Sunday, July 26, 2009

Is it still reggaeton?

According to mun2's 18 and over countdown host Guadalupe, "reggaeton" has taken over their show. (At least the episode I was watching yesterday, Saturday July 25th.)

Don Omar, Franco El Gorila, RKM & Ken-Y, Tito El Bambino, Alexis & Fido and Wisín & Yandel were the artists on the countdown that Guadalupe mentioned to prove his point. Interesting: none of those artists' songs on the countdown feature the dembow rhythm that originally gave the genre its name. But Guadalupe still called the genre they make "reggaeton." And as further proof that "reggaeton" just keeps getting bigger, he mentioned how the Merriam-Webster dictionary just added an entry for "reggaeton."

So, if people insist on calling it reggaeton, is it still reggaeton?


Marisol LeBron said...

My short answer: yep.

I think we're going to start to hear a glut of conversations about what does and does not constitute reggaeton -- similar to the conversations that happened (and continue to happen) around the rise of Southern Rap and so-called "ring-tone rap" -- ala "soulja boy single-handedly killed hip-hop."

These conversations tend to repeat themselves as genres become more commercially successful and expand into wider markets. I think that's why we're starting to see the whole "regreso al underground" thing take off as a response to this broader understanding of what constitutes reggaeton.

Listen to Naldo's new album, Lagrimas de Sangre, barely a dembow riddim to be heard. Naldo still considers what he does reggaeton, but as he says it's "reggaeton with the intensity of rock."

Reggaeton is definitely living on the hyphen.

Either way, I have a feeling we're all going to be talking about "musica urbana" rather than reggaeton pretty soon.

Marlonious said...

From my interview with Residente -

"Is reggaeton dying? The beat, yeah, its dying, but the concept will live forever"

And also the gem:

"They are saying the same thing, they are dancing the same way, just their clothes are more... 'Back to the future.' Everybody wants to be from space, welcome to space - what the fuck?"

raquelzrivera said...

We can always count on Residente to say something amusing and often insightful! You must have had a blast in that interview.