Maffio has officially dropped his sophomore studio album Eso Es Mental via Sony Music Centroamerica on Friday (May 13). The two-part album is home to 25 tracks that each “have its own life,” according to the Dominican hitmaker.
Side A kicks off with El Chombo’s deep, iconic voice affirming that the album is the “perfect example of how musical trends are born,” then presenting eight edgy electro-dembow fusions, including focus track “Jaguayuken” with ChocQutbTown.
After another interlude by El Chombo, the set becomes an innovative hub of romantic Afrobeats (“Pedazito”), sultry dancehalls (“Chillin”) and reggae with world beats (“Blessings”), among other rhythmic gems.
In Side B, he dedicates the last 10 songs on the album to “el bajo mundo” (the underworld), where he focuses on the origins of dembow and reels in a wave of Dominican artists such as La Perversa, El Pastor RD, Calacote, and JC La Nevula, to name a few.
Other collaborators on the set include CNCO, Mariah Angeliq, Akon, Lola Indigo, Ana Mena, and many more.
“’Eso es Mental’ is one of my favorite phrases,” Maffio said. “The mind is powerful and we live with different types of machinery around us, but the true machine is you, everything is possible if you put your mind to it. Everything is mental.”
Below, he breaks down five of his personal favorite tracks on the album:
1. “RD” Maffio x El Jeffrey
It really identifies who I am, my essence, where my essence comes from, and how like myself, so many immigrants feel when they’re not in their country. “RD” features El Jeffrey and it’s my personal favorite song.
2. “Teteo” Maffio x CNCO x Kiko el Crazy
This song is basically the before and after of CNCO. It shows them edgier, connecting with the streets and the barrio, and that song is really special because no one would have ever thought that CNCO would be on a record with Kiko El Crazy. Kiko’s my brother, I’ve known him forever, and when I invited him to do a verse on this song, he freaked out. We recorded it in DR.
3. “Tequila” Maffio x Mariah Angeliq
This has to be one of my favorites. She killed it on this song and we were just having fun in the studio, it didn’t feel like we were working. It was a party in the studio. It’s a great song and different as well. It has this House vibe and that club feeling. I love this song, I really do.
4. “Blessings” feat. Kymani Marley, Julian Marley & Jo Mersa Marley
This song is really, really special. It’s one of those songs that as an artist I have a responsibility to make sure that we send a good message out to humankind and society. Blessings is that song. Sometimes we forget about all the blessings that surround us and we just need to take a breather.
5. “To’ el Mundo en Actitud” feat. Musicólogo
I call this record like the new age Pedro Navaja and he’s narrating a story, telling everyone what’s happening in the hood, from the drug dealer. For this video, we’re doing to film the first verse in New York and the second verse in the barrios of the Dominican Republic.