It may have started as an enduring group name amongst friends; but “Latino Gang” is now a worldwide phenomenon! With its leading-chart-topping artist dominating the stage of Coachella its first weekend! Representing LatinX
The 2019 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival was a huge game changer for an overlooked community. For the past few years Latino artist have become more and more prominent, as Latin music climbs its way up on the music charts. Last year the famed festival only booked 11 Latin artists. However not only did they include an extra eight Latin artist this year. But also booked one as a headliner; Columbian Reggaetón Megastar J Balvin. Who took the main stage on Saturday to an overwhelming crowd of fans.
“It took us 15 years to get here… My name is J Balvin from Medellin Colombia, and I’m proud to be Latino” – J Balvin
With a visual production, designed in conjunction with the; Friends WithYou Art Collective. J Balvin began his headline performance, with his recently released hit “Reggeaton.” Followed by tracks from his 2018 album ‘Vibras,’ like crowed favorites “Matchika” and “Mi Gente.” As well as tracks from his earlier albums, like “Safari” and collaborative hits, such as “Si Tu Novio Te Deja Sola,” “X” and “Sensualidad.”
In true Coachella fashion, Balvin invited on stage fellow Coachella performer Rosalia. To perform their recent collaborative hit “Con Altura.” A song that the songstress performed herself the following night during her set, minus Balvin. He also brought on stage Sean Paul, for “Conta La Pared.” However, the nights biggest guest, had quiet the big heads…literally!
For his megahit “I Like It” Balvin brought on stage two gargantuan, papier-mâché bobble heads. Resembling “Latino Gang” members Cardi B and Bad Bunny. Together all three had the crowd singing and dancing along to salsa infused beat.
Perhaps the most standout performance of his night wasn’t the plushies or dinosaurs or even the dance on top of the horse sized duck (anyone get anxiety just watching?). But rather his homage to the Reggaetón artist that came before him (and have yet to perform themselves at the festival). A true classy and schooling moment, that reminded everyone that Reggaetón isn’t something that just happened, but something that’s been years in the making.
“We gotta pay respect to the OGs” he told the crowd during his performance.
While many know of the “Latino Gang” to be made of artist such as Balvin, Bad Bunny, Cardi B, Rosalia and many others; whom represent the new sound of Latin music, the Latinx Generation. This “gang” was originally established many years ago by Reggaetoneros such as; N.O.R.E, Daddy Yankee and Wisin y Yandel. All whom set a launching pad for artist such as Balvin, to use to break ceilings and barriers.
Winsin y Yandels, “Rackata,” Daddy Yankees “Gasolina” and the beloved Latino anthem “Oye Mi Canto” by N.O.R.E. That had the crowd chanting “Boricua, morena/dominicano, colombiano.”
An artist is given no more than 1-hour to perform at the festival, and Balvin certainly made the most of it. With a triumphant, astonishing, surreal, high-octane, mass moment of pure Latinx pride. Is there any wonder why after his allowed time, the crowed kept chanting well after the lights went off, for an encore.
J Balvin will return to the main stage of Coachella for weekend two on Saturday, April 20th at 7:19pm PT. If you missed any part of seeing the Prince of Reggaetón, the leader of the new “Latino Gang’s” triumphant introduction of Latin music to Coachella. Tune into YouTube channel 1 for the live stream of what will sure be an earth shattering close-out performance of weekend 2.