Uno Dos


That Karate Kid child star Jaden Smith would be creating soothing, Latin inspired hip-hop with former Disney Channel actor Mateo Arias (¿Téo?), is something that I could have never predicted. Still, since first hearing it, I have barely gone a day without listening to their collaborative song “Uno Dos.”

The song is refreshing in its mellowness; contrary to much rap and hip-hop that has come out in the past year, the bass is present but not booming. Because of its Latin influences, the beat is accented differently than many American pop and hip hop songs, however about two-thirds through the song – when the rap starts – a more standard hip hop beat is introduced.

This rhythmic contrast makes for a surprise; the rap is so unexpected that my jaw actually dropped when I first heard it. In fact, it seems as if the whole song is really just a build up to the rap.

¿Téo?’s voice is warm and smooth when it needs to be, yet low and rough when he growls “Ay que rabia, oh I need time alone.” After ¿Téo?’s verse, Smith has his cameo –for only about 30 seconds– and delivers a verse sprinkled with a bit of Spanish and some references that frankly go over my head a bit. The mellow vibes are complemented by the fact that Smith’s style is extremely laid back – he almost sounds bored – but it works.

So, even if you are a music snob who wouldn’t think to listen to a song written by the guy who played Jerry on Kickin’ It who is also the brother of Moises Arias (a.k.a. Rico from Hannah Montana) I can guarantee that giving up a bit of pride on this one is well worth it.