Editors’ Notes “I wanted to bring out the old De La Ghetto but with the new vibe,” the reggaetón star tells Apple Music about his new album Los Chulitos. Working with an international set of producers and recruiting an intergenerational selection of vocal guests, the veteran took his time to make this project both familiar to his diehard fans as well as accessible to a broad listenership within and beyond the Spanish-speaking world. “Sometimes in our genre when you go too outside of the box, people look at you weird,” he says. “I just wanted people to enjoy the album and really vibe to it.” As you listen to the album, read about the stories behind each track in De La Ghetto’s words.

ChuliGang
“You don't got to be a street person to be ChuliGang. It's all about being up to date on the music and the style and the fashion and all that. It's a trap joint that I did in Miami a couple of months back. I wanted to open up the record with a record like that, because I was one of the first ones to start out with Spanish trap back in 2005, 2006. This record was one by a hip-hop producer named Hennedub. And it's crazy because he doesn't know Spanish. He gave it another color, another twist. Music doesn't have a language barrier. It's all about vibing.”

Perdida
“I produced this track with Lelo & Jazzy [Los Hitmen]. They've been in the game for like 13 years. They started out with Jowell & Randy. They’re my in-house producers. Jazzy brought the idea to me, and I was loving the idea, but we needed a new beat to it. Everything was done from scratch—the melody, the piano, which drums we were going to use. When I'm in the studio, I like to be a part of everything, the whole creative process, not just the lyrics. I really like that record because it brings the teenager out of me.”

El Volante
“I did this record with Dímelo Flow in Miami. And then I was in the studio listening to the track, and we're like, 'You know, we got to put somebody on there.' We had a couple of people in mind, but I really like what Dalex is doing. He's like a Spanish Maxwell, like a Spanish D'Angelo. If you listen to 'El Volante,' it has that R&B vibe, but it's reggaetón. And when I sent Dalex the record, he loved the record. He did his thing. He sent it back to me that next thing. That beat is from The Rudeboyz. They're from Colombia, and they do almost all of Maluma's stuff.”

El Que Se Enamora Pierde
“That was one of the first tracks that we did on the album. I was in the studio with BF, with Hydro, with Mambo Kingz, Luian, for three days straight. And then Darell, he came in and just interrupted my session. We was about to leave at like 3:00 in the morning, and he brought the other vibe. We was tired; we wanted to leave. He was the caffeine in our system, doing jokes and clowning around. We did like two records that night, and from both we chose that one. It was my first time working with Darell hand to hand. That kid is something else. If you listen to the beat, it's like the future of reggaetón. It has a different pattern. I'm really excited that me and him got to do that record.”

Sigue Tu Camino
“Manuel Turizo, I love that kid. I like his style. He's like an Anuel, but more melodic. When I did this record, I was going to do it by myself. But we did the record, and I was listening to it that whole week. If you listen, it's a relationship record, a heartbreak record. And to me, the person who can really bring that sadness, but make it sexy at the same time, is Manuel Turizo. I'm already doing my high notes, so I don't need another singer who can sing high like me. I need somebody who can balance it out. He killed it. He ripped that record.”

Cuando Será
“I really love that record because it's a solo record. It really brings out my vocal range. It has like that old feeling of 'Es Difícil.' I just really wanted to show people that I can really be on my emotional side, my poppy side. We did the record that same week we did the ones with Darell and Manuel Turizo. We did that with Jowny Boom Boom and BF when we wrote that record. It has a lot of feeling, a lot of sentimentality. The camp was for three, four days in Puerto Rico. That's it.”

Sube la Music
“I'm a fan of Nicky Jam from when he first came out with Daddy Yankee. He really brought that Spanglish, that hip-hop and R&B flavor to the game also in the early 2000s. He's from the States also. We're similar in that kind of way. 'Sube la Music' was one of the last records we did on the album. I was with my manager and he came to the studio really amped up, and he came with like three or four records, and one of records was that Wayne Wonder song ['No Letting Go']. We're going back and forth remembering when we used to go to the clubs and it first came out. I was with Lelo & Jazzy in the studio, and they did the beat right there. There was no sample. Everything is originally done. You don't have to know Spanish to know that record. That was the idea, to go globally. You can be in Russia, you can be in Jamaica, you can be in China, you can be in Colombia, New York, whatever—people are going to remember that melody.”

Me Acostumbré
“That's a special record. Me and Arcángel, we was in the studio for a whole week just banging out records. On that record specifically, we wanted to bring that Luny Tunes essence, that 2008, 2009 reggaetón essence with the melodies, the harmonies, the beat, and the lyrics. We really wanted to go commercial, but a little bit street also with the wordplay, but clubby at the same time. Big shout out to Ehxx The Professor, one of Arcángel's producers. And we did that beat with some new kids from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic: Crivas. If I would've gave it to a big-name producer, they're busy. They probably wouldn't send that love that these kids from Santo Domingo did. It has that 2008 vibe, but 2020. We’ve got a whole bunch of other stuff too that's going to come out. It’s just the beginning for Arcángel & De La Ghetto.”

Me Parece
“I did that record with Dímelo Flow that same week we was doing the other records in his camp. It had that late-’80s/early-’90s dancehall vibe to it. He was so busy he couldn't finish the beat, so we had Lelo & Jazzy redo the beat. Nobody could really give it that flavor that Farruko gave. Farruko has been on that reggae vibe for the past few years, and I've been on that reggae vibe since I started. Farruko did a tremendous job. He really killed it. I wanted to bring that old school back with this record.”

Lo Que Me Falta
“For this record, I really wanted to bring out a whole different side of De La Ghetto. We did this with a live band—everything is live. And this was a camp that we did in Holland with these amazing producers from Holland. You have the guitar riffs. You got the drums. And you got all these weird European sounds to it. What I'm really trying to do with this record is touch another crowd that probably don't even listen to reggaetón.”

Suave Rico
“Rauw Alejandro—amazing kid to work with. He's been a fan of mine since day one. And all of a sudden he became this humongous star that he is right now. So I see a little bit of De La Ghetto in him, because he grew up listening to me so heavy. He even did a remake of 'Tu Te Imaginas.' I did it with some producers from Puerto Rico that graduated from Berklee called Super Solo—they do all kinds of music, Brazilian, salsa, jazz, reggaetón. The beat has that tropical, Caribbean, a little bit of salsa to it. When we did the record, the first person that came to my mind was Rauw Alejandro.”

Sin Maquillaje
“I really like Justin Quiles and Lenny Tavárez. They're really bringing that Spanish R&B essence to the game, something that I've always wanted to do since I started doing music. I was way ahead of my time back in 2005, even with my first album Masacre Musical. There wasn't really nobody doing that, so I really opened the doors for them to express themselves that way musically. It just has that R&B trap essence. They really did their job.”

FEKA
“I did that record in Los G4 Studio—that's a Sinfonico studio. They dedicate themselves 100% to doing hip-hop and trap, really grimy, real street. I did that record with Sinfonico's producing team. When I got there, we started creating ideas. All of a sudden, it just came to the top of my head, the FEKA. In the rap game, you got to be with the bling-bling, the clothes and all that. And I don't mind if you rock some fake chains or some fake Guccis or whatever. It's okay. In the beginning of the game, nobody really has money, so sometimes you got to fake it to make it. But you got to be humble. Don't come around me rocking some fake junk and then you acting all tough like you better than everybody else. El Alfa and Miky Woodz, they really did a good job on that beat.”

Tokyo
“I always wanted to do a record with Myke Towers. I’ve known Myke since the early, early years when he was like 16. Myke’s been in the game for seven, eight years. He's from the new school but with the old-school mentality. I've seen the evolution. He’s one of the few artists that really is bringing the bars to the game. He's like a young Nas, but in Spanish. I didn't really want to go too hip-hop, too gangster, too trap for this record. It has like a European pop flow to it. It's like Duran Duran 2025. Myke loves this record too. He wanted the record for himself, but I said, 'Hold on, buddy.'”

Bienvenido al Bellakeo
“We wanted to bring that ratchetness out. I was with Jowell & Randy, and we did our thing. A couple of days passed, and we wasn't really feeling the record. We went to another studio and re-recorded it. We just got that party mode on, a little bit of drinking, like back in the day. It was that Mötley Crüe vibe. We freestyled almost all the record.”

Sin Perse
“If Narcos did a soundtrack, that would've been one of the songs. It was only going to be just me and Cosculluela. We've never done a street record together, only R&B trap records for the ladies or slow jams. Ñengo Flow and Coscu, they used to have crazy beef back in the mid-2000s. It was almost a war in the streets in Puerto Rico. So I didn't really think I was going to pull it off. I did it once in 2008, but I didn't really know I was going to pull it off again. When I sent Ñengo the record, I didn't tell him that Coscu was going to be on it. Me and Arcángel have never done a record with Coscu and Ñengo. They're so hardcore with what they do; they’re like the people's champ. So you got these four guys that rap crazy and they do the crazy wordplay with the street references and all that.”

Yo Pago por To’
“Sons of Sonix called me like, ‘Yo, we're doing this camp in Miami.’ They're the Justin Bieber producers. I was mad busy with the album and my family, so I wasn't really going to make it. But my manager was on my ass. I went and we did two records. We really wanted to do that really international, European, African, Miami, New York, clubby vibe. They just brought that out. I know that Afrobeats wave is going to come hard. And you know, the reggaetón movement and hip-hop, it comes from Africa. Everything comes from Africa. That's the motherland for all of us.”

Selfie
“This was the first single we put out. And I wasn't going to put it on the album, but this record means so much to me because it was like a new De La Ghetto. Music is timeless. That's how I think about music. I don't really care how long ago you did the record. If it has a vibe, it has a vibe.”

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