Wisin may have gone solo in 2013 after more than a decade in the safety and comfort of the hugely successful Latin urban duo Wisin & Yandel, but as he proves on his latest, Los Vaqueros: La Trilogia, the man is far from alone. In the tradition of Wisin & Yandel’s Los Vaqueros (2006) and its follow-up, Los Vaqueros: El Regreso (2011), this latest installment enlists a who’s who in the urban world (Farruko, Plan B, J Alvarez, Tito El Bambino, Arcángel, to name a few), but not before establishing what a real “vaquero” (cowboy) means. “He respects others and commands respect,” says Wisin’s peer Gavilán in the intro, before the man of the hour launches into a machine-gun style delivery atop a classic dembow beat.
A pioneer in cross-genre collaborations, Wisin shows he’s got friends everywhere — urban or not — who are willing to immerse themselves in his street-savvy sound, without losing their individual essence. He also, as of late, has revealed a softer, more romantic side, which has made him more palatable to mainstream female audiences who may have found the raunch of Wisin & Yandel’s earlier work offensive. Standouts include the vallenato-reggaeton hybrid “Nota de Amor,” with Daddy Yankee and Carlos Vives, “Que Se Sienta el Deseo,” featuring frequent collaborator (and tour mate) Ricky Martin, and the kiss-off anthem “Tu Libertad,” with an irresistible chorus sung by Prince Royce. “I’ve been very consistent, and the reason is because I don’t just go into the studio and selfishly do what I feel like doing in hopes that people will go out and buy my albums; I give the people what they want,” Wisin recently told BMI of his M.O. “These days, the magic is in these types of collaborations.”