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This Puerto Rican Rapper is So Confident in His Skills, He Doesn’t Need a Stage Name

Daddy Yankee, Don Omar and Wisin & Yandel dominated the Puerto Rican music scene for years and made reggaetón mainstream. But Boricua rapper Álvaro Díaz is breaking away from the dem bow flow to forge a rap career with a progressive sound.

By all appearances, his risk looks to be paying off. Here’s why:

He’s Somewhere in Between Daddy Yankee and Vico C

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Reggaetón hasn’t evolved much over the last decade, opening a window for artists like Díaz to break new ground. While he’s not afraid to show his roots, Diaz’s sound borrows more from the rap flows of Vico C than the dem bow of early Daddy Yankee.

He’s Gettin’ Love From All the Right Places

Credit: Noisey / YouTube

These days, having your music video premiere on Noisey is the late ’90s equivalent of getting picked up by MTV. Landing a little attention from one of the fountains of modern counter-culture never hurts.

Diaz Creates a Sound Many in the Game Can’t Pull Off

Credit: yoAlvaroDiaz / YouTube

Diaz bounces from rap to reggaetón and then to progressive urban beats. Go back and listen to hazy, blunted-out sound of “Mañana.” Who else is riding beats like that?

His Live Band is Bananas

#?# SOUNDCHECK.

A video posted by Álvaro Díaz (@alvaritodiaz) on

Yeah, that’s “Mañana” with live drums and guitars. ???

He’s Not Your Average Cocky Rapper

Credit: HypeCityMX / YouTube

Watch just a few minutes of this interview and it’s clear Díaz sets himself apart by maintaining a humble public persona. It’s a welcome alternative to the machismo other hip-hop hopefuls lean on so heavily to make it big.

He Was One of the Standout Latino MCs at SXSW 2015

There’s so much music at SXSW that many acts get lost in the shuffle. But Diaz proved he’s got the chops by turning heads at a SXSW showcase and getting named Best Latin MC at SXSW 2015 by Pulso Beat.

READ: Ibeyi: Afro-Cuban Electro via Paris

He’s Got a Clear Artistic Vision

Credit: yoAlvaroDiaz / YouTube

Whether or not he’s trying to resurrect the kung fu-meets-the-hood style popularized by Wu-Tang, this trailer for Diaz’s Hato Rey mixtape shows that he’s crafting an aesthetic, not just creating music.

He Shows Love to Fellow Latino Artists

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Photo Credit: Álvaro Díaz / Facebook

The rap game can be so cutthroat that some choose not to show love for their peers. Whether its a collab or a photo op, Díaz always seems to show love to the talented Latinos he shares the spotlight with.

He’s Got Big Dreams

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Photo Credit: Álvaro Díaz / Facebook

It’s hard not to root for someone with healthy ambition, and Díaz has plenty of it if he counts Madison Square Garden as one of the venues he hopes to headline.

He Calls Himself the “People’s Champion”and Lives By It

GRACIAS. #SanturceEsLey ? x @cesarberrios13

A photo posted by Álvaro Díaz (@alvaritodiaz) on

You can’t be the people’s champ if you don’t have the support of the people. The love that Diaz shows his fans is plenty evidence of that he knows what’s up.

He Puts in Work… and Then Keeps Putting in More Work

When the recording studio is your second home, it’s hard not to think a breakout is inevitable — because there’s no substitute for the grind.

#mituFIT: 5 Ways to Lose the Pooch

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#mituFIT: 5 Ways to Lose the Pooch

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Want to get rid of belly fat from the comfort of your home?  Our #mituFIT health expert, Rawvana shows you how to target the right muscles for a tighter waist and abs with these five easy-to-do exercises. Repeat this series 3x at least 3 days a week. Ready, set, bikini time!

Basic Squat

Lose belly fat

Squats are one of the most effective exercises to strengthen your core and booty and get you ready to sport your favorite short shorts. Start with your feet shoulder-width apart and face forward. Extend your arms out and squat as if to sit on an imaginary chair. Arch your lower back and squat until your thighs are parallel to the floor. 15 reps.

Ankle Reach Crunch

Lose belly fat

Since the 90s crop top made a huge resurgence as a fashion staple, it’s time to target those upper abs. Lie on your back and extend your legs up, allow for a slight bend in your knees, extend your hands up and slowly reach up to the ceiling. 10 reps.

Kneeling Push-Ups

Lose belly fat

The push-up, while it targets chest and arms, is an excellent way to build strength for more advanced workouts. Start on your knees, maintain a straight back and place both hands on the floor shoulder-width apart. Slowly lower your chest to the floor, keeping your pelvis straight and abdominals tight, and push up to the starting position. 15 reps.

Extended Crunches

Lose belly fat

For a total core workout, lie on your back with your arms stretched behind your head. Flex your hips and curl your abs to lift your torso. Reach for your toes and alternate from side to side. This targets your abs and oblique muscles. 12 reps.

Spiderman Plank

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Begin with the push-up position. Keep your hips low and bring your right knee up toward your left shoulder. Switch legs and repeat. 5 reps on each leg.

Follow #mituFIT on Twitter and Instagram.

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