After kicking off a career by freestyling — and managing to become champion of FMS Argentina, one of the most important national competitions — Trueno (real name: Mateo Palacios Corazzina) has dedicated his entire path to music and production. In 2020, he surprised fans with the release of his debut studio album, Atrevido, named one of the best of the year in the Billboard Argentina annual survey.
With Atrevido, Trueno took his music to the masses, embarking on a sold-out tour in Argentina and Europe and creating new music while on the road, which ultimately formed part of his sophomore set Bien o Mal, out May 13 via Sur Capital Records.
If Atrevido was his letter of introduction from La Boca barrio to the rest of Argentina, his long-awaited second studio album amplifies his message of generational empowerment on a global scale. “Right or wrong through our medium, we are fighting for ourselves,” the 20-year-old said of the album in a statement. “Sacrificing what we have and what we don’t, in search of peace. There are no differences, in the struggle we are all one.”
Bien o Mal boasts 13 tracks played with real instrumentation, and with the participation of a large and talented team of musicians, producers, fellow composers and guest artists. The set includes four of his previously released singles that obtained certifications: “Panamá” with DUKI (Gold in Argentina, Spain, and Uruguay), “Solo por vos” (Gold in Argentina and Uruguay ), “Feel Me??” (Platinum in Argentina, Spain, and Uruguay; Gold in Chile), and “Dance Crip” (Platinum in Argentina, Spain, and Uruguay; Gold in Chile and Mexico).
Most notable is “Manifesto Freestyle,” where he expresses how freestyle lives in Argentina and him. “This record is about being on both sides,” he says to Billboard Argentina. “With ‘Manifesto,’ fans will understand the concept of the duality that it has. It starts from the bad side with the protest and ends on the good side with the celebration: We protest, we fight, we achieve it and we celebrate.”
Trueno performed some of the tracks from Bien o Mal live for the first time at the 2022 Quilmes Rock Festival, where he also joined Gorillaz on stage for an impromptu freestyle that left the group’s Damon Albarn speechless. “I could not believe it, it was something impressive,” Trueno says. “In freestyle, it emerged as a reversal of ‘Sangría,’ as in saying: ‘That’s it, we don’t want any more wars, now Argentina and England unite for music.’”
Below, read a Q&A with the artist originally published on Billboard Argentina:
You had many people working with you for this album, not only colleagues like Duki, Bizarrap, but your music video with Víctor Heredia in “Tierra Zanta” is a whole movie.
Yes, that was possible thanks to my artistic producer, El Dorado, who’s not only the director of the videos but also created the cover album and assembles all the visuals for my shows. He incorporated a lot of who is Trueno in the project. People only see my name but there are a lot of people behind it. The fact that the album has three parts and is so conceptual is precisely to defend the idea of protest and celebration.
I think you have something interesting and playful when it comes to your music. For example, in “Dance Crip,” Illya Kuryaki appears.
The idea is to play, have fun and continue exploring because I also always emphasize the essence of hip hop, which no one can remove not even with detergent. It’s for that same reason that we can have Víctor Heredia, Duki, Nathy Peluso, Bizarrap, and Randy on the same album, and have Argentine music, perreo, trap. The idea is to represent Argentine music and export it so that people know how it’s done here.
You are a link that makes a difference for the combative. You fight for your principles without having a decline in political discourse. That’s strong.
Yes, people sometimes ask me if this is a political album. I’m not a political artist, I’m a social artist. I talk about what happens to me for being part of the society of this country. I grew up with the message of El Inti, Peligro, and Comuna 4, which was always against injustice and showed the reality of the neighborhoods. It’s not just a “f–k the police,” but that we don’t want more crime, no more gunshots, no more drugs, no more police repression, we don’t want more marginalization based on the government. A lot of things happen to us as citizens, we want to raise our voices without censorship and we want to walk this path together with those who think like us.
Raising your voice for politicians and for families.
Exactly, it’s so that they share the message that we have. Those who do so are going to be part of our team and get on our boat in search of defending our ideals and having a future for the new generation, with the freedom we ask for and the injustices we no longer want to see.
How do you see yourself one year from now?
Surely we will be making more music. My idea is to get to know more countries and more musical genres, to be able to nurture myself from that, to get to know more artists and producers, and always try to go beyond what we have already achieved. This year, I plan to tour Europe, Latin America, and the U.S. with this album.
As a young person, one thinks: “I want to perform in River, Luna Park.”
I think you already know where I want to perform, and I hope we get there, it would be great. I see it as something quite distant because very few people were able to play at La Bombonera, but it would be a very big dream of mine to perform there. It would be a unique show for my barrio.