lopez castro

What’s this? The Singles Jukebox wrote about J Balvin’s “Bobo” and the next day it went to #1 on the Hot Latin chart? Those are some mighty impressive powers of persuasion/prognostication/poincidence we’ve got. Too bad it’s such a generic song. (My dumb joke review, which nonetheless taught me a useful idiom: “David Brooks no le llega ni a la suela de los zapatos.”) But with three songs in the top 30, Balvin continues to dominate this chart. His new one, “Safari,” features Pharrell murmuring the hook in Spanish and fewer chords than even “Bobo,” but its smooth and hypnotic cumbia beat almost snuck it up to Pick to Click status. Especially since it’s a slow week for banda and norteño debuts. The praise, it is so faint.

¡Pero! If you scan the lower reaches of the Hot Latin top 25 and top 50, you’ll see another act improbably continuing to dominate after several months: Los Plebes Del Rancho de Ariel Camacho, the Sierreño trio that’s fronted by teenager José Manuel Lopez Castro, named for its previous deceased frontman Ariel Camacho, and secretly led by the flabbergasting chops and rhythmic imagination of tubist Omar Burgos. And they continue to dominate even after “DEL Negociante” — their most distinctive song, a corrido ode to their label boss — has fallen off the charts. Los Plebes land four songs inside the top 50 this week, more even than Sr. Bobo. They’re primarily an online phenomenon, their popularity driven by streams and downloads more than radio play. Like their music, their videos mix antiquity with novelty — young lovers with iPhones standing among really old Mexican buildings, for instance, or the band hanging out in Lopez Castro’s high school practice room, dressed in their caballero suits. (Not unlike the choir kids who hide inside the local high school practice rooms, wearing their Megadeth t-shirts.) Listening again to their album Recuerden Mi Estilo, which includes all these songs, I’m struck less by its sameiness and more by the endless intricate rhythms unfolding between the requinto and the tuba. So Pick to Click status this week goes to “El Mentado,” a padrino-y-negocios tune where Burgos screams, revs, and otherwise abuses his axe while never leaving the rhythmic sway.

Somewhat more self-conscious about both their poppiness and their novelty are Intocable, whose undeniably catchy “Quiéreme (Ámame)” becomes their 52nd top 20 hit on the Regional Mexican airplay chart, breaking them out of a tie with Los Tigres for the record. I often wish Intocable would stick with their cool introductory stanzas — in this case, a bracing mix of handclaps and “HEY!”s — for the length of a song, rather than reverting to the familiar Intocable Lope that anchors most of their work. Ricky Muñoz ends “Quiéreme” by turning on an effects pedal (??) during his accordion solo, but the band just keeps loping along to anticlimactic effect, their ideas and the song spiraling down the fadeout drain.

These are the top 50 Hot Latin Songs and top 20 Regional Mexican Songs, courtesy Billboard, as published July 9.

1. “Duele El Corazón” – Enrique Iglesias ft. Wisin
2. “Hasta El Amanecer” – Nicky Jam
3. “Bobo” – J Balvin
4. “La Bicicleta” – Carlos Vives & Shakira
5. “El Perdedor” – Maluma
6. “Me Vas a Extrañar” – Banda MS (#1 RegMex)
7. “Ginza” – J Balvin (49 weeks!)
8. “Cicatriiices” – Regulo Caro (#3 RegMex)
9. “Andas En Mi Cabeza” – Chino & Nacho ft. Daddy Yankee
10. “Me Va a Pesar” – Arrolladora (#2 RegMex)

11. “Espero Con Ansias” – Remmy Valenzuela (#4 RegMex)
12. “Obsesionado” – Farruko
13. “La Carretera” – Prince Royce
14. “Hasta Que Se Seque El Malecón” – Jacob Forever
15. “Ay Mi Dios” – IAmChino ft. Pitbull, Yandel & Chacal
16. “Ya Me Enteré” – Reik
17. “Picky” – Joey Montana ft. Akon and Mohombi
18. “Shaky Shaky” – Daddy Yankee
19. “Fuiste Mia” – Gerardo Ortiz (#7 RegMex)
20. “Me Está Gustando” – Banda Los Recoditos (#6 RegMex)

21. “Si No Es Contigo” – Banda El Recodo (#5 RegMex)
22. “Que Caro Estoy Pagando” – Los Plebes del Rancho de Ariel Camacho
23. “Corazón Acelerado” – Wisin
24. “No Lo Hice Bien” – Los Plebes Del Rancho de Ariel Camacho
25. “Préstamela a Mi” – Calibre 50 (#8 RegMex)
26. “Tan Fácil” – CNCO
27. “La Ocasión” – DJ Luian & Mambo Kings Presentan: De La Ghetto Featuring Arcangel X Ozuna X Anuel
28. “Embriagame” – Zion & Lennox
29. “Safari” – J. Balvin ft. Pharrell Williams, BIA & Sky
30. “Imaginar” – Victor Manuelle and Yandel

31. “Todo o Nada” – Alfredo Olivas (#9 RegMex)
32. “Baila Conmigo” – Juan Magan ft. Luciana
33. “Desde Esa Noche” – Thalía ft. Maluma
34. “Not a Crime (No Es Ilegal)” – Play-N-Skillz x Daddy Yankee
35. “Bien Servida” – Los Gfez ft. Diego Herrera (#10 RegMex)
36. “Algo Contigo” – Gente de Zona
37. “A Donde Voy” – Cosculluela ft. Daddy Yankee
38. “Una En Un Millon” – Alexis & Fido
39. “Ella Y Yo” – Pepe Quintana ft. Farruko, Anuel AA, Tempo, Almighty, and Bryant Myers
40. “Nadie Como Tú” – Banda Clave Nueva de Max Peraza (#11 RegMex)

41. “Como Sanar” – Frank Reyes
42. “Te Dirán” – La Adictiva Banda
43. “Shalalala” – Tito “El Bambino”
44. “Baby” – Jencarlos ft. Lennox
45. “¿Desde Cuándo No Me Quieres?” – Banda Carnaval (#15 RegMex)
46. “Ya Lo Supere” – Los Plebes del Rancho de Ariel Camacho
47. “El Mentado” – Los Plebes del Rancho de Ariel Camacho
48. “Rumbo A Maza” – Los Titanes de Durango
49. “La Mejor de Todas” – Zacarias Ferreira
50. “Dueles” – Jesse & Joy

“Encantadora” – Yandel


12. “Amor de los Pobres” – La Original Banda el Limón
13. “Pero Sin Enamorarse” – Jesus Ojeda y Sus Parientes
14. “Tomen Nota” – Adriel Favela ft. Los Del Arroyo
16. “Por Haber Sido Mia” – Noel Torres
17. “Juro Quererte” – Hijos de Barrón
18. “Todo Es Diferente” – La Maquinaria Norteña
19. “Quiéreme (Ámame)” – Intocable
20. “Me Gustas” – El Coyote y Su Banda

“Lleno de Nada” – Duelo
“Hay Amores” – Julión Álvarez y Su Norteño Banda ft. Pancho Barraza
“Broche de Oro” – La Trakalosa de Monterrey
“El Guitarrero” – Julión Álvarez ft. El Coyote
“DEL Negociante” – Los Plebes Del Rancho de Ariel Camacho
“Solo Con Verte” – Banda MS