BIA Drops Heat With Bilingual Banger ‘Besito’

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This is a weekly compilation of bite-sized song & EP reviews from our music writers. Discover new favs, read nuanced criticism of the week’s hottest releases & more. Follow our playlist featuring these tracks and more on Spotify or Apple Music.

BIA – “Besito” feat. G Herbo

Though BIA may not be the biggest rapper, she has garnered multiple achievements in her short five-year career, including viral songs to a BET Hip-Hop award. Safe to say, she has definitely earned her place among the genre’s leaders. And with her latest release “Besito,” she shows off her rap moves with no rush. The MC shifts from English to Spanish in the span of a beat and fills the void of the bouncy beat with ‘90s Miami flavor concocted for her and G Herbo. The Caribbean workers’ song sample (“a pilar”) and the colorful music video turn a good trap-esque track into a contender for a place at the RapCaviar playlist. — Felipe Maia

Karol G – “SEJODIOTO”

Karol G shares her latest single “Sejodioto,” an all-encompassing celebration of being single and the freedom that comes with it. Produced by her long-time counterpart Ovy on the Drums, the reggaetón meets hip-hop laced beats set the foundation for lyrics that bask in the embodiment of women’s strength in solitude, found without a partner at their side. Karol proclaims no strings attached, no broken hearts — she’s just here for flights, friends, and some fun on the dancefloor. — Jeanette Diaz

Leena Bae – “Quémame”

Nicaragua-based Costa Rican artist Leena Bae just released her new five-track EP Gigante Roja, where she uses the imminent future of the sun as a metaphor of her own birth and death as an artist. The standout track “Quémame” brings the fire with its title, its slow-burning beat produced by Easy Easy’s Bumont, and Leena Bae’s sultry, autotune-soaked vocals. The singer is in a battle with herself, wanting to be with someone without really knowing her true feelings toward them, bringing tension into this steamy number. — Cheky

Young Miko x LeeBrian – “Katana”

If you didn’t know by now that small packages can pack a big wallop, let Young Miko remind you. The Puerto Rican trapper burst onto the scene a short while ago and has already impressed with her spitfire delivery and furious presence, receiving cosigns from names like Álvaro Díaz and Caleb Calloway. In “Katana,” she teams up with LeeBrian to pen a catchy trap anthem that savages those who don’t benefit from the same effortless swag they have in spades. The future of the genre stays looking bright with these two on deck, and with more voices than ever to look forward to. — Juan J. Arroyo

Lunarette – “Low Sky”

On “Low Sky,” Jackie Mendoza finds herself in a setting more conventional than solo work, as she joins Brian Álvarez for a piece of starry-eyed pop. Recalling turn-of-the-millennium pop, Lunarette installs an undeniable feeling of nostalgia into their music, whether or not you lived through the height of TRL thanks to Mendoza’s melancholic vocal delivery. “Low Sky” is warm like the fading rays of sunshine as night approaches. — Marcos Hassan

Inés Pacheco – “Sticky”

Contrary to its title, “Sticky” by Mexican-American singer Inés Pacheco slides down easily like a snake slithering across the scorching-hot desert. The track off of her newest EP Quemar las Naves is an amalgamation of the influences that an entire generation grew up on, mixing hip-hop and R&B, and throwing in trap and autotuned enhanced vocals for good, current measure. Barely a year into her musical project, Pacheco shows great promise in an emerging scene dominated by her male contemporaries with unique style and flair. And the best part is that it’s only the beginning. — Alexis Hodoyán-Gastélum

Charles Rojas – “Temor” feat. Tiff Ortiz and Girubato

Following last year’s pandemic cuddle party “Plans Fall Through,” Brooklyn-based crooner Charles Rojas is back with a new bilingual and bi-coastal R&B jam, this time inviting singer-songwriter Tiff Ortiz and producer Girubato along for the sensual ride. The song’s hypnotic, bass-driven instrumental provides a dimly lit backdrop for a tale about a romance on the edge, where fears of loss and heartbreak come to light through evocative harmonies and dizzying falsettos. — Richard Villegas

Satanique Samba Trio – “Badtriptronics #16”

A cult band from Brasilia, Brazil’s capital city, the Satanique Samba Trio became known in underground circles for their odd and provocative take on samba and experimental rock. Their new release, breaking a year-long hiatus, might seem like a filler at first sight. The LP is loaded with micro outtake sessions that are overall no longer than one minute — not even the most aggressive grindcore bands would do it. But the b-sides are another inventive approach by the misfits sambistas. With only two minutes, “Badtriptronics #16” is the largest track of the album and a display of the group’s weird rhythmics and abrasive guitars. — Felipe Maia

Silvana Estrada – “Tristeza”

Multi-instrumentalist Silvana Estrada turns the most sorrowful depths of sadness into a therapeutic session fueled by melancholic magic on her latest single “Tristeza.” A cleansing experience from the lyricism to its visuals, the song navigates heartbreak at the intersection of acceptance and healing post-relationship. A devastatingly beautiful realization in sonic form, you can reach moments of cleansing, but like sadness, it doesn’t always go completely away. — Jeanette Diaz

Malo – “Norte”

With his new single “Norte,” Aragon artist Íñigo M. Malo debuts his Malo project and announces his first album, slated for a late 2021 release. Fusing neoclassical influences with delicate electronic production and a penchant for emotive, cinematic songwriting, Malo pulls at our heartstrings and welcomes us into his world. “No sé si el árbol sonará cuando yo lo talo,” he sings, immersing us in a forest of moving piano notes and intimate poetry. — Cheky

Drú – “Quiero”

The right R&B will take you places, perhaps even a solitary rooftop with a beautiful view of a Caribbean sunset. “Quiero” knows this, and as interpreted by photographer-cum-singer Drú, it manifests literally so as to set the tone. In an era of mashups and fusions, sometimes tradition can feel new, and Drú achieves that in this track with its quiet storm vibe inviting you to lay back and groove along in the company of whatever thoughts it opens the doors to. His previous single “Por Ti” wanted you to bounce with it, but this time the more chill the better. — Juan J. Arroyo

Deerhoof – “Scarcity Is Manufactured”

As trends come and go, it’s always refreshing to hear Deerhoof remain as defiant and peculiar as usual. On their latest single, guitarist Ed Rodriguez references Richie Valens’ guitar work as processed through a cubist pop grinder. “Scarcity Is Manufactured” ticks all the boxes for Deerhoof fans —unexpected turns, immaculate melodies, vocalist Satomi Matsuzaki understated vocals— yet keeps it fresh by remaining curious and exciting like few bands out there. — Marcos Hassan