the photographer’s test shots. With absolute confidence, she steps into a backless tiered Thomas Wylde dress that could’ve been plucked directly from a runway. Guzman wears a tuxedo better than James Bond. “She’s ready for you,” a Lopez handler tells him. “And I’m ready for her,” Guzman replies without missing a beat, betraying his playful California upbringing.

Totó La Momposina: Latin Legend and Hip-Hop Muse

You may have never heard of Totó La Momposina, but you have heard her sing. Although her face might not be familiar to average modern-day music listener, her ethereal chants were featured prominently on JAY-Z’s 4:44; No ID sampled “La Verdolaga” on “Blue’s Freestyle/We Family,” and harked back to her on countless other songs. Listen to our Tracks & Traces playlist below to hear cuts from artists as diverse as Pacha Massive and Rich Boy — all inspired by La Momposina.
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