The ’90s and early ’00s were the golden age of Latin music in the U.S. Behold, 14 of the best songs you forgot you were completely obsessed with as a teen. (Note: This isn’t a ranked list; the songs are listed chronologically.)
1. “Bidi Bidi Bom Bom” by Selena. No list is complete without la reina herself. (The day someone forgets to put her on a list like this is the day you’ll know the end of the world is nigh.) There are too many good songs to choose from (“Como la Flor!” “Amor Prohibido!” “Si Una Vez!”), so I’ll leave you with what’s considered her signature hit, 1994’s “Bidi Bidi Bom Bom.”
2. “El Duelo” by La Ley. You know that to this day, there’s no way you can resist singing along to the chorus of this 1995 tune: “Siiiiiin amoooooooroooooooooooor no sufres mas.”
3. “Te Conozco Bien” by Marc Anthony. Although Anthony was reportedly reluctant to become a salsa singer (he started as a backup vocalist for bands such as Menudo), once he did, his salsa songs became some of his biggest hits, including this 1995 single off his Grammy-nominated album Todo a Su Tiempo.
4. “Ciega, Sordomuda” by Shakira. Old-school, Spanish-singing Shakira was the best Shakira. There, I said it. Haters come at me. (But first enjoy this 1998 hit and go back to a time when her hips didn’t lie, and she was still looking for las ladrones.)
5. “Punish Me” by Big Pun. Consistently ranked as one of the best MCs of all time, Big Pun was also the first Latino solo rap artist to sell more than a million albums, and his debut album Capital Punishment is still regarded as one of the best rap albums of the last 15 years.
6. “Livin la Vida Loca” by Ricky Martin. How could we not include this 1999 hit on the list?
7. “Waiting for Tonight” by Jennifer Lopez. Hands down the best song from her 1999 debut album On the 6, this dance-y, upbeat pop hit never gets old.
8. “A Puro Dolor” by Son by Four. This 2000 hit was the ultimate sappy breakup ballad.
9. “Hero” by Enrique Iglesias. “Would you cry if you saw me crying? Would you save my soul tonight?” Enrique, what does that even mean? Who knows? Who cares? You definitely had this crooning ballad on your MP3 player (or maybe your iPod — the song was released in September of 2001, a month ahead of the first iPod).
10. “Obsesión” by Aventura. This song was everywhere in 2002, and even though the undertones are actually kind of creepy (weon, she said she’s not interested!), it was the single that inspired a thousand remakes (Frankie J’s 2005 version isn’t half bad), and that bachata beat is still bae.
11. “Never Leave You (Uh Oh)” by Lumidee. One of the original divas of the early 2000s who everyone forgets. Who cares if she can’t really sing a note? This song was the best.
12. “Oye Mi Canto” by Nore feat. Nina Sky. There’s not much to say about this song, except that it was the jam in 2004. Let’s be real: It still is. Every time Nore says, “If you’re proud to be Latino, stand the fuck up!” you just have to do it.
13. “Gasolina” by Daddy Yankee. For a brief, shiny moment in 2004, reggaeton was actually cool in the continental U.S. Then it exploded in a fiery collision with mainstream radio and somehow when the dust settled, Pit Bull was the only one left standing. Relive the glory days with “Gasolina.” (Honorable mention goes to “Dale Don Dale” by Don Omar.)
14. “La Tortura” by Shakira feat. Alejandro Sanz. Slick, sexy, and of course, featuring Shakira’s now unforgettable belly-dancing moves, the video to this 2005 hit is probably Shakira’s most memorable moment.
–Courtesy of Cosmopolitan