Image courtesy of Kristian Bob.
Image courtesy of Kristian Bob.

The Puerto Rican musician says he’s a fan of socially-conscious music, and thinks urban music is the “ideal vehicle” for delivering a message.

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico—A strong social message, the catchy rhythmic base of trap, and the immediacy of social media are an explosive combination in the hands of Puerto Rican musician and singer-songwriter Kristian Bob.

The appearance of cardboard briefcases containing uncounted ballots is the subject matter of the artist’s latest composition, which in just three days has nearly 70,000 plays on Twitter.

“Let’s get lost like an electoral briefcase,” the song goes.

“People have time to come up with a meme, a joke, or a tweet, but they are not used to someone coming up with a song as quickly, which gives me an edge,” Kristian Bob told The Americano. 

The musician, who began his solo career in 2008, was dedicated to pop music at the time. In 2011 he joined local rock band Vivanativa as their drummer and composer of hits like “Mariposa mía.” Kristian Bob resumed his solo career in 2017. 

During his first phase as a solo artist, he was recording for the White Lion label, which mainly releases urban music. 

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“For me, urban music, apart from being Puerto Rican—which is a source of pride—also has an obligation to touch on things that are happening,” the singer-songwriter said.

Kristian Bob says he is a fan of socially-conscious music, and thinks urban music is the “ideal vehicle” for delivering a message.

In the spirit of social consciousness, Kristian wrote the songs he is now sharing on social media. A follower tagged him on a news story regarding a well-known tourist-oriented restaurant, Latin Star, which was shut down because of unhealthy handling of food.

“One of my followers wrote, ‘a trapper needs to make a song about this’” Kristian Bob said. “I thought, let’s do it.” 

The composer ended up coming up with songs like “Perreo de Mayagüez,” “Sácala,” and “No vengan a Puerto Rico,” the latter asking tourists to not visit the island because of COVID-19. Trapper Bad Bunny has shared the songs online.

Last year, Kristian Bob released a new album, “Leche y miel,” on Tuff Gong International, the record label founded by Bob Marley. The musician says he will continue to write “without limits imposed by trends.”

The composer reflected on the importance of musical evolution—how each genre has faced opposition from the public at some point.

“The Beatles covered ‘Roll Over Beethoven.’ I imagine early on some might have reacted negatively to their work,” the singer said. “New musical genres are criticized for being too simple, too revolting, or whatever. I think this has to do with social fears.”

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