The musica Mexicana disrupter continues his game-changing run
The trap-infused spin on traditional Mexican folk song known as corridos tumbados has become one of the biggest genres of the year on a global level. And a large part of that success is due to the music of Natanael Cano, who has largely been responsible for establishing the subgenre’s place in the world of música Mexicana. For his new album Nata Montana, Cano has assembled an all-star cast of corridos stars like Peso Pluma, Junior H, and Gabito Ballesteros, and the result is a feisty, disruptive collection that that further spotlights the corridos takeover.
Thanks to Cano’s example, Gen-Z acts have revitalized the corrido with a hip-hop outlook that glamorized flashy living, partying, and drugs. Pulling inspiration from the movie Scarface, Cano channels the spirit of the film’s drug lord Tony Montana (long a hip-hop touchstone) across the 15-tracks of Nata Montana. In the fiery “Pacas De Billetes,” he reflects on the rise of corridos tumbados and enjoys the fruits of his labor. “They won’t be able to knock me down even if they wanted to,” Cano sings in Spanish.
Cano’s supporting cast includes all his corridos contemporaries and the acts that have risen in his wake. Peso Pluma and Ballesteros join him on the swaggering “AMG” where they boast about living lavishly with private jets, icy bling, and the titular Mercedes car. Cano and Peso Pluma join forces again on the psychedelic standout “Pancake.” They use confectionary code words like “rosita pastel” to describe day-tripping on pink-colored cocaine. The sierreño sad boy soul of Cano’s Rancho Humilde labelmate Junior H adds emotional depth to the corrido in their dreamy collaboration “Eres.”
Cano also takes corridos tumbados into the future on Nata Montana. He brings more life to the corrido with elements of colorful norteño in the triumphant “Dirán De Mi” alongside Tito Torbellino Jr. In the bustling “En Corto,” Cano continues to push the sound into a hip-hop direction with Mexican rapper Chino Pacas, who was recently spotted partying with Drake. Cano also embraces the alternative emo edge of corridos in the heart-wrenching love song “Mi Bello Ángel.”
On his last album Nata Kong, there were moments when Cano strayed too far away from the corridos tumbados sound. In Nata Montana, he reins in the beast while honing in on the genre that he’s carried on his back and seeing where it can go next. Cano capitalizes on the corridos explosion while not losing the rebellious spark that lit the fuse.