Spanish Version of Desiigner's 'Panda' by Puerto Rican Rapper Almighty Debuts on Hot Latin Songs
"It's a dream come true," Almighty tells Billboard of his chart debut.
Puerto Rican urban act Almighty earns his first Hot Latin Songs hit, as his Spanish rendition of Desiigner's new No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, "Panda," debuts at No. 41 on the chart dated May 7. The track (released on the Carbon Fiber label) borrows the original's beat and features Farruko, while a remix adds Daddy Yankee and Cosculluela.
Upon learning of the song's debut, Almighty told Billboard, "It's a dream come true."
Almighty shared his inspiration for recording a Spanish version of Desiigner's smash. "As soon as I heard 'Panda,' several things jumped out at me, but what stood out the most was the idea that pandas can represent the good and the bad in people," he says. "I wrote my version thinking about the good and bad that a lot of us are living with in the streets, daily."
Almighty's debut of "Panda" is powered mostly by streams, logging 463,000 plays in the U.S. in the week ending April 21 (up 19 percent), according to Nielsen Music. (His cover has drawn 16 million global streams to date on his YouTube channel.) A 44 percent rise in downloads sold (to 1,000) also contributes to its Hot Latin Songs rank, as it concurrently rises 18-13 on the Latin Rhythm Digital Songs chart. The track has yet to catch on noticeably at radio, with minimal airplay points adding to its entrance.
Almighty's new album The Game Changer, released March 20 to digital outlets, aims to do just that: evolve the Latin urban genre with his fresh approach. "It's an album that is going to change the monotony," he says. The set strays from the typical reggaeton beats found on most of the current urban hits on the Latin charts, leaning toward a more rap-heavy, hip-hop sound.
Confident that his approach will transform urban Latin, Almighty says, "A lot of artists in this genre are going to start changing the essence of their songs. And fans are going to feel a need for change that will only be filled with new music."