After making listeners think with the protest album ‘Bien o Mal’, Argentine rapper Trueno wants to get everybody dancing


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After making listeners think with the protest album ‘Bien o Mal’, Argentine rapper Trueno wants to get everybody dancing

Trueno’s name translates into English as “thunder.” Like a crack of lighting, the Argentine rapper disrupted the Latin hip-hop scene last year with his breakthrough album, ‘Bien o Mal.’ While highlighting the culture of his country, Trueno also spits rhymes about corruption, economic inequality, and police brutality in Latin America. From ‘Tierra Zanta’ to ‘Fuck El Police’, his defiant songs capture the spirit of speaking truth to power from which hip-hop was born 50 years ago.

Trueno was born to be a rapper. His father, MC Peligro, is a pioneer in the Argentine hip-hop scene. Following in his dad’s footsteps, as a teen Trueno rap battled his way through the streets of his barrio (neighborhood) La Boca in Buenos Aires, eventually becoming the champion of the Argentine version of Red Bull’s Batalla de los Gallos in 2019. His triumphant flow went global after he collaborated with Bizarrap on the producer’s first BZRP Music Sessions in 2019. Since then, Trueno has performed at international music festivals and collaborated with the likes of Gorillaz and Cypress Hill.

Following his protest album Bien o Mal, Trueno is now ready to celebrate the genre that raised him. For his debut A COLORS SHOW, he is debuting a new song, ‘No Cap,’ which evokes Y2K era rap. In line with the performance, we spoke with Trueno about sharing his dreams with his rap-pioneer father MC Peligro, cutting his teeth in the Buenos Aires rap battle scene, and flying the flag for his country and the Latino community at large.

Where does your name Trueno come from?

My dad [MC Peligro] had a band called Comuna 4. The first song they released was called ‘Trueno en la Madrugada.’ It talked about the story of our neighborhood La Boca. When I was 5-years-old, I wanted to come up with my own rapper name. I looked through my father’s notebook, and I saw Trueno in there. Since then, it’s stayed with me forever.

What is your first musical memory?

Not everyone has a dad that supports them and shares their dreams. I do, and it’s a privilege. My dad was one of the pioneers of rap in Argentina, and he introduced me to hip-hop culture and movement. I saw him fighting for that, wanting to better that movement, and to move it forward. Now we can bring Argentine rap to other countries, and even represent it on COLORS. I always share these achievements with him. They are worth double to us because we started with nothing but a dream.

How did taking part in freestyle rap battles inform the artist that you are today?

The rap battles were fundamental. A lot of rappers were born out of battles—almost all of the Argentine artists today, as well as the likes of Eminem, Kendrick Lamar, and Busta Rhymes participated in them. Battles have given visibility to a lot of Argentines in the hip-hop scene: they’ve given us the motivation to create music, and shown us that we have an audience. Also, in terms of writing verses, battles give you an agile mind—they’re like improvisation training.

Why was it important for you to speak out against injustices in Latin America on your album ‘Bien o Mal’, which came out in 2022?

I don’t hold anything back. Music is my main medium of expression. It’s where I unleash my thoughts without fear. I’m always going to say what’s on my mind. Injustice, and the other topics I discuss on the album, are realities that have historically been experienced by Latinos. I want to speak up about it, because Latin America is where I was born.

Traveling to other countries has helped me to connect to the Latino community. When I’ve visited Europe, and other countries that don’t speak my language, and I’ve met Mexican, Peruvian, or Colombian people, I’ve realized that they’re my brothers. Even though we live far away from each other, and come from different cultures, we experience, celebrate, and suffer through similar situations. This was a key realization for me, especially as now more than ever  almost all Latin American countries are going through bad, good, strange, and new political situations. We’re family. Traveling made me understand where I’m from and what I want to express with my music.

“Music is my main medium of expression…

"Either side of me are MC Peligro (my father) and Kmi420 (my best friend). We're hip-hop family."

… it’s where I unleash my thoughts without fear.”

Can you tell us about the song you performed for your A COLORS SHOW?

I performed a new song called ‘No Cap’, which is a taste of what’s to come from my new album. It represents a style of rap that I listened to in the 2000s, and is dedicated to the 50th anniversary of hip-hop. I wanted to pay homage to the music I listened to and learned from as a child.

What can we expect from your next album?

For this album, I’m tapping into another part of my personality and another facet of myself. The main aim is to create something positive in the face of the many things that are still happening in Latin America. I said what I needed to say in ‘Bien o Mal’, and now I want to send people an optimistic message. I’ve made you think, now I want to make you dance.

What do you want to accomplish next with your music?

I just want people to enjoy my music. For me, that’s everything. I also love to get to know new countries and bring rap from Argentina to these places. I’m going to keep making music with a lot of hunger and drive. I want everyone to notice what’s happening in Argentina, how we’re doing rap, and adding our own flavor to it. Wherever I can go, I’ll be there flying the flag of Argentina. 

Trueno is an Argentine rapper whose A COLORS SHOW was released on the 8th January 2024. You can watch the full performance on our YouTube channel.

Text: Lucas Villa
Photography: Megan Courtis (images 1-3), Javier Bragado (image 4), and Lucas Wiersch (image 5)


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