Independiente, Puerto Rico
by Enrique Coyotzi
It was back in January, when we first stumbled upon the thrilling “La Trilla,” that Füete Billēte, Puerto Rico's hottest rising act, started creating a significant amount of buzz. Ever since that promising introduction, Füete Billēte uploaded periodically to their SoundCloud many more dazzling tracks, whose quality promised a daring, piercing, and remarkable first reference. After some months of waiting, the superb, scandalous, hit-packed mixtape Música de Capsulón is finally here, marking the boldest debut release by any Iberoamerican artist this year.
Füete Billēte, made up by rappers Beibi Johnson and Dávila 666 frontman Pepper Kilo, along with producer Freebass, seem to be sailing under A$AP Rocky’s “PMW” philosophy. Their lyrics, while consistently offensive and misogynistic, honestly share the point of view of a street dog, a pimp, a gangsta—dudes who are real and aren’t afraid to explicitly speak about the shit they’ve gone through, their experiences exactly the way they’ve lived them. They tell it like it is. Despite falling into bad taste territory, as Pepper Kilo declares in “Bien Guillao,” “una vida como ésta hay que contarla.” He also justifies pretty well the group's motifs in this interview, explaining, “Rap shouldn't be an acceptable thing for everyone. Rap is about speaking the truth, what happens in the street, and how people live in the streets.” While some listeners may take Füete Billēte as a joke (some of their lyrics are simply too damn funny or purposefully outrageous), you can tell Pepper Kilo is being dead serious when making this statement.
Hate them or love them, there’s no denying Música de Capsulón is a hell of an accomplishment—a necessary refreshment for 2013’s closure. If you've been following their SoundCloud activity, chances are you probably know by heart the majority of these songs. The real pleasure is to have them, at last, in a perfectly sequenced release, where there’s hardly chance to breathe. And I mean that as a compliment. Like Janelle Monáe’s The Electric Lady, or even El Gran Silencio’s Chúntaros Radio Poder, Füete Billēte include a couple of skits resembling radio listening and a couple of others that bring to mind that disconcerting, yet hella funny voice message at the end of Calle 13's “Uiyi Guaye.” With hardly any pause between tracks, the MCs found a robust manner to accommodate their previous offerings, assembling an entrancing narrative. Whether it's with the assistance of Freebass' luxurious beats or Overlord's under-purple-drank, stoner production, Füete Billēte's vast musical spectrum, which ranges from '90s rap, to crunk, to contemporary hip hop, stands out throughout, revealing new genius in every spin.
Beibi's and Pepper's performances, however, are what steal the whole show. Johnson's reggaeton-esque flow is commanding, while Kilo's sick, often Auto-Tuned verses are intrepid. If the listener could picture their physical state during the entire record, one would admire them with red and dilated eyes. The sheer volume of smashers on Música de Capsulón is impressive. Following the throwback intro “Mira Esa Perrita,” the title track quickly makes itself present. It easily equalizes the same exciting effect we had when we first heard “La Trilla.” The self-aware “La Moda,” hard-hitting “Hasta el Piso,” and Aaliyah-sampling “Una en un Millón” are ultimately designed for perrear/twerking. Outstanding singles “Bien Guillao” and “Al Mando” bring out their most gangster side, while Overlord-produced tracks “Fumaera Namás” and “Vaso Lento” exhibit them DUI all the way. They even show their more romantic style in the fucking sexy “No Me Quito” and get dreamy in the opulent “Peces Cuadraos.” Whichever side they present, they succeed in it.
From the Fugees’ inspired album cover to the notable invested labor in its conception and brilliant nods to its influences, everything about Música de Capsulón feels meticulously mastered and conferred. Even though it's conceived as a mixtape, just like BFlecha and her panoramic βeta, Füete Billēte confected a release that surely feels like an album in the whole extension of the word. Inescapably irresistible, potentially controversial, and already exuding timelessness, Música de Capsulón certainly establishes one of the greatest hip hop careers in years to come.