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Photo by Mohammad Metri on Unsplash

As soon as the weather is warm enough to open the windows, you’ll find me cruising around Dover, Delaware in my little silver Hyundai coupe with the music cranked to maximum volume.

I may be 38 years old and white, but I was born and raised in Philly — and I appreciate music with a wicked beat as much as the dude in the low rider next to me.

Lately I’ve been finding American pop music to be lacking some element or charisma. If I put on a pop station, all I hear is noise. Is this a symptom of becoming an actual adult? Maybe.

I pay a monthly subscription for Amazon Music so I don’t have to listen to the garbage. I can pick and choose from millions of artists and songs. More and more, I’ve found myself heading into the Latin genre and, well, “enjoying it” is an understatement. I freaking love it.

Mr. Worldwide — Pitbull (my true Latin music love), Don Omar, Luis Fonsi, J. Balvin, Gente De Zona, Pereze Prado, Marc Anthony, Maluma, Chino & Nacho, Daddy Yankee, Chyno Miranda, Wisin, Ozuna — all of them have produced wicked songs that have taken up residence in a playlist I have simply named Badass Latin. As I find new songs I love, I add them to the playlist.

But I don’t just add any Latin music.

There are three qualifications for being included on the Badass Latin playlist.

  1. It can’t be anything soft. No crooners for me, thanks. I want my Latin music to bring the noise. Don Omar’s song Danza Kuduro does it well.
  2. It has to have a fast tempo. If it doesn’t make me want to wiggle up out of my seat, it’s not for me. Gente de Zona’s La Gozadera feat. Marc Anthony is a good choice.
  3. It has to make my rear-view mirror vibrate when I max out the volume. This means it must have bass. J. Balvin & Willy William’s Mi Gente makes my side mirrors shake, too.

One last thing — this may sound completely horrifying to some of you — but I love when Latin music incorporates the sounds of the accordion. Accordion is not a requirement, but it’s definitely a bonus. I love the accordion in part because I can’t imagine the coordination it must take to push, pull, and play piano keys at the same time.

No, I don’t speak Spanish — I know a few words, but that’s about it. I’m probably the one Philly kid that didn’t take Spanish in high school. It doesn’t matter. To me, it’s the music that matters.

Two weeks ago, I came home from work and wanted to get a head start on cleaning up the kitchen. I put my Badass Latin playlist on and busted out the work. My beau and my kids came home and the kids just started dancing around the room — each in their own little circles of happiness. It seems that my love of Latin music may be a family preference. It was a special moment that I won’t soon forget.

Esther Hofknecht Curtis, MSM-HCA is a freelance writer living in Delaware. Follow her on Facebook — go to

Book nerd and freelance writer finding gold in ordinary places. Email me at Visit

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