Editors’ Notes “Our fans had been asking about a whole LP together for a long time,” Casper Mágico tells Apple Music about Now or Never, the album that reunites him with Nio García, his partner on the reggaetón smash “Te Boté.” As it happened, the collaborative project originated with albums that the Puerto Rican rappers were both working on separately. “We decided to combine them, picking just the best of the best from each and reinforcing one another’s songs with new verses,” says Nio. “The chemistry was already there. We knew it would be easy.” Although they are very much on the front line of a vibrant scene, they also demonstrate a defiant loyalty to the old canon. Between Mágico’s street edge and García’s romantic streak, they tap into the sound and the attitude of the 2000s, a time when trap spread like wildfire through the Caribbean islands. The 12 new songs on the album take us back to the roots of the rhythms topping today’s charts while looking ahead with the fierce intensity of a newcomer. Here the duo takes us behind the scenes of some of the key tracks from the project.

No Me la Daban
Mágico: “This is us kind of venting. We’ve been criticized on a regular basis, and I don’t think we get the credit we deserve. Here we wanted to make it clear that we have everything they have. If we’re talking musical quality, it doesn’t get better than us. This is an intro to let people know who we are.”

La Gangster
García: “‘La Gangster’ captures the essence of what’s going on in the genre right now, which is not that different from what was happening when Casper and myself were a little bit younger. It’s a reggaetón track, a really lit perreo. The way the song is built, it’s going to blow some minds in the new generation. But a lot of it comes from what people were doing around 2008.”

Mágico: “Nio had this written already and I loved it at first listen. We are huge fans of the music that guys like Zion were doing a while back. ‘Imaginándote’ takes me back to the time when every song was chorus after chorus and hook after hook. Real catchy and sticky. We did it back-to-back: Nio would sing part, then me, then Nio again... There’s a lot of variety in the song, and it’s one of my favorites on the album.”

Mágico: “This one was all me. It’s about a guy who’s been let down by a woman. He’s in horrible pain because she left him for someone else. Even though it all sounds pretty and sweet when I’m singing, I say all kinds of bad things. The title means hija de puta. I wrote the story about a woman, but I intentionally left it open enough so that anyone could relate to it and think about whoever.”

García: “And now for something completely different. This is pure Nio García. Casper Mágico is the voice of the street, and Nio García is more of a romantic. It’s a really commercial track. I know lots of women are going to relate to the story. Pretty much every song we write comes from personal experience, or at least from what’s happening in our circle. You always need to put your own feeling in them.”
Mágico: “When you’ve been through something and you write it down in your notebook, that’s how you can really get a real feeling inside of a song.”

Farandula (feat. Jowell & Randy)
García: “This is more perreo, but with Jowell & Randy’s stamp. As with the rest of the 12 new songs on the album, we approached it as fans more than as artists. Jowell & Randy have always been big favorites. We used to listen to them all the time when we were going to the clubs, looking for girls in the car, or just hanging out. What you have here is their essence together with our essence. It’s gonna be the bomb.”

No Se Te Dió
Mágico: “This is a song about a woman that you already left behind, but she’s trying to get back into your life and all you want is for her to go her way and let you follow yours.”
García: “Like many others, it comes from real life. I wrote it a couple of years ago when I went through something very similar. I showed it to Casper and he strengthened the feeling that was already there. We don’t really write in terms of one doing the chorus and the other one throwing verses in. We need to find something that we can both relate to and go from there. That’s the way to reach people.”

Mal Necesario
Mágico: “The title says it all. Maybe you think a woman might be toxic, but at the same time you like her kisses, you like the way she makes love. Although it’s written from a male perspective, I can see lots of women relating to the story.”

García: “Casper brought this to the table as a trap tune because we felt that the album was missing a little bit of darkness. It’s not 2020 trap, though. It’s trap from where trap really hit, when trap still had its real color, before it became R&B or whatever they might be calling it now. It was a time when trap was trap and nothing else. Casper wrote the whole thing, and he gave it that dark touch.”
Mágico: “We’ve never forgotten our roots. We grew up with a kind of music that was very different from what you hear now. That’s something that we wanted the record to reflect. We always try to do something different without losing the connection with the world that we come from.”

Te Gua
García: “‘Te gua’ is Dominican slang for ‘you fucked up.’ We used to hear it in Santo Domingo all the time. We knew we had to do this one with someone from over there, and who’s better than Rochy RD? He’s one of the biggest guys right now in every neighborhood of the Dominican Republic.”

La Nota
Mágico: “‘La Nota’ is the song we made with Yandel. It is a collaboration that we’ve been wanting to do for a long time. We had previously recorded with him, but this time it was different because it was just us; last time there were many others involved. Obviously, it would’ve been great to have both Wisin and Yandel. We were caught by surprise because this was literally the last song we made. All of a sudden they said, ‘Hey, look! Yandel sent some vocals!’”
García: “I think this song is a dream come true for us. It features ‘The Legend,’ and if a song features ‘The Legend,’ then it has to be a hit.”

No Me la Daban
No Se Te Dió (feat. Arcángel & De La Ghetto)
Farandula (feat. Jowell & Randy)
Nena Buena (feat. Rauw Alejandro)
La Gangster
La Nota (feat. Yandel)
Mal Necesario (feat. Jay Wheeler)
Te Gua (feat. Rochy RD)
La Jeepeta (feat. Brray & Juanka) [Remix]
Sola & Vacía
Llamé Pa' Verte
Mírame (feat. Myke Towers, Casper Mágico & Darell) [Remix]
Te Boté (feat. Darell, Ozuna & Nicky Jam) [Remix]

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