The Anuel AA “Legends Never Die Tour” brings one of the giants of Puerto Rican reggaeton and Latin trap to Madison Square Garden in Chelsea; on Sunday, May 28, 2023 at 8pm. From $123. msg.com 🇵🇷
Emmanuel Gazmey Santiago is a rapper from Carolina, Puerto Rico. His father worked in A&R for Sony Music with the biggest names in salsa.
As a teenager, Anuel AA ran the streets of Carolina which is Metro San Juan. The beach is the protected tourist area of Isla Verde, but inland gets real. He’s a tough guy. Mainland gangsters who scare us, are themselves afraid of island gangsters. We love Puerto Rico, and feel safe and at home there, but its back streets are hard. There are some things that you just don’t play around with.
Real Hasta La Muerte
Anuel AA began posting music when he was 18 in 2010 and quickly started getting attention. His 2016 mixtape “Real Hasta la Muerte” is a Spanglish wordplay. Spanish-speakers read it as “King until death.” English-speakers may read it as “Real until death.” Critics liked it and Anuell AA got a guest feature on Ozuna’s “Odisea” in 2017.
Things looked dim when he was jailed for two years for firearm possession, but Anuel AA’s musical reputation only grew while he was in prison.
This was when Latin trap blew up. Trap is a style of R&B from Atlanta that emphasizes the high-hat sound. A trap is a drug den or shooting gallery. It’s the kind of place you don’t want to be in. Vocals have this exhausted nasal sound like you’re so high you can barely talk and can barely hear.
Latin trap is trap mixed into reggaeton. It is both a salute to the drug life and a complaint that without other opportunities, we are ourselves trapped in the drug life. You may not like what it represents, but we have to admit that Latin trap is a very good soundtrack for love making. It’s easy to riff off.
Anuel AA recorded some of the vocals for his debut album on the phone from jail and finished it in a halfway house. “Real hasta la muerte” went #1 on the Billboard Top Latin Albums chart and his music career blew up from there.
In the same way that many painters base their work on art history, Anuel AA builds on the classic music of his youth and his life experience. His “Brrr” is the sound of a machine gun. His “Bebecita” expression has become associated with reggaeton.
In the Latin way, Anuel AA started collaborating with a who’s who of top reggaeton, bachata and Latin trap artists. Latin culture is a family affair, extended family included. His relationship with Karol G was a big deal for both artists.
“Real hasta la muerte” (2018)
“Las Leyendas Nunca Mueren” (2021)
“Los Dioses” with Ozuna (2021)