The Puerto Rican rapper Anuel AA, who helped popularize Latin trap before heading to prison, only to reemerge and pick up right where he left off, put out his second album on Friday. Emmanuel is sprawling, stretching across 22 songs and nearly 90 minutes, incorporating verses from Anuel’s peers (Bad Bunny), veterans (Tego Calderon, Enrique Iglesias, Zion, Yandel), and a few wildcards (Travis Barker, Lil Wayne) along with several year-old singles (“Secreto” and “China”).
Anuel’s new release came accompanied with two videos, one for the Iglesias collaboration “Fútbol y Rumba,” which has the toothless-yet-stirring qualities — especially a clap-along, easy-to-shout chorus — that fill stadiums, and another for “Hasta Que Dios Diga,” a radio lay-up reggaeton cut featuring Bad Bunny. Emmanuel also includes “No Llores Mujer,” an homage to Bob Marley’s “No Woman No Cry,” “Bandido,” which nods to J Balvin’s oldie “Ay Vamos,” and “Jangueo,” a plinking, hummable duet with Calderon. Anuel still sounds best on window-rattling trap, especially “Narcos,” a menacing track co-produced by Chris Jeday.
Anuel’s last album, Real Hasta la Muerte, came out in 2018. The album later spawned one of Anuel’s biggest (and best) hits, the “Ella Quiere Beber” remix with Romeo Santos, which became a Number One radio hit Stateside. The track’s video has also earned nearly 650 million views on YouTube worldwide.