Latin music continues to infiltrate the mainstream market at rapid pace and in new incarnations. The cross-cultural successes of J Balvin and Willy Williams’ “Mi Gente” and Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee’s YouTube record-breaking “Despacito” last year were undeniable indicators of the trend, and as 2018 unfolds Latinx artists continue to benefit from the increased attention. Puerto Rico and Colombia unite as Nicky Jam drops his latest track “X (Equis)” featuring J Balvin and produced by Afro Brother and Jeon, the first sample from Jam’s upcoming album.
“Y no te puedo mentir / Lo que dicen en la calle sobre mí,” Nicky sings, which translate to: “And I can not lie to you / What they say on the street about me.”
The song’s video is a clean and vivid affair, calling to mind Director X clip like Sean Paul’s “I’m Still In Love With You” or, more recently, Drake’s “Hotline Bling.” The colorful visual was shot in Miami, and directed by Jesse Terrero.
“X (Equis)” has sprinkles of reggaeton, pop and Afrobeat. The track is driven by a simple, sexy, synth-y trumpeted hook. It’s not the first time the Latin stars and real-life friends have collaborated (remixes to 2014’s “Travesuras” and 2015’s “Ay Vamos” are past standouts), but this is definitely the highest their profiles have ever been.