Last year I stumbled across this song called “Love & Hennessy” by Peruvian-born Alejandro Salazar, better known by his stage name A. Chal. I think I was on HotNewHipHop and remember thinking this must be another ode to my favorite brown liquor, HennDawg, let me see what this dude A. Chal is talking about…
The first line to the song was as follows “Dame un poco love with some Hennessy, you know I like it when you mad at me. I know you with him, pero ven aqui…” and I immediately was like oh wait, this dude A. Chal must be Latino! I played the song a few more times and almost instantly started sending the link out to all my friends with like 5 fire emojis asking what they thought. I went and searched him on Instagram, and at the time I believe he was at about 10k followers or so, gave him a follow and didn’t really think twice until I saw him walk in to the Sony Music party following the Latin Grammy Awards in Las Vegas later that year. I remember leaving my table, waded through the crowd and went up to him and told him I had recently heard Love & Hennessy and was a fan of his sound. He said thanks (I think, lol) and I returned to my table and continued the night.
It wasn’t until a few days ago that I saw 2 Chainz post the cover art for the song with him and Nicky Jam on the remix and the caption “More Waves”. I got so excited that one of my favorite rappers of all time, and who I’ve had the pleasure of briefly working with on a Pretty Girls Like Trap Music activation during SXSW, was collaborating with this artist that I was really feeling. I took a listen to the remix as soon as I saw it drop and knew that this is something I had to write about. You have a Peruvian born artist who is rapping about my favorite liquor that is mostly glorified in rap songs today, and making songs with not only one of my favorite rappers, but Latin superstar Nicky Jam as well. It was as though both of my worlds had collided into one track. I listened to the remix again and almost felt as though I was in the kitchen whippin’ up arroz con pollo when Nicky Jam sang “You like it baby when I give you salsa Goya/Tu no sabes con el loco en que te enrolla.” If I could insert the heart eyes emoji into this blog that could relate to how I felt when Nicky sang that verse, I would.
I say all that to say this… What’s going on in music right now is so exciting and definitely can’t be ignored. As a bi-lingual, first generation daughter born to a Mexican mother, it was nearly impossible growing up to find rap, r&b or hip hop with Latin undertones. I don’t mean to discredit any Latin Hip-Hop artists like Delinquent Habits, Fat Joe, Big Pun, or Kid Frost who helped pave the way to where we are in music today. But, for the first time, I feel like the mainstream listener is finally paying attention, and the chart-topping artists are finally finding the value in collaborating. These new wave Latino artists are just as musically equipped as the pioneers were back in the 90’s to top these same charts and give the average millennial Latino what we have always hoped to hear on our radio dials, and more progressively, on our favorite music site.
Take a listen to the remix of A Chal’s Love & Hennessy below: