Bad Bunny fans flipped out when the Puerto Rican singer dropped his first-ever Regional Mexican collaboration in the fall of last year, joining rising artist Natanael Cano on “Soy El Diablo,” an urban corrido about a guy who runs the streets.
Cano, hailing from Hermosillo, Mexico, is known for his corridos tumbados, a variant on the traditional corrido that incorporates hip-hop sensibility both musically (with rapping and chanting) and in a thematic matter.
But Bunny and Cano are not alone; in fact, in 2020 we saw a big wave of Regional Mexican acts and urban artists testing out the game-changing trend.
The list even includes T3R Elemento and Farruko’s corrido sirreño “Del Barrio a la Ciudad,” which was made possible thanks to DEL Records founder Angel del Villar, T3R Elemento’s label, and producer Alex Gárgola, who sent the song to Farruko.
Play-N-Skillz, Nicky Jam & Natanael Cano
Not only did Natanael Cano drop an all-trap album dubbed Trap Tumbado earlier this year but he also began teaming up with many urban artists including Eladio Carrion for his “Ele Uve (Remix)” featuring Ovi and Noriel, and most recently on “Billetes,” with Nicky Jam at the helm of Play-N-Skillz. The trap-heavy track, which kicks off with Cano’s infectious requintos, is about a person who’s making big money.
Gente de Zona & Gerardo Ortiz
A mariachi tune comes on and Gerardo Ortiz kicks off the song singing lyrics of heartbreak then, plot twist, Gente de Zona’s Alexander takes over the track that’s now become a reggaeton-pop track, which continues to go from mariachi to rhythmic for the duration of the song. It’s a real treat and refreshing at the same time to see the artists step out of their comfort zone in “Otra Botella” which becomes the first collaboration between the Cuban duo and the regional Mexican singer.
Banda MS, Snoop Dogg, and Becky G
Banda MS and Snoop Dogg dropped “Que Maldición” on May 1, proving that regional Mexican and hip-hop music are a perfect union between two cultures. Proposed by Sergio Lizárraga, founder of Banda MS, the bilingual collaboration meshes banda and rap music with chill rhythms. In “Que Maldición,” Snoop expresses his feelings in a web of Spanglish verses.
T3R Elemento & Farruko
Marking the first-ever time Puerto Rican artist Farruko tests Regional Mexican waters, comes “Del Barrio a la Ciudad” (From the hood to the city), in collaboration with T3R Elemento. “He liked the song and so he wanted to jump on it,” del Villar told Billboard. “Farruko had been wanting to do something like this and this song caught his attention.” T3R Elemento’s lead singer Kris Nava added: “My fans are not going to expect this. I think they will like it and will be curious to hear this new song we made for them with Farruko. It’s a game-changer.” A lyric video premiered Monday (April 20).
Christian Nodal & Piso 21
Leave it to Piso 21 to prove that a fusion between pop-urban and regional Mexican music is not only possible but quite the mix. In September, the Colombian group premiered “Pa’ Olvidarme de Ella” in collaboration with Christian Nodal. The four-minute track has the best of both worlds, perfectly melding Latin trap and ranchera. Yes, they did that! In the song, Piso and Nodal sing about a girl who did them wrong and are trying everything possible, including drinking their sorrows and getting buried alive, to forget about her.
Luis Coronel & Play-N-Skillz
Luis Coronel’s “Que Bomba” in collaboration with Play-N-Skillz perfectly combines Coronel’s Regional Mexican essence and Play-N-Skillz’s creative, experimental sounds in a refreshing electro-cumbia bop with hints of reggaeton. The fun music video shows the boys crushing over a beautiful girl against the backdrop of western-inspired scenery. On the Regional Mexican Digital Song Sales chart, “Que Bomba” debuted and peaked at No. 15.
Natanael Cano & Bad Bunny
Bad Bunny rarely posts on Instagram, but when he does, he’s drinking tequila and jamming to urban corridos. On a video dated Oct. 11, the Puerto Rican rapper is seen singing along to Natanael Cano’s “Soy El Diablo,” ahead of his appearance at the 2019 Pornhub Awards and kicking off his X100Pre tour in Mexico. Less than two weeks later, Bunny jumped on the remix, keeping Cano’s corridos tumbados melodies and adding his rap verses about a guy who runs the streets.
Pipe Bueno & Maluma
Jumping on the trend before everyone else was Pipe Bueno and Maluma, two of today’s beloved artists hailing from Colombia. In 2016, the two dropped “La Invitación,” a romantic bop that fuses Pipe’s heartfelt ranchera and Maluma’s catchy urban-pop melodies. Although he’s Colombian, Pipe Bueno’s music is influenced by Regional Mexican, having a few mariachis and norteño songs up his sleeves.
Jessi Uribe, Jhonny Rivera & Andy Rivera
While most Regional Mexican acts are testing the urban waters, Colombian reggaeton singer Andy Rivera is doing things the other way around. In “Alguien Me Gusta,” released on Sep. 19, Rivera teamed up with Colombian mariachi singers Jessi Uribe and Jhonny Rivera to drop a norteño jam about a man who rather swallows his feelings than tell the girl he likes that he likes her. “I like someone but I can’t tell her because she already has her life and I can’t destroy it.”
Adriel Favela & OVI
Earlier this year, Adriel Favela surprised his fans by dipping his toes into the reggaeton scene. On March 8, the Mexican-American artist teamed up with rising reggaeton artists Ovi and Yenddi to drop “Cuando Me Ve,” an infectious urban bop with flairs of Latin trap. The track and music video has been removed from social media and digital platforms for reasons unknown to Billboard. However, in an interview posted by Gerencia 360, both artists talk about their Regional Mex and urban collaboration. Watch it here.