Probably because in its current incarnation Urban music Tackling such a wide range of influences – from reggaeton’s expected bounce to ominous trap moods, frantic dembo and a cool dash of Latin pop – the genre has become a hotbed of freshness and creativity.

All five nominees for Best Musica Urbana Album at the 65th Grammy Awards are international stars, but none of them let fame lead them to stagnation. On the contrary, their albums are defined by modern innovations and challenging new sounds. Read on for more offers from Bad Bunny, Daddy Yankee, Farooq, Maluma and Rau Alejandro.

See the full list of nominees for the 2023 Grammy Awards here.

Raw Alejandro – Trap Cake, Vol. 2

Released in 2019, its first volume Trap Cake served as a laboratory where the Puerto Rican singer experimented with unusual textures. Volume 2 March on the same avant-garde principle, serving as a provocative bridge between rawIts genre-defining smash vice versa and his troubled third album Sat.

The production on this gorgeous mini-album is slick and airy, floating in a hazy cloud of melancholy nostalgia. “Strain the opening like a music box.”music“Hints of precious ambient sonics at hand, with distorted electric guitars and aggressive downbeats.”Thanks for everything” opens a fascinating window into Rau’s quirks as a potential rock’n’roller. Co-produced by Jamaican helmer Rvssian, the dark-toned “Caprichoso” features the singer’s romantic partner — the one and only Rosalia.

bad rabbit – A summer without you

How will you celebrate the confirmation of your status as a young global pop star? Regarding this bad rabbitHe released the ultimate summer album — a fictional mixtape meant to be booming in the background as poolside parties rage.

The Puerto Rican phenomenon focuses on its usual preoccupations — sensual foreplay, desire as mystical vitality, the stinging aftertaste of romantic separation — but the atmospheric vibes and layers are more abstract and psychedelic than previous releases. Although A summer without you Boasting brilliant collaborations with the likes of Tainy, Rauw Alejandro and Chencho Corleone, the album finds its most striking passages in the stylistic detours of “Beautiful eyes” — with Colombia Stereo bomb — and its “alternative trope-rockAnother sunset“With Marius.

Daddy Yankee – the legend

2022 is the year the “Gasolina” pioneer shocked the Latin music establishment by announcing his retirement at the age of 46. fortunately, Daddy YankeeIts departure came in the form of a comprehensive party record. the legend Feels like a passionate, and at times exuberant, love letter to the boundless diversity that has always defined Afro-Caribbean music.

Yankee’s rapid-fire delivery and reggaeton riddims are of course ever-present, but the menu also includes some awkward dembo (“BOMBON,” lil john and Dominican hitmaker El Alfa), and a truly amazing fusion of salsa, reggaeton and spider bachata lines at speed.”Rambaton“on”AGUA,” Yankee was joined by Rau Alejandro and Guitar God Neil Rogers For jams infused with post-disco zest. Yankee’s electrifying live performances will be missed, but this emotional swan song provides a fittingly epic finale to a remarkable career.

Farooq 167

A seasoned veteran the urban Farooq has always been progressive, aiming to expand the landscape, stylistic boundaries. The title of his seventh studio album is a reference to the singer/songwriter’s childhood memory: Highway 167 in the Bayamón area of ​​Puerto Rico where he grew up.

At the same time, the album also reflects Faruco’s extensive travels throughout Latin America. “Peppas,” the collection’s most popular hit, is an anthemic electro-guaracha that stays close to the genre’s roots in Colombia. “baja kali“It mixes Latin rap with the younger generation run That defines its present Mexican musicand wind”WFM“(featuring Jamaican vocalist Mavado) enjoys sweet dancehall vibes. On”Shit,” Faruco Bolero cherishes his Boricua origins with revivalist Pedro Capo. A man of the world, he is happiest when he returns home.

known – Love and sex tapes

In 2021, Maluma surprised fans with the release #7DJ (7 days in Jamaica), a refreshing EP of reggae infused tracks A silky mini-album of eight new songs, Love and sex tapes The Medellin native finds the sensual reggaeton narrative that made him famous.

A duet with fellow Colombian Fade, “Mojando Asientos” is appropriately frisky and self-explanatory.”We eat ourselves alive“The ubiquitous Chencho Corleone gains intensity for his streetwise attitude. Maluma surrenders to hedonism with abandon, coming to the natural conclusion that life is indeed very beautiful (“life is beautiful.”) is a classy ending, “happy birthday” combines the soulful groove of Afrobeats, indicating that Maluma’s brilliant creative ways will resurface in later works.

2023 GRAMMY Nominations: See the full nominees list


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