Spain's underprivileged areas are resonating with a new, bold sound that's captivating everyone across the nation's sunny streets and coastal areas. This sound carries its own unique blend, mixing elements of reggaeton, salsa, and occasionally flamenco. This is the voice of Spanish rappers.
They bring a rapid, dynamic, and adaptable style to the rap and hip-hop scene in Spain, which has been buzzing for a while. Featuring a mix of rising stars and established names, the Spanish rap movement is gearing up for international prominence.
The exact moment and reasons behind the transatlantic journey of rap and hip-hop into Spain remain unclear, particularly when other genres haven't made the leap (Spanish country anyone?).
What's evident is its evolution into a distinct subculture that's as focused on the lifestyle it represents as the music itself. For the time being, financial gain takes a back seat. The scene isn't without its flaws — issues of violence, organized crime, and drug abuse are as prevalent as in the American rap scene — yet it retains a sense of authenticity and originality.
With Spanish rappers increasingly embracing trap music, the sound is becoming more chaotic and raw, like rap twisted through a mix of bleach and acid.
Therefore, now is the perfect opportunity to familiarize yourself with Spain's emerging rap talents before it's too late.
Without any further ado, here are 9 of the best Spanish rappers.
Perhaps the Spanish Drake, nice guy C. Tangana (Anton Alvarez Alfaro) is more interested in songs about sadness, romance and heartbreak than he is in songs about guns, money and fancy clothes. He hails from Madrid, and his music is softer, popier and a lot more accessible than other spanish rappers in the scene right now.
Formerly known as Cream, he has a degree in philosophy and finally got his break in 2012 while working at a Vodafone call centre. He renamed himself C. Tangana and, according to him, stopped trying to be something that he wasn't and instead concentrated on showcasing his true personality.
His flow is tight and melodic, and his videos broke new ground by unapologetically showing branded clothing and middle class surroundings – something that clashed, and still does, with prevailing hip-hop prejudices.
He works as both a solo artist, and as a part of the wider collective Agorazein.
Step away from the capital city and head closer to the beaches of the country's south coast and you'll find Yung Beef. His involvement in Calvin Klein's "#mycalvins" campaign confirms his status as the Spanish rap scene's poster boy, but it's been a long time coming for the man from Grenada who was previously making beds in various hotels in London and Marseille.
He's been hard at it since 2013, when he and others (we'll get to, shortly) formed the collective PXXR GVNG. His output is incredible, releasing hundreds of tracks as Yung Beef, his salsa/reggaeton alias Fernandito Kit Kat, and PXXR GVNG.
His collective has been named by El Pais, Spain's largest newspaper, as the country's most important rap phenomenon in decades. His swaggering aesthetic would come across as crass was it not for the quality of the music – a powerful crossroads that sees the sweaty sounds of Caribbean dembow and reggaeton collide with contemporary hip-hop, and of course, flashy sports cars in his videos.
Another PXXR GVNG member is Kaydy Cain, real name Dani Gómez. The group itself was founded on the fact that each member was poor and wanted to do something with their lives, hence why they sometimes go under the name Los Pobres (The Poor.)
It seems to have worked out well enough as usually when asked to described his current lifestyle, Kaydy Cain is famous for saying "eating, smoking, fucking." On an earlier release put out by Sony Music Spain he comes in on a auto-tuned verse singing, "We're going to die rich, we deserve it."
He's from Madrid and is the younger and seemingly quieter member of the group, but has recently began putting out songs under his own name. In 2023 he released the singles Sirocco (with OldPurp e Harry Nach), 2Vota x mi, and En mi barrio.
Not just eating, smoking and fucking then, the man's been busy.
The third member of PXXR GVNG is Khaled. Like Yung Beef, he's also from Grenada, but half of his family originate from Morocco. His style is throaty and aggressive, and sounds like he's spitting both phlegm and rhymes at the same time – in a good way.
He wears far more gold chains than the rest of the group, smokes strictly Marlboros, and drinks Jägermeister ("The poor only drink Jägermeister," he says) with tonic, not Red Bull.
As per, he releases tracks both with the collective and as a solo artist.
Unlike other artists in the Spanish rap scene who defiantly want to remain in the barrios in which they were born and raised, Kidd Keo has more international aspirations. He's from Alicante, but half of his family emigrated to Canada and his stepfather is German – influences that clearly rubbed off on him as he now raps almost entirely in English.
Perhaps because of that, he's been making big waves with some of his tracks receiving millions of views on his Youtube channel, and over 4 million monthly listeners on Spotify.
Between 2017 and 2018 he released several singles. In 2018, he released the mixtape Keoland, and in 2020 he released the single "Loco", which featured the Italian Dark Polo Gang. in 2022 he released the album Trippy & Trapper and just last year he released an 8 songs mixtapes with Bando Boyz and SwaggGlock called "The Trap House Mixtape"
Busy years, so make sure to keep track!
There isn't much known about Dellafuente, apart from that he's another Grenadian, his nickname is "El Chino" (The Chinese) and that his music is garnering a hell of a lot of attention on Youtube and Soundcloud.
He and singer Maka create music which is laced with Flamenco guitar intertwined with rap and trap beats, but also a softer, more melodic touch to it. Simply a must listen to!
His lyrics reflect the insecure feelings of the Spanish youth, and speak about family, love and desire. He's put a voice to the feelings that many feel but can't or won't express.
Dubbed "The Trap Queen" thanks to her songs with huge choruses and verses about being an independent woman with lots of money, Chanel went from being one of the country's most promising female artists, to one of the most established in a crazy short amount of time..
She was born in Jerez and later moved to Mallorca, but in neither place was she particularly surrounded by musical inspiration. She says her home situation was complex, with neither of her parents interested in music. Trap sounds wandered into her life almost accidently after stumbling across a remix of Ciara's "Body Part" featuring Future and B.o.B.
Now she's unapologetic about where she draws influence from: Young Jeezy and Gucci Mane.
She represented Spain at the Eurovision Song Contest 2022, and after releasing a few singles in 2023, in January 2024, she announced her new single, titled “Ahora Que No Te Tengo”, a collaboration with rapper FMK.
Borja Jiménez Mérida, stage name Bejo, comes fro Canary Islands.
His sound breaks away from the trap scene of the mainland, he puts out stunning visuals for each of his tracks, and he has a intricate rhyming style. He often plays off whole songs arounds one word – like the one above around "Poco."
In 2014, he formed the musical group Locoplaya, along with Don Patricio and Uge Fernández.
Ten years later he is still going strong.
Even though this is a list of the best Spanish rappers around, Cookin' Soul is a little exception. They're not rappers, they're producers, but it would be unfair not to mention them. The grammy award winning duo of Big Size and Zock have their tentacles spread across Spain, producing tracks for a lot of the aforementioned artists. They drawn in many of the big names, including Yung Beef, to create more traditional hip-hop tracks like the one above.
Nicki Minaj, Mac Miller, Pusha T, The Game, YG, Curren$y, Redman, Jim Jones have all sought the duo's talents in recent years, and they've now mustered up millions of streams on Soundcloud, YouTube and SPotify.
Proof the old heads still most definitely got it!