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How Peso Pluma Brought Mexican Music to the World Stage

How Peso Pluma Brought Mexican Music to the World Stage
Photo credit: Arenovski


His name might translate to “featherweight”, but that description couldn’t be less appropriate for Peso Pluma’s rise in the music world. 

The Mexican artist has been finding success well beyond his country’s borders, and seducing stateside listeners in the process. Within the past year (June 2022 to 2023), his average daily stream numbers ballooned by almost 10,800%. His monthly Spotify streams currently exceed 52 million, with multiple tracks of his boasting stream counts in the hundreds of millions. His trademark high-energy live shows — including a recent guest performance during Becky G’s set at Coachella — are a sight to behold, as well.

Peso Pluma (born Hassan Laija) cut his teeth making songs inspired by the traditional sounds of his country before eventually adding more rap and reggaeton elements to his sound — a combination that has led to him helping put regional Mexican music on the world map. He’d gain that passion for music after watching YouTube videos to teach himself to play guitar when he was just 15. So how did he go from that — and from playing shows for 500 people in Mexico a year ago — all the way to becoming the most streamed Mexican artist on Spotify, and a growing global phenomenon?

Photo credit: Arenovski


Peso Pluma’s rapid rise to fame has felt like a fever dream, and there’s a good reason he’s gained as much traction as he has. His  journey began partially with him writing in a diary (something other kids made fun of him for), which he’d eventually practice writing lyrics in after realizing how certain words rhymed. He’d also been writing tunes with his cousin, Roberto "Tito" Laija Garcia, and the two eventually started actually making them. Releasing two live albums together in 2020, Peso released his debut LP Ah y Qué? in April of that year, with follow-up Efectos Secundarios coming in March of 2022. His mainstream breakthrough would come with the release of single “El Belicón”, which would soon explode online — its music video getting 10 million YouTube views within a month, as well as heavy usage on TikTok and Instagram. The track would go eight times platinum in America despite only charting at #34 on the Billboard Hot Latin Songs chart, his first entry.

Peso Pluma’s rise to massive popularity feels sudden, but it’s also not that surprising. For one, his tracks “PRC” and “AMG” — both of which were collabs with Mexican emcee Natanael Cano — caught fire in Latin circles after first going viral on TikTok. He’d leverage this social media success for future hits, notably “Ella Baila Sola”, which premiered on the video-sharing platform. During its first week, the song would garner 16 million streams in the United States. Fast forward to now, and música mexicana has risen in popularity by 400% over the past five years — a staggering amount, especially for a genre whose popularity was mostly restricted to Mexico and the Mexican diaspora.

Photo credit: David Avalos for Spotify


Within the larger scale of Latin music worldwide, the 24-year-old rapper/singer has been repping his home country proudly in recent years. Peso Pluma has thus far racked up 11 top 10 hits in Mexico, while also cracking the U.S. top 40 on six occasions — the highest being his collab with compatriots Eslabon Armado, “Ella Baila Sola”, which peaked at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100. He’s also featured on the remix of Yng Lucas’ “La Bebe”, which Pitchfork named among its 20 contenders for 2023’s song of the summer.

The track has also made history as the first regional Mexican song to reach the Billboard top 10, and the song also helped make Peso Pluma the first regional Mexican artist to perform on late-night American TV after he performed it on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. He’d make history once more by getting the highest-ever debut from a Mexican artist on the Billboard 200 album chart when his newest LP, Génesis, debuted at #3.

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Peso’s primary genre of music is better known as “corridos tumbados”, which is corridos (a style of ballads) with a modern twist, taking influence from reggaeton and American hip hop and trap music. Corridos is one of several genres under the catch-all term of “regional Mexican music”, which also includes mariachi, norteño and banda. Trombones are also a consistent presence in his music, an instrument he grew attached to after visiting New Orleans.

Corridos music has always been a presence in Peso’s life, since he’d heard the genre played by his family during his youth. Peso combines this with more contemporary influences, including present-day American rap artists and regional Mexican singers from decades past. Mixing the old with the new in a way that is unmistakably fresh and captivating, it’s no surprise that Peso Pluma has quickly reached the upper echelons of the music world.


Where is Peso Pluma from?

Peso Pluma was born in Zapopan, Jalisco, Mexico, and grew up in nearby Guadalajara. He also lived in New York and San Antonio, TX, the latter of which he went to high school in, and learned English through American rap music.

How old is Peso Pluma?

Peso Pluma is 24 years old, and was born on June 15, 1999.

What is Peso Pluma’s real name?

Peso Pluma’s full real name is Hassan Emilio Kabande Laija.

Who is Peso Pluma signed to?

Peso Pluma releases music through his own imprint, Double P Records, which he launched in April. The label is a subdivision of Prajin Records, and he also releases music with distribution from The Orchard.

What was Peso Pluma’s breakout song?

Though “El Belicòn” was his first single to chart and catch fire on social media, his first high-performing single was 2021’s “Por las Noches”, which peaked at #5 in Mexico, #28 on the Billboard Hot 100, and #4 on Billboard’s Hot Latin Songs chart.

Who influenced Peso Pluma’s music?

Peso Pluma’s influences include Post Malone, the Weeknd, and 21 Savage, while also taking heavy inspiration from regional Mexican singers like the late Valentin Elizalde and Ariel Camacho.

What’s next for Peso Pluma?

Peso Pluma is currently on a North American tour until October, when he plays two shows at Anaheim’s Honda Center on October 20 and 21.

How can I stay updated with Peso Pluma’s music?

By following his social media accounts, specifically Instagram, TikTok, Soundcloud, Facebook and Twitter, and keeping up with his releases on streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music, as well as YouTube.

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Dave MacIntyre
As a student in the journalism program at Concordia University in Montreal, I specialized in both print and broadcast journalism. At the moment, my key strokes are busy writing content for Cult MTL, Exclaim!, RANGE and many others.

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