Spiff TV spent the final 24 hours before the 2018 GRAMMY Awards focused on the next project that may very well earn him a nomination one day, yet he still managed to get sidetracked by augmented reality. On a grey, chilly afternoon in New York City, the filmmaker, A&R, and producer teamed up with Samsung to host an intimate get-together at The Warehouse in Tribeca. After using Samsung smartphones to unlock the door, guests were greeted by a mixtures of tunes from Latin trap to hip-hop, and of course scattered Galaxy tablets.
Eventually, Spiff made his grand entrance to the technologically advanced function along with the event’s moderator, Nick Huff-Barili, to host a Q&A about his forthcoming album The Union. In the final moments of their conversation, the “Unforgettable” director gave us a preview his next Afro-Latino single off the album "Thinkin," which features Future and the Latin world’s reigning trap gods Bad Bunny and Anuel AA.
“Anuel has always been signed to me but [Rick] Ross always had my back,” Spiff told VIBE Viva. “That was like 3-4 years ago when no one believed in the kid. Now he’s getting $100,00 show offers. He’ll be out hopefully next month. He’s going to hit the streets and then it’ll be game over. He’s the real Latin trap god."
The Freebandz chief sounds off with rugged bars that blend in well between both Puerto Rican rappers’ speedy flow and merciless verses. Although Future and Bad Bunny have churned out plenty of features within the last few months, it’s refreshing to hear a new verse from Anuel, who has spent the past 30 months in jail. “Thinkin” is also the Atlanta native’s second Spanglish collaboration with prominent reggaetoneros.
“If you think about it, before that trap really hit, we dropped “Mi Combo” in 2015,” Spiff told VIBE Viva after the Q&A. “I put Future on his first record with a Latin artist. I was the first to do that. Now everyone is accepting the Latin Trap movement and Spanish Hip-Hop.”
The Union’s purpose isn’t difficult to comprehend which makes it even easier to embrace. Spiff’s debut LP is expected to be a monumental compilation featuring music from the best of the best in Hip-Hop and the Latin Trap wave. Since releasing “Mi Combo” with Yandel and Future back in 2015, the Dominican & Puerto Rican beatmaker has been in the lab putting the final touches on the album while fueling the hype with his most recent single “Just The Way I Am” with Prince Royce and Chris Brown, and of course, more music videos.
While we were in the back room behind the DJ Booth, Spiff handed me a Samsung Virtual Reality headset. As soon as I put it on, I teleported into a comic book filled with brain-eating zombies. As if that wasn’t enough, Spiff put VIBE on to Samsung’s augmented reality app that literally brings comic books to life on any of their devices. That’s when he revealed his plans for his next music video.
“I’m doing something crazy with the [“Thinkin”] video too,” Spiff said. “My guys do anime like straight out of Japan. We’re going to link up and do something crazy. It’s going to be official. I haven’t seen anyone really do a music video as a cartoon with real anime. Even in the Spanish world, I’ll be the first one to do it.”
Spiff has possessed the drive to be a force to reckon with in the music industry since he started his journey by carrying crates for DJ Nasty of We The Best in Orlando, FL over a decade ago. Once Nasty put him on, Spiff started shadowing him and his right-hand man DJ Khaled to learn the ins and outs of the studio and the music industry as a whole. At one point, becoming a DJ was an option for young Spiff, but in the end, he decided to be inspired by the Snapchat king’s ambition instead of following directly in his footsteps.
“Khaled was a big inspiration for this album. When I worked with him, I watched him put the records together for his first album. That’s what really inspired me to do my idea like that.”
Over ten years later, Khaled continues to influence Spiff’s career, and show love as always. Towards the end of 2017, Spiff confirmed to Billboard that Khaled is expected to appear on The Union alongside Arcángel and T.I. in their song “Wells Fargo.” There’s no confirmation on the release date for The Union or the other artists who may appear on the album. However, his buddy Drake may be an option.
Recently, Bad Bunny and El Draque were spotted on social media cooking up in the studio together. Spiff says he played no role in that collaboration, but he didn’t rule out the possibility of a Drake feature on the album, which is set to debut via Sony Music Latin.
“You never know,” Spiff replied. “Verses come in all the time. I’m just working man. I’m focused.”