With 3MEN2 KBRN, Eladio Carrión has accomplished one of his biggest dreams: The 28 year-old Puerto Rican rap star managed to get some of his idols and hip hop contemporaries on the album, which is an 18-track mélange of trap-infused beats packed under clever lyrics and fast storylines.
There’s Lil Wayne on “Gladiador,” where the legendary New Orleans rapper adds in a menacing interlude and warns those who might try to cross him. “You fuck with me, you disappear into the vortex/Your blood on me, I’m finna wear it like a Kotеx/Your door bell ring, I’m finna bring it to your doorsteps,” he raps. And then there’s 50 Cent, who lent his braggadocios penmanship to “Si Salimos,” where he and Carrión trade off, fixating on conspicuous consumption, luxury cars and designer threads.
For Carrión, to get two of his favorite rappers on his project is no small feat. It’s something he’s wanted for some time, and through hard work, he made it happen. “It’s super cool to see how it all played out, to be able to witness close up how real manifestation is, and how that, combined with hard work can really get you to any place you want to be,” he tells Rolling Stone. “I’ve basically manifested this since I started to rap. Everyone has their top artists they want to collab with — and 50 and Wayne have been part of my top three.”
But Carrión’s drive doesn’t end with music. Carrión recently came out with a new beer called La H, which is currently only available in Puerto Rico. He just wrapped up his first weekend at Coachella, where his high-energy set last Saturday was one of the most exciting on the lineup. And he’s going to keep that live show momentum going: In May, Eladio is launching Sauce Boyz fest, with a lineup of 25 artists in a span of two days, led by headliners Wiz Khalifa, Bizarrap, and Duki. One day will be at a beer factory and the other at a beach between San Juan and Mayaguez in Puerto Rico.
“It’s going to be an experience,” Carrión says of Sauce Boyz fest. “There’s no better place to perform than Puerto Rico because that’s home. People support me a lot here. My shows are crazy here. Sauce Boyz fest is basically me trying to up the last show we did. We had three amazing shows in El Choliseo (Coliseo de Puerto Rico). I just want to give my fans something better.”
Your album landed on Billboard’s Top Latin Album Chart at No. 3 How does it feel to be on the top three? Do these milestones have an impact on the way you make music?
To be honest, I just found out right now by you telling me. I didn’t even know that. I recognize that the numbers are there and they’re doing their job, but if you ask me how many listeners I have—or how many views a particular song has— I wouldn’t be able to tell you. I just like doing good music; it keeps it fun. I feel that if I’m worried about numbers my music will turn into something that it’s not. You just told me that Billboard thing – that’s fucking awesome! If I were looking at the Billboard Charts everyday. it wouldn’t hit as good news. I get good news everyday like, ‘you’re number one here, you’re number five there,’ I love finding out by accident. It’s cool.
Are there any specific beats or songs from Future, Lil Wayne, Quavo, or 50 Cent that inspired some songs on the album?
Since I’m such a fan of 50 Cent and Lil Wayne, I had to go to the root of their music. For “Si Salimos” with 50, I was trying to put out a song that he would consider adding in a deluxe version of Get Rich or Die Tryin — if he were to ever make one. So the beat on the song is original 50.
“Gladiador” is like a Carter III or Carter II. My favorite version of Wayne is Wayne Carter III and Carter IV. And my favorite version of 50 is Get Rich or Die Tryin, so I tried to get that side of them for the collab.[And with Future,] Future is a super cool guy. We kicked it for a while in a studio in Miami. It was a nice experience to be with one of the best trap stars in the world.
What do you think is the main difference between Spanish-language rap and English-language rap and how do those differences come together on 3MEN2 KBRN?
I think the difference between Spanish rap and English rap is that obviously English rap has gotten way more acknowledgment. Latin artists have been known more for reggaeton, but we have incredible rappers. But American rap music is more mainstream. We’re missing that component in the Latin area. But that’s why I tried so hard to make this album because I wanted to make rap in Spanish more appealing.
Let’s say Spanish rap becomes an international genre reaching the whole globe. How would that look like to you?
There would be so many new faces that people have never seen before, and that would be amazing. Reggaeton is always going to be there; songs for the club are always going to be there—people are always going to want to have fun and not pay attention to the music when they hear it.
Though it would be cool for the public to sit down and listen to the rap lyrics and know them and appreciate beat production. That would give us the recognition and fan base we deserve on a global scale.
Have you ever thought about doing the opposite, by making an English rap album that features reggaeton and Latin rap artists singing in Spanish?
I’ve thought about doing an English album, but to be honest with you I’ve never thought about that idea — that’s a pretty good idea. Damn, that’s a super cool idea.
If you can pick one thing that people take away from 3MEN2 KBRN what would it be?
It would be for the people that have followed my career and my music since day one, what they can get from it is that anything is possible if you put your mind to it, if you put in the work. I’ve been mentioning these rappers and doing this type of album for the longest. A lot of people like to dream and like to make goals, but they never put the work into action. That’s something that you have to do, and I think this album shows that.
“Padre Tiempo” is about stopping time. Is there anything in your life you’d like to make more time for?
Not necessarily make more time for, but I wish I had more time for my family. I’m always from jet-to-jet traveling.
“Gladiador” is an uplifting song about going through a challenging time. What obstacles inspired you to create that song?
Just being relevant in this industry is an obstacle. Me being a comedian and then switching to a writer — I got a lot of backlash for that, but I think that was one of the things that made me go harder until people couldn’t say anything anymore. My shit was dope. They couldn’t say anything.