I recall vividly a memory of my friend and I dancing a kind of salsa improvisation to Nio Garcia’s “Te Bote Remix” and having the absolute time of our lives. I began to realize how much the commerically “Spanish” sound has crept into the commerical music market. It influences some of the biggest artists in the world, including Drake and many others. Artists love putting a Latin spin on their tracks, as there is something inherently infectious about Spanish music. It’s a vibe, and we American college students are undeniably here for it.
I have been following up-and-coming artist Bebeboy’s wave for some time now. Keeping with the Latin trend that is all over the charts these days, Bebeboy authentically stands within that category. However, he, alongside producer Bounce Zaddy, is adding a unique bounce to his music that makes it more hype than the classic Latin track. His most recent project “HUH?!” stands out as one that combines a hip-hop, synth-heavy beat with his Latin sound, and it is all-around a musical treat. While the beat was actually on its way over to Travis Scott’s A&R, landing on Bebeboy’s track was anything but a mistake.
Recently, I was lucky enough to ask Bebeboy some questions about both his musical and personal background, so this column sources none other than the artist himself. From the notoriously musical city of Toronto, Bebeboy gained inspiration from watching now-major artists like Drake, The Weeknd and a personal favorite, PARTYNEXTDOOR, come up from the city and find worldwide success. In addition to these rolling success stories, Bebeboy also shared that music has been a part of his life for as long as he can remember. His mother actively sings in their local church choir. With a Hispanic background — both of his parents are from El Salvador — Bebeboy feels inspired to bring his culture into his work and into the American music space. Looking at the trends these days, it seems that no one will be opposed to this notion.
In addition to the Toronto and OVO Sound artists that continue to inspire Bebeboy to create, Latin-American artists like Cardi B, Lil Pump and 6ix9ine are opening up new lanes and opportunities for his music to truly infiltrate the market. It seems that some boundaries have been broken this past year, leading artists to incorporate aspects of their culture in one track and entirely different sounds in another.
But that’s the beauty of Bebeboy’s music, as he does not conform to any style but his own. While he would likely call himself a hip hop artist, he and Bounce Zaddy have spent about four years practicing the intricate mix between Spanish music and modern hip hop bump, which occupies the playlists of our designated frat-party DJs. By the way mainstream American artists are increasingly incorporating elements of their Spanish culture into their work while testing out new stylistic tones and wowing fans, it seems that 2019 will be the year in which the term “genre” grows passé. Perhaps we will name our Spotify playlists by pure feeling, rather than by a cookie-cutter term that simply now ceases to exist.
In addition to watching the American music market transform and grow, I am looking forward to Bebeboy releasing new singles and exciting audio-visuals. I believe he will pave the way for other up-and-coming Latin American artists who are also finding their way in the current hip hop space.
Juliette Rolnick is a junior in the College of Arts and Sciences. She can be reached [email protected] Eyes Wide Shut runs alternate Thursdays this semester.