RD Artists May Change the Game with Album Release on Tuesday, April 7, 2015
Boy Wonder has been behind-the-scenes producing and working in collaboration with some of Latin Urban music's heavy hitters for years, however my curiosity about him was first sparked when I heard Ñengo Flow state his name in the introduction of "Donde Llegamos" a track featuring Chiko Swagg on Boy Wonder's "Chosen Few Urbano Continues" (2013).
Being a fan of that song in particular and el genero urbano latino en general, when I caught wind that there would be an album Listening Session at the Sirius XM Radio studio in New York City on Tuesday, March 31st in celebration of Boy Wonder's latest collaborative album "Chosen Few Urbano RD (Republica Dominicana)" my interest in his music was further peaked. I made the trek from Washington, DC to NYC to get a taste of it for myself -- it was an opportunity that I wouldn't have dreamed of letting pass me by!
This new album with a release date of Tuesday, April 7th features artists representing the Dominican Republic whom he is personally grooming in the nascent stages of their careers. These up-and-coming and in some cases underground artists, handpicked by Boy Wonder for their various talents, each bring something special to the table and represent the future of el genero urbano. Mozart La Para, Chiko Swagg, Black Jonas Point, Messiah, El Mayor Clasico, Jay The Prince, Melymel and Gullun El Idolo were present in the studio, each having cultivated a solid fan presence in the Dominican Republic in addition to Instagram and other social media platforms.
A panel of the aforementioned artists in addition to Boy Wonder (Manuel Alejandro Ruiz) was formed inside of a fish bowl during an informal recorded interview hosted by Stefi Chacon of Sirius XM Radio and Flow Nacion who also has strong connections in the Latin Urban music scene and has been a true guerrera in supporting artists and promoting the genre.
After the great success of "Chosen Few Urbano" (his previous releases and documentaries in a series), she inquired why Boy Wonder has decided to focus on the Dominican urban movement now. He responded that this is his sixth studio album and being Dominican after observing the movement there and as a fan of it, he felt that it was finally time and he had previously worked with some of the artists who are featured on this new project. His mother was present at the event which was the first time that she accompanied him at such a gathering which added to the magic. Furthermore, the event was held in New York, the city that saw him flourish and where his production company Chosen Few Emerald Entertainment (CFEE) was developed.
When asked what the album means to him personally, he replied that it is very special to him since although he has had the priviledge of working with many artists this is the first time that an urban collaboration of its kind will be available at Walmarts, Best Buys, FYE stores and other popular brand name vendors in the market so it's historic, and as a result opens doors for the continued success of the artists [providing them with greater exposure].
The first artist on the panel to kick off the performances, following an introduction by Boy Wonder, was Mozart La Para with a lively tune called "Pa Ella" which serves as a reminder that life was meant to be enjoyed: "Oye, olvidate de los problemas/Que la vida se hizo pa' gozar..." which was enjoyed by all and received with heartfelt applause. Then it was his turn for Mozart's interview with Stefi followed by Chiko Swagg who has seen the producer as a role model after working consistently with Boy Wonder for five years. Chiko performed his song from the album "Hasta la Madrugada" and next up was Jay The Prince with "Lo Logré". Messiah continued the momentum by promoting his single "Tu Protagonista" and later in the evening El Mayor Clasico pleased the audience with "El Chuby". The night was enveloped in music and all talent was on full display.
Melymel A.K.A. "La Mama del Rap" particularly stood out as the only female M.C. on the panel but she definitely was not to be underestimated. Following the panel session in an interview with me she shared that she strives to be a role model not only for her son as a mother, but also to become a positive image in music for young women. One of the songs that she highlighted in her panel interview with Stefi was "Yo Me Curo". Other artists also contributed to the album including Don Miguelo, Poeta Callejero, Jenny La Sexy Voz, Secreto, Shellow Shaq, Qumico, Monkey Black, Jose Reyes La Melaza, DJ Sammy, La Nueva Escuela, Metrolo, La Mayeya, K.O. El Mas Completo, Cromo X, Lapiz Conciente and Los Teke Teke. The album is also backed with the support and participation of Producer "High Quality".
Puerto Rico has reigned as the hub of urban Latin music however with the rise of these Dominican ambassadors the paradigm could potentially shift. Mark April 7th on your calendar as the day that RD takes la musica urbana to the next level thanks to the vision of Boy Wonder.