Thursday, January 11th, 2018

Ozuna ft. Cardi B – La Modelo

She raps, she sings, she creates awareness of Latin pop on Instagram…


Leonel Manzanares de la Rosa: Come for the sensuous Cardi B embracing her Dominican roots, stay for the soothing melodies and the timbal drum fills. Tropical synths and heavy auto-tune aside, calling this a reggaeton track is a mistake; “La Modelo” possesses the understated bounce and romantic cadence of a kizomba tune. It is basically Zouk-love en Español. And the better for it. 

Micha Cavaseno: The goal is probably tropical serenity; the results are a lot closer to tourism commercial anemia. The vocal performances are hushed to the point of self-stunted and the riddim’s effervescent to the point I couldn’t imagine remembering it. A shameless attempt at commercial crossover that doesn’t even do the justice of trying to entertain anyone’s attention spans.

Austin Brown: There was a nice piece in TrackRecord a few weeks back that asked “Will Camila Cabello Become America’s First Latinx Sweetheart?” I’d like to offer Cardi B as a counterargument, with this song as my supporting evidence. It’s not the most distinctive track either artist has put out, but I get such sheer pleasure from seeing Cardi (a well-documented stan of reggaeton and Latin trap) seamlessly operate in Ozuna’s Rvssian-produced home turf. Not to mention, the debut of Cardi’s sanging voice is a sight to behold, making it clear the conversation shouldn’t be about Cardi B just as rap’s next big thing, but as the global pop world’s new star.

Ryo Miyauchi: Ozuna harbors envy and unrequited desire in the chorus like they’re scabs he can’t help but scratch, though the song itself sounds surprisingly at peace to an almost numbing degree. Cardi B fortunately knocks some sense into the otherwise chilled-out reggaeton with a rather realist vision to a verse about romance.

Thomas Inskeep: Ozuna raps and sings, so why not a crossover collab with someone else who can ably do the same, in two languages? Cardi B sings sweetly in Spanish and drops a bridge in English on this sexy duet — she really is determined to take over the world, isn’t she, one single at a time? But when they’re this good I’m more than down.  

Stephen Eisermann: Tropical, whimsical, and kind of non-sensical, but that’s nothing unexpected from Ozana. It is cool, at least, to hear Cardi flex her Spanish  and her voice is pleasant enough, I just wish we’d have gotten a Spanish rap or something more lively; this is just kind of… there.

Alfred Soto: And so Cardi B gets nullified by the clichés of international pop.

Joshua Minsoo Kim: “La Modelo” is only really interesting as a vehicle for catapulting Cardi B even further into the international spotlight. Yes, the fact that she’s singing in Spanish is intriguing, but it doesn’t exactly extend beyond novelty. She fumbles in her rapping too, unable to capture the spirit of the song despite toning things down. Even so, her willingness to be on a song like this and do the things she does is exciting. Make no mistake, this is as boring as it is pillowy soft, but it also feels like the beginning stages of Cardi B becoming the biggest pop chameleon of her time. Ozuna, however, will forever remain nondescript.

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