It’s a simple fact: nobody does summertime like Latinxs do. And with pop artists across Spain and Latin America steadily rivaling their anglophone counterparts, the competition has made this summer that much hotter. Will the New Latino Gang claim another Number One hit this year? Will Ozuna, Bad Bunny and J Balvin finally unleash their respective, highly-anticipated new albums? And will they be able to top the six-month winning streak of Daddy Yankee and Snow’s monster hit, “Con Calma“? Here are Rolling Stone‘s top 10 Latin songs of the summer — ¡pa que sepa!
Lunay feat. Bad Bunny, Daddy Yankee, “Soltera (Remix)”
Tune in to any given Latin radio station this summer, and you’ll notice a theme: this is the Summer of the Soltera. While Maluma and Madonna’s “Soltera” championed singledom from a place of empowerment, Jhay Cortez, Bad Bunny and J Balvin pondered its dark side in “No Me Conoces.” But at the end of the day, it’s Lunay’s bubbly ode to single ladies that hits the spot — and he gets a boost from Latin pop playboys Daddy Yankee and Bad Bunny in the remix. The video sees newcomer Lunay and friends sit atop a giant cake and serenade a room full of bachelorettes, who show off their own moves in drunken, liberated reverie. “Being single is in fashion,” sings Lunay in Spanish, “That’s why she does not fall in love.” Bad Bunny adds, “She does what she wants/And who gives a fuck?” Between the song’s old-school dembow riddim — and comical lines like “Her heart is on a diet” — “Soltera (Remix)” makes for a delectable, standout summer anthem. S.E.
Girl Ultra feat. Cuco, “DameLove”
“Dame Love” is lazy-Sunday soul: an unhurried beat; guitar that bobs and drifts; hyper-relaxed singing from Girl Ultra and Cuco. Everything is relentlessly laid-back, but all that calm disguises simmering tension. “Waiting a very long time/To be more than just friends,” Cuco sings in Spanish. At the end of the track, Girl Ultra responds, “so yeah, you should come through.” This seems like a moment of triumph, but the track betrays no new emotion — “Dame Love” is tranquil to the end. E.L.
Fuego, “Dame Banda”
Before Bad Bunny and El Alfa collided dembow, trap, and bachata on the earth-scorching “La Romana,” there was Fuego. On “Dame Banda,” Fuego contributes another supernova to his repertoire of trapchata heaters, which he initiated all the way back in 2015 with Fireboy Forever II’s “Se Me Nota.” On “Dame Banda,” producers Sango, Luyo, and DVLP weave an artful but speaker-knocking interpolation of Antony Santos’ 1994 bachata classic, “Donde Estará,” creating the perfect foundation for Fuego’s breathless flexing. I.H.
Sech feat. Darell, “Otro Trago”
At first listen, Panamanian singer Sech might be easily mistaken for a long lost Latino member of Boyz II Men. (And had he been alive in 1991, he surely would have finessed the band’s Spanish-language hit, “Al Final de Camino.”) In 2019’s “Otro Trago” or “Another Drink,” Sech plays a humble piano balladeer, but comes out swinging upon co-star Darell’s cue. “Everybody go to the discotheque!” roars Darell — a previous Song of the Summer champ — who implies that the best way to get over an ex is to hit the club and show ’em what they’re missing on the dance floor. S.E.
Rosalía feat. J Balvin and El Guincho, “Con Altura”
Fortified by a dembow riddim and shout-outs to influential figures in salsa music — from the Puerto Rican icon Hectór Lavoe to Celia Cruz and her historic 1968 rendition of “Guantanamera” — the undeniable Caribbean swing of “Con Altura” marks Spanish star Rosalía’s first foray into pop urbano. It’s a modern take on the “de ida y vuelta,” or “round trip” as the artist has called it, in reference to Spanish flamenco songs inspired by Afro-Caribbean sounds; ever the champion of cross-cultural experimentation, Rosalía has ultimately described “Con Altura” as her personal homage to classic reggaeton. S.E.
Dalex, Rafa Pabón and Friends, ‘Pa Mí (Remix)’
“Te Boté” and “Toda” benefited tremendously from the ensemble-remix treatment — so why not Dalex and Rafa Pabón’s “Pa Mí?” Khea, Sech, Cazzu, Feid and Lenny Tavarez all jumped at the opportunity to croon about their romantic exploits over a handsome loop from the producer Dimelo Flow. Cazzu has the most fun, rapping playfully and using her airy tone to add zip to flirtatious lines like, “I’ll take you prisoner in my action movie.” E.L.
El Alfa feat. Farruko, Darell, Big O and Myke Towers, “Pa Jamaica (Remix)”
If you thought El Alfa had any intention of hitting the breaks after the runaway success of his feature on Bad Bunny’s “La Romana,” then you are sorely mistaken. Dropped ahead of the summer solstice, the Dominican dembow juggernaut dropped off a massive posse remix of his song “Pa’ Jamaica,” featuring some of the titans of reggaeton and Latin trap. Bridging the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, and Jamaica with cameos from Farruko, Darell, Big O, Myke Towers, and a pulsating Sister Nancy sample, “Pa’ Jamaica” is a blissful dembow jubilee celebrating the curative powers of a strong blunt. Expect this remix to blare out of smoke-filled cars on every Uptown street corner this summer. I.H.
Florentino feat. MC Bin Laden and MC Buzzz, “Na Fuga”
British-Colombian producer DJ Florentino’s song of the summer offering is a bilingual baile funk symphony primed for a motocross battle. Florentino recruits Brazilian star MC Bin Laden and Spanish rapper MC Buzzz for “Na Fuga” (or “On the Run” in English); their punch-drunk bars penetrate every jagged revving engine sample with piercing precision. The punishing tamborzão beat will get in your muscles — you’ll want to jump on a motorcycle and zoom out into the open road immediately. I.H.
Kaina feat. Sen Morimoto, “Could Be a Curse”
Venezuelan-Guatemalan singer Kaina’s hushed vocals will cradle you, even when she’s whispering about death. Over lurching percussion, the Chicago artist and collaborator Sen Morimoto offer a spiraling six-minute remedy for those days that feel like the end times. In English, Spanish, and Japanese, Kaina and Morimoto remind you that laying in your bed and just breathing might help you overcome. I.H.
Ozuna feat. Daddy Yankee, J Balvin, Farruko and Anuel AA, “Baila Baila Baila (Remix)”
Few albums have seen rollouts as inexhaustible as Ozuna’s forthcoming album, Nibiru. Initially released in January, “Baila Baila Baila” was just the second of its seven singles — and, until Nibiru‘s rumored midsummer release, still counting. But in April, Ozuna’s jaunty dancehall groove was given wings with its remix; featuring an all-star cast of Latin hitmakers, the song continues to levitate on the Hot 100 chart. Ozuna’s honeyed sweet nothings help him stand out amid the star power of his collaborators. “I have to kiss you before it’s all over,” he croons to a newfound lover at the club. “Taki Taki,” who? S.E.