Grading the Top 10 in … VENEZUELA!

1. Ilegales Y El Potro Álvarez, “Ayantame”


Los Ilegales are a Dominican trio who make merenhouse (short for merenguehouse), a subgenre combining hip-hop, dancehall, merengue, and house music pioneered in ’90s New York by Dominican Americans. While this song starts out sounding like the pop-house that dominates top 40 radio, it quickly switches into a catchy merengue groove dotted with electronic sirens.

Grade: B+

Best YouTube Comment: “excelente!” — 300MAXJUAN

2. Guaco, “Vivo”


A musica tropical jam from the Venezuelan group Guaco whose soft synth intro sounds like it should play over the ending credits of an ’80s movie. In other words, it’s perfect.

Grade: A

Best YouTube Comment: “GUACO LO MEJOR…….” — DanielaSoto

3. Victor Manuelle Y Oscarcito, “Si Tu Me Besas”


“Si Tu Me Besas” is salsa star Victor Manuelle’s 20th song to have hit no. 1. It’s been hanging in there since February on various Latin American music charts. Manuelle primarily makes salsa romántica, which is often accused of being a softer, watered-down version of older forms like salsa dura.

Grade: B+

Best YouTube Comment: “I LOVE THIS SONG … Me encanta esta canción!!” — MarchetaHightower

4. Chino Y Nacho Y Potro, “Regalame Un Muack”


Chino Y Nacho are a reggaeton duo whose fourth album, Supremo, has already spawned three hit singles, including my personal favorite, “Bebe Bonita.” “Regalame Un Muack” features Antonio Álvarez, the Venezuelan baseball player/singer better known as “El Potro.” Álvarez also appears above on the no. 1 song this week, making him the most successful baseball player music crossover since Detroit Tigers pitcher Denny McLain’s space age organ covers.

Grade: B

Best YouTube Comment: “I want Chino to rock me! Rock me! Rock me ya!” — TaylorandJacob1315-

5. Gustavo Y Rein (Los Nene), “Como Te Amo Yo”


Una Dirección?

Grade: C+

Best YouTube Comment: “No Es La Playa Dondo One Direction Grabo What Makes You Beautiful” — AleacnaCastillo

6. Fanny Lú, Chino Y Nacho, “Don Juan”


Fanny Lú (Fanny Fanny Lúcia Martínez Buenaventura) is a Colombian tropipop singer who launched her career acting on the soap opera Perro Amor before recording her first hit album, Lagrimas Caldes (Warm Tears). She has a very winning voice. Fa-Fa-Fanny Lú!

Grade: A

Best YouTube Comment: “te amo fanny lu” — Miku015Anime

7. Elvis Crespo y Fito Blanco, “Pegadito Suavecito”


Elvis Crespo and Fito Blanco order you to mueve tu cuerpo. The chorus of this song will stick in your craw something fierce.

Grade: B-

Best YouTube Comment: “Q Rico!!” — gisleidylemes

8. Jonathan Moly, “Carita De Cristal”


Did Prince Royce make it popular to sing your name at the beginning of a song, or was that just always cool? Jonathan Moly is being positioned as a Venezuelan Justin Bieber, and he shares Bieber’s nasal tendencies. Here he shoots scenes from a nonexistent future season of Gossip Girl.

Grade: D

Best YouTube Comment: “Gufapisimoooooo!!!” — yansodexdw

9. Benavides, “Mi Ex”


Bachata rave night at Club Silencio!

Grade: B+

Best YouTube Comment: “love it!” — minervasantos

10. Grupo Treo, “Sin Miedo”


You had me at the color-coded futuristic outfits. They look like the monstrosities Tina Knowles used to make for Destiny’s Child to wear. I like how the dude in the pink is the hardest guy in the group. Honestly I just like everything about this video, which reminds me of Usher’s video for “My Way.”

Grade: A

Best YouTube Comment: “parecen powerrangers XD” — dexybertvera

Filed Under: Billboard, Grading the Charts, Singles, Top Ten

Photo on 2014-01-10 at 12.58 #3

Molly Lambert is a staff writer for Grantland.

Archive @ mollylambert