10 Best Latin Albums of 2017

Ozuna, Bomba Estéreo, Residente and more

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Residente, 'Residente'
10
10/10

Residente, 'Residente'

Whatever Calle 13 fans expected of their conscious rap hero Residente, it probably wasn't this self-titled debut. Residente is a statement of global solidarity, co-starring a madcap assortment of collaborators from 10 different parts of the world, to which the Puerto Rican icon traced back his DNA from a saliva test. Each song is its own new genre, sourced from regional sounds and specially tailored to reflect the diversity of his DNA. The record opens with some splashy verses from his cousin Lin-Manuel Miranda; the Latin Grammy-winning "Somos Anormales" draws hip-hop from Central Asian Tuvan throat singing; recorded between conflict zones Ossetia and Georgia, Residente is war personified in the doomsday track "Guerra," and featuring French it-girl SoKo, "Desencuentro" is a transatlantic chanson. "I wasn't trying to make a world-music album, but you know," Residente told Rolling Stone in April. "The radio right now, I'm in shock, everyone sounds the same. It's like junk food. You need to eat better, otherwise [you're] going to die a slow, cultural death." S.E.

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