Sunday, January 25, 2009

Hip-Hop vs. Reggaetón

Says Vico C. in The Chosen Few documentary:

Says Wayne who posted the excerpt on youtube:
"Vico C demonstrates the difference between hip-hop and reggaeton via beatbox :: this is an excerpt from the _Chosen Few_ documentary, which I highly recommend :: I claim fair use for these 14 seconds -- it serves as an example in an article about reggaeton (in _Reggaeton_ [Duke University Press, 2009]) and is included on a page of musical examples here:"

Says I:
Check out Wayne's musical examples page. It gives some audio input into the comments generated by my previous blogpost. And, actually, so does his now classic 05 blog post "we use so many snares" included in the 2006 version of Da Capo Best Music Writing series.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Sunez on reggaeton

Sunez, Editor in Chief of Lavoe Revolt and whose writings I've followed since the early 90s, takes on reggaeton in a September 2008 blogpost that I only recently saw. It's titled "THE REAL MUSIC: Time to Disassociate and Associate PART 1".

Here are some of it's most incendiary highlights:

"Thus, Reggaeton, is a label of wretched waste a particular ethnicity can now call their own. And only their own."

"It is not merely enough to say it is a degradation of the morality and ethics of a people. This would be using the Stanley Crouch-like veils of pompous morality to blame a music for the realities of an impoverished people. Yet, it is clear that Reggaeton is a sellout subgenre and its artists don’t reflect their reality realistically and/or seek to express themselves originally and cleverly."

"Ultimately, Reggaeton lyrically only has one aspect: the desires of a colonized youth who mildly taste the defecated splendor of Americana in their colony and are visually awash with the spicy lure of its grander stardom pitches toward them daily."

"Essentially, if these lyrics rep the Boricua hoods in Borinquen, niggas is weak hoping for wicked."

"[...]the game is to be sold and never to be bold. A colonized slave people think up garbage all by themselves. That’s the point."

"Clearly put, [Tego Calderon] is an average MC (If he grew up in Brooklyn, he’d have no chance) who deliberately makes some sellout tracks to hustle his catalogue."

As I wrote in the Comments section of the blog: I agree with much in Sunez's article, disagree with some of it and I'm inspired by all of it.

The only one thing that truly scandalized me was his description of Tego as average. Tego?! Average?!

I won't argue with Sunez's statement that Tego "deliberately makes some sellout tracks to hustle his catalogue." (Granted, I'm not one to use the word "sellout" but I know what Sunez means.) But Tego's wordplay, his subtleties, the echoes of Ismael Rivera in his wordchoice and flow, his (granted, contradictory) politics... Nothing but average? Nah. Average might be Daddy Yankee, Don Omar and Ivy Queen.

As always, much respect and cariño to Sunez.