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Christina Aguilera, Becky G and Nicki Nicole (feat. Nathy Peluso), 'Pa Mis Muchachas'

As we near the year's end, #NowPlaying recommends songs that slipped through the cracks, but remain in our headphones.

Is it wrong to say that I forgot Christina Aguilera was Latina? Even for those of us that pride ourselves on pop scholarship, Xtina's second album Mi Reflejo was an early-career blip, one widely eclipsed by the staying power of her self-titled debut. As this year found several pop stars returning to their sonic roots (looking at you Camila), Aguilera enlisted heavy-hitters for her own contribution: the Spanish language single "Pa Mis Muchachas." Aided by Becky G, Nicki Nicole and Nathy Peluso, the song is a smooth guaracha ode to the Latina. With a catchy chorus and her signature riffs, Aguilera's vocals work well alongside her team of collaborators.

Still, it's interesting how after years of releasing stadium-filling pop music, she's decided to return to her roots. It makes me wonder about the authenticity of her sudden pivot in aesthetics. Is it because Latin music is in right now? An untapped market to the mainstream pop girl machine? Or, alternatively, does she finally feel comfortable after two decades of hitmaking to return to the sound that has been with her since the start of her career, this time without fear of flopping?

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Reanna Cruz
Reanna Cruz is a news assistant for NPR Music's Alt.Latino.

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