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Peso Pluma opens up his book of 'Genesis'

SCOTT DETROW, HOST:

Twenty-four-year-old Mexican singer-songwriter Peso Pluma just released his highly anticipated debut album.

(SOUNDBITE OF PESO PLUMA SONG, "NUEVA VIDA")

DETROW: Even though he only started making music a year ago, as of today, he already has 10 songs on the Billboard Global 200. His new album is called "Genesis," or "Genesis." And Anamaria Sayre, host of NPR's Alt.Latino podcast, has this review.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "NUEVA VIDA")

PESO PLUMA: (Singing in Spanish).

ANAMARIA SAYRE, BYLINE: So Peso Pluma is a regional Mexican artist coming from Guadalajara. Up until this point, he had only done singles, and so we were all kind of waiting to hear what an album - a full body of work from him would look like. He's playing this music called corridos tumbados, which is basically a modern take - a hip-hop spin on a very old genre called corridos. Corridos is a genre in Mexico that has been around for over a hundred years at this point. It's something like a waltz overlaid with poetry - very historic, very much your grandparents' music. And corridos tumbados is a genre that came about a couple years ago that takes the genre and puts it on its head. So it's really exciting to see how he's pushing the genre forward but in really subtle ways. He's not abandoning it. He's insisting that regional is really here to stay.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "VVS")

PESO PLUMA: (Singing in Spanish).

SAYRE: This is "VVS." It comes about halfway through the new album. And I love this track because it's both super traditional and it kind of gives me the feeling of him having his roquero moment with the slap bass, the fuerza delivery of the lyrics. The key thing about corridos tumbados is not just the actual sound that infuses rap and trap rhythms, but the fact that it infuses the themes as well. He has a lot of these kind of big victory tracks on the album, things where he's talking about how far he's come, showing his successes.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "VVS")

PESO PLUMA: (Singing in Spanish).

SAYRE: This is an incredible example of that while staying really straight ahead with a lot of those traditional corrido rhythms.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "77")

PESO PLUMA: (Singing in Spanish).

SAYRE: So this is "77," and it appears third on the album. Now, when I first heard this track, my mind was absolutely blown. It's an example where he does step outside of the genre with a collaborator, but it works gorgeously. Eladio Carrion is a heavy hitter in the Latin hip-hop space. I describe him very much as doing Latin and hip-hop because he brings a lot of American hip-hop traditional sensibilities to his projects, and he raps in the style. And so to hear that laid over a super straight-ahead corrido rhythm was so astounding to hear. And it works.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "77")

ELADIO CARRION: (Rapping in Spanish).

SAYRE: Again, it feels like the guys are having fun and they're really doing some next-level innovation. Peso Pluma's debut album "Genesis" just made it official - you can throw on some Adidas and get down to your grandparents' favorite dance music.

(SOUNDBITE OF PESO PLUMA SONG, "77")

DETROW: That was Anamaria Sayre, host of NPR's Alt.Latino podcast. Peso Pluma's debut album is out now. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Anamaria Artemisa Sayre
Anamaria Artemisa Sayre is co-host of Alt.Latino, NPR's pioneering radio show and podcast celebrating Latin music and culture since 2010.
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