Much like the Rap game, Latin Trap is a male-dominated genre that mostly talks about women, sex, drugs, and partying. Every now and again, though, a female is able to make her mark in the industry, flip the script, and remind us that although narrow, there is still room for us too… Meet Karol G.
Born Carolina Giraldo Navarro in Medellín, Colombia, Karol G, like many other immigrants, made her way to New York to follow her dream of becoming a singer/songwriter. In 2013, she collaborated with Latin superstar Nicky Jam on “Amor De Dos” a video with over 92 million views. She started catching more wind with “Casi Nada” a visual guide on getting over your ex, where she went Gold in Latin digital. She caught her big break last year, though, on “Ahora Me Llama” with a feature from Bad Bunny, a video that has reached over 560 million views since June. A few months later, Quavo of The Migos would hop on the song, making the hit-single bigger than ever.
Karol G, much like Rihanna, is a no-holds-barred bad ass who does what she wants, wears what she wants, and whose music is empowering women across the globe to believe in themselves and do so without regret. The “I don’t need no man” theme found throughout her music and visuals is notably repeated where she boldly croons on “Ahora Me Llama”—
“Estoy soltera, hago lo que quiera y nadie levanta mi falda/
Sin antes era mala ahora viene la nueva versión y más mala”
“I’m single, I do what I want and nobody lifts up my skirt/
If I was bad before, here comes the new version of me and even badder than ever”
Although finding a place as a female in the hip-hop game these days is difficult, it’s nearly impossible for females to see success in Urban music in Latin American countries, mostly because of the machismo mentality that is still prevalent today. So to say that Karol G is breaking the glass ceiling, would most likely be an understatement. What’s unique about Karol G, though, is her ability to go from tomboy in her retro Jordans and Fenty Puma platform boots, to bikini-clad vixen in what seems like the blink of an eye. With 4.5 million Instagram followers, she leaves us wondering what her next outfit of choice is going to be, and how savage she is going to go on the lyrics of her next song.
Whether you agree with the idea that women have a role in Hip-Hop, or Latin Trap, or in urban music in general, you can’t ignore the fact that it’s happening. It’s not only happening more often, and being more widely accepted than it was in the Lil’ Kim and Foxy Brown era, but it’s becoming more and more popular with the help of male artists who are aiding in the direction of which the genre is moving.
Click below to hear Quavo’s remix to Ahora Me Llama: