FOUR OF THE COOLEST GENRES ON THE PLANET RIGHT NOW
Dominican dembow rules the party, U.K. garage returns from the Nineties, Mexican corridos go back to their roots, and digicore keeps on mutating
Dominican dembow blends influences from Jamaican riddims, reggae en español, and Brazilian funk with the island’s distinctive rap vernacular and lyrical traditions. The genre has been growing steadily since the mid-2010s, and it seemed to go fully mainstream in 2021, when artists such as J Balvin and Rosalía released major dembow collaborations. But this year has shown that Dominican artists like El Alfa and Tokischa don’t need big-name stars to keep going global. WHO Tokischa, El Alfa, Kiko El Crazy, Haraca Kiko, Chimbala
KEY TRACK “Galapin,” El Alfa and El Mayor Clasico
This syncopated, bass-heavy sound took shape in Nineties London, where DJs chopped and stretched vocal samples and played with tempo like mad scientists, before it spun off into house- and EDM-adjacent variants. Lately it’s returned to ambush all forms of pop music: Rappers like Aminé have sneaked rippling synths into musical curveballs like “Sh!t2Luz,” while viral Gen Z favorites like
PinkPantheress and Grace Ives have made the style their own.
WHO Mura Masa, PinkPantheress, Take Van, Grace Ives
KEY TRACK “Bbycakes,” Mura Masa, Lil Uzi Vert, PinkPantheress, Shygirl
Circa 2019, it seemed the future belonged to corridos tumbados, blending Mexican traditions with modern hip-hop tendencies. But even the most ardent makers of that sound, including tatted ringleader Natanael Cano, have scaled back their beats and focused on folksier production. Corridos of all kinds currently make up half of all Mexican-genre streams on Spotify, and they’re especially popular with Gen Z TikTok listeners.
WHO Natanael Cano, Yahritza y Su Esencia, Adriel Favela
KEY TRACK “Brillo,” Natanael Cano
Digicore feels like the chaotic kid sibling of hyperpop, characterized by EDM/dance-leaning sounds and a rising group of extremely online artists too rebellious for any label at all. The scene is ultra-young, with many acts still in their teens, gobbling up inspiration from every corner of the digital universe and spitting it back out into pitched-up songs that capture the warp speed of the internet. And it’s a scene that’s constantly refreshing itself with even newer acts.
WHO Glaive, Dltzk, Ericdoa, Osquinn, Twikipedia, Juno, D0llywood1
KEY TRACK “Sad4What,” Ericdoa