Latin music superstars have consistently had a strong presence throughout the Fast and Furious franchise, whether musically or on the screen. This week, both Puerto Rican star Ozuna and Dominican-American rapper Cardi B have been announced as part of the upcoming Fast & Furious 9, slated for a 2020 release. Don Omar, who’s been part of the family for 10 years, is also in the flick.
“As you know, we have often found great talent in the music industry to cross over into film," Diesel announced on Instagram. "They are expected to leave all the accolades at the door to embrace the character with integrity… and that is exactly what Ozuna has done. Very proud of your work and role in Fast 9! Pa Mi Gente! All Love, Always.”
Billboard can confirm that United Talent Agency, who recently signed with Ozuna, brokered the deal on his behalf. The singer is also in talks to join the film’s soundtrack.
Shortly after, Diesel also announced Cardi B is joining the cast by posting a clip from their final day shooting for Fast 9 in the United Kingdom. "I'm tired, but I can't wait. I ain't gonna front, I think this is going to be the best one," Bardi declared.
Reggaetóneros like Don Omar and Tego Calderón were part of Fast & Furious in 2009 and Fast Five in 2011, where they played two prison bandits who join Dominic Toretto's (Vin Diesel) squad. The pair even got their own short film titled Los Bandoleros, which served as a bridge between the fourth and fifth installations. Don Omar's "Danza Kuduro" was also featured on the Fast Five soundtrack.
The bachata chart-topping singer Romeo Santos had a cameo as Armando in Furious 7 (2015). His character, who pretty much runs the Dominican Republic, is a good friend of Dom's in the movie. "It’s ‘I got your back. Anything you need. I’m here for you,’ and vice versa. I can relate to that; that’s what I would do for friends on a personal level," Santos toldBillboard in a previous interview about his role.
In The Fate of the Furious (2017), Tego and Don reprise their roles from the previous films as Tego Leo and Rico Santos, former members of Dom's team from the Dominican Republic and Rio de Janeiro, respectively.
Furthermore, the franchise continues to cater to its loyal Hispanic audience.
In 2009, Universal Pictures president of film music Kathy Nelson told Billboard’s Leila Cobo: “It’s not a Latin-themed movie. It’s car racing and drugs. That could be anything. But we wanted the soundtrack album to be Latin.” Adding that the focus on reggaeton is a reflection of the onscreen action. “There are no spots for ballads in the movie. We needed high-energy music.”
From the Fate of the Furious soundtrack, including J Balvin and Pitbull's "Hey Ma" featuring Camila Cabello to Prince Royce's "My Angel," check out other Latin acts who have been part of the monster franchise.
J Balvin & Pitbull, "Hey Ma" feat. Camila Cabello (The Fate of the Furious)
Prince Royce, "My Angel" (Furious 7)
Pitbull, "Blanco" feat. Pharrell (Fast and the Furious 4)
Tego Calderón & Don Omar, "Bandoleros" (Fast & Furious)