Iberian trap master C. Tangana premiered his new song, “Un Veneno” (translation: “A Poison”) on Wednesday, along with a luxe new video. Recorded alongside flamenco singer-songwriter Niño de Elche, the song flirts with the classic bolero style, but with an Afro-Cuban twist.
It’s a notable change of pace for the MC, whose most recent release was “Booty,” a collaboration with Mexican-American pop starlet Becky G. “I may come from rap,” Tangana tells Rolling Stone. “But I consider myself an artist above any type of music or discipline, I do not believe in genre. My style is all styles.”
Tangana surprised Spanish audiences with a live performance of the song this week, which aired on the national talent show Operación Triunfo — comparable to stateside programs American Idol or The Voice, it is arguably the most popular television program in Spain. “I have always hated these programs,” the 28-year-old Madrileño says. “But I think it was the best place to spitball [the song] for the first time.”
Shot in Los Angeles and directed by Álvaro Santos, the video follows Tangana and his co-star, Spanish model Laura Sanchez, through the yellowed desert haze of SoCal in 16 millimeter film. Locally legendary digs like the Chateau Marmont hotel and Cuban-American hot spot La Floridita feature prominently in the video, adding to its vintage Hollywood ambiance. Tangana’s beleaguered inner monologue gradually transforms into a full-on bolero, a mambo-infused lament on the disintegration of his private life.
“Artists, in all our ambition, try to be loved by the public,” Tangana says. “This love can end up being a condemnation.”
Tangana’s latest album, Avida Dollars, was released in the spring.