Friday, July 31, 2009

Reggaeton Roundup on AfroPop Worldwide

AfroPop Worldwide just made available a streaming version of their recent program on reggaeton history titled Reggaeton Roundup. It will stay online only for a couple of months, so check it out before they take it off.

The show is a great trip down memory lane and I'm pleased to say it does not focus on the same old, same old!

The show opens up with one of my favorite urban music tracks ever "Ni fú ni fá" by Tego Calderón (which should have won that Grammy); goes through classic Jamaican dancehall tracks like "Bam Bam"; weaves together early 90s reggae en español, rap en español, merenrap and underground tracks by El General, Vico C, Lisa M, Three Gangstas, Gringo and Baby Rasta, Daddy Yankee and Ivy Queen; goes on great sidetracks like discussing Brazilian baile funk and its connections to Miami bass; and features dembow-less songs like La Sista's "Yemayá" and Calle 13's "La Jirafa" that still retain reggaeton's swaying hip-grinding effect; among many other welcome and unexpected musical highlights.

Omar García's interview, interspersed throughout the show, provides a great narrative thread by an artist who became an underground star at 14 years old (O.G.M. of underground fame) and is today an eclectic and insightful rapper/singersongwriter who draws from hip-hop, trip-hop, trova and rock, among other sources. The show also has Residente Calle 13 making some provocative statements (surprise, surprise).

Also, check field producer Marlon Bishop's narrative on reggaeton and his anecdotes from his trip to Puerto Rico while working on the show. It has great quotes from Dulce Coco, Tatá and Welmo that do not appear on the show.

Also, for folks in Puerto Rico (or not), the program will be airing on Radio Universidad WRTU on the program "Rumba Africana", on Sat Aug. 8 and Tues Aug. 11. If you're not in Puerto Rico, you can still listen to the show via internet.

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