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And where does reggaeton fit in to all this?
Old 11th August 2005
  #1
Gear Head
 

And where does reggaeton fit in to all this?

Just wanted to get a thread started on reggaeton - where I'm at in Chicago, you wouldn't even know that reular ol' hip hop even existed...For each of the past several years reggaeton has broadened its audience to the point where literally every 20 seconds a car rolls through my block on some "boom, tchik, boom, tchik, boom tchi tchik, boom tchik..." lol
I never woulda thought that what we used to call Spanish reggae would evolve into this huge commercial phenomenum, with even shakira of al f*uckin' people putting out reggaeton remixes...
Like, I always liked it, but never really got into it... It was some sh*t that kids from the island (Puerto Rico) would be into, and they would bring all kinds of homemade ass tapes back with all these cats wrecking sh*t with a vicious tongue twisting flow that would leave me stunned... But I was always into US, primarily East coast hip hop, and I remember that alotta cats thought spanish reggae was kinda corny...
At b-boy type events, you'd get mocked for spitting in spanish at all - even latino kids were like "Yo, that sh*t's wack - everything already rhymes in spanish..."
Then all of a sudden it crept up on me a few years ago that something called reggaeton had become really popular with all these young boricua kids... It had differentiated itself from both standard dancehall and "hiphop" style rap, production wise, and vocally...
Before the content was on some violent, ghetto type ish, in keeping with its roots in dancehall - now it's gotten all sing-songey and mushy...
And then there's all these arpeggiated synths they're using, which I'm not a terribly big fan of... The use of congas alongside the main drum feel is also now ubiquitous... and while some cats (notably Tego Calderon) have reinforced it with percussion evocative of traditional Puerto Rican Bomba, mostly they're using something that sounds like what the conga normally plays in salon style merengue, which I thought was rather odd when I first noticed it...
I think this post might be rambling alittle, so I'll try to reign it in... I think I wanted to start a thread on reggaeton to see what happens, and share what I've observed about it... It seems like much of what is written and discussed about it in the media is by people who've just been caught up in this huge wave of popularity recently, and are unable to place it in its proper historical and artistic perspective... Not that I expect many cats on here to know much about it but, lol, you must learn! Cuz this sh*t's definitely going to change the face of popular music not just in Latin America, but all over the world...
Like, it's gone from being kids in Panama and Puerto Rico flipping Jamaican dancehall joints in Spanish.... to a point where it was considered so foul and dangerous that the Puerto Rican congress debated completely banning it from the airwaves... then, it starts catching on with non-caribbean people - I bugged when I first started seeing mexican kids bumping it - which really gave me kind of a rude awakening when I was in a trendy club in the West Loop 2 months ago, with a 90% African American audience, and the DJ kept reggaeton on the tables like lil Jon was never born... lol
Be interested to hear what ya'll got to say....


Chicago Rocks till the world blow....
Old 11th August 2005
  #2
Gear Nut
 

reggaeton is HUGE--and has been for a while-- here in NYC. it's definitely got it's own aesthetic, separate from that of dancehall or hiphop or other Latin genres. Aside from the lyrics, you're talking about something where EVERY song uses the same exact beat at nearly the same tempo. They've taken the concept of "riddim" to a whole new level; you've got an entire genre based on the bambam riddim.

to my ears, the differentiation comes from the subtle differences in instrumentation; there's snares all over the place in reggaeton, and while the pattern doesn't change up, the snare sounds certainly do, practically every 4 bars. "Gasolina" is a great display of that. If anything, the most aggressive drum sounds this side of big-room UK drum n' bass live in reggaeton; drumsounds that'll slice your head off! Can you get away w/ sharp, distorted kicks in hiphop these days?

There's also the melodic consistencies.. some sort of guitar/plucked string element. I read an article recently where it stated that practically every reggaeton producer uses the "pluck" instrument in fruity loops for the arpeggios.

I dunno; i find it entertaining, for sure. As a DJ, people seem to dig a lil' reggaeton thrown into the night but aren't sure how to get down w/ it; I mean, not everyone's comfortable throwing down doggystyle, which is pretty much THE way to dance to it.
Old 11th August 2005
  #3
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in response to the title of the thread


hopefully in the waste bin....
Old 11th August 2005
  #4
Gear Head
 

Quote:
in response to the title of the thread


hopefully in the waste bin....
You know, there's alot I don't like, and with much of it, I'm inclined to agree...
But any genre that includes Tego is worth it just for him... I mean, just ridiculous...
I ain't never heard nobody like him...
Old 11th August 2005
  #5
Gear Head
 

Quote:
you've got an entire genre based on the bambam riddim.
lol... I've heard yardie jamaican kids call it "polka reggae"...
Old 11th August 2005
  #6
Gear Guru
 
rickrock305's Avatar
 

down here in Miami, its ridiculous of course. I personally can't stand the stuff, but females love it. And of course, whatever the females are doing, the dudes are sure to follow!

If i'm gonna listen to some **** like that, gimme some real reggae. Something with a groove and soul, not the same exact beat at the same tempo all the time.
Old 11th August 2005
  #7
Gear Maniac
 
bradb's Avatar
 

Whereas one of hip-hop's great innovations is the myriad of aggressive, quirky, slick etc etc beats that can define a mood without a traditional melody instrument over it, it seems (IMHO) like reggeton is a step backwards musically. The SAME beat, OVER and OVER... I can't imagine the albums... song after song with the same beat, its like a nightmare!

I live in a puerto rican neighborhood and its blasting out of every car and intrudes thru my closed apt. windows. please save me... or at least kill me...

ALL that said... the reggeton beat itself is somehow very catchy, just tapping it out with your fingers just feels... good!
Old 11th August 2005
  #8
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I'm not gonna lie if the Mami's are feeling it in a club I'm feeling it too....but for listening pleasure
Old 11th August 2005
  #9
Here for the gear
 

All I dare say is what are you trying to accomplish by bringing up reggaeton?

Are you trying to validate it's current existence within american pop-music alongside hip-hop? I mean this is a gear/technique forum, wtf is the point of this thread?
Old 11th August 2005
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oneleven
which really gave me kind of a rude awakening when I was in a trendy club in the West Loop 2 months ago, with a 90% African American audience, and the DJ kept reggaeton on the tables like lil Jon was never born... lol
Be interested to hear what ya'll got to say....
I don't know how much weight to put into that at this point. I remember when dancehall was the big thing with hip-hop folks (like: Shabba, Cutty Ranks, Bobby Konders all over the place) to the extent that you were seeing whole sets & nights of dancehall for audiences raised on hip-hop. Then it fizzled out (still a little presence--just like before the boom--but nothing like it was during the boom). To a lesser extent, with the afrocentric movement, African continental music had its moment too, but I suspect you'd clear a floor today if you tried to drop any soukous.

Peece,
T. Tauri
Old 11th August 2005
  #11
not really feelin it either.. i dont mind it tho. all about how u dance to it with the girls.. they dont call it perreo for nothing!
Old 11th August 2005
  #12
Gear Head
 

Quote:
All I dare say is what are you trying to accomplish by bringing up reggaeton?

Are you trying to validate it's current existence within american pop-music alongside hip-hop? I mean this is a gear/technique forum, wtf is the point of this thread?
Actually guy, even though my first post was rather general and vague, I think I did bring up some points related to production...

If you're so concerned about me wasting time or space or whatever with this thread, why don't you go hate on one of the threads about Mobb Deep, or Liquid Swords, etc...

I basically just wanted to start a thread about reggaeton, and see what people did with it...

Though I think a larger point might be surfacing here - I mean as rather marginalized as hiphop/ "urban" music is on this site, you might as well assume that the Earth stopped just south of Key West when searching around on here... lol

I mean, it already seems to me that the overall sentiment here to reggaeton fluctuates somewhere between derision and outright hostility - just maybe it's because alotta ya'll don't understand hardly a word said in all them tracks that come blaring through all ya'll's windows this summer, hmmm? Just an assumption...
You know, there's actually more than a negligent amount of real content in alotta them tracks - reggaeton has sparked debate and uproar in Puerto Rican society over question of race, class, and alienation in very public ways, and with the same unforgiving swagger , youthful contempt for ossified social structures and strictures, and ghetto pride that hip hop has at its best... It's not just all "Pa que lo bailen, Pa que lo gocen..."
Please hip hoppers, especially, don't be so quick to dismiss reggaeton in the same cavalier manner that all them rock heads and old jazz cats tend to do with us...

As for repetetive rythm, it's not like people don't rock whole albums or whole record collections of blues, son, merengue, cumbia, zouk, banda, Compas, and all sorts of genres that are based on specific rythmic signatures and tempos...
I mean, listen to "The Infamous" or "Dah Shinin'" or whatever classic grimy hip hop record - it's not like the tempo or backbeat really varies all that much right?

I of course don't entertain the idea that reggaeton's current crossover appeal will necessarily leave any kind of especially profound or lasting impact on the general club scene or musical psyche of the American mainstream... I mean, all pop fads are of course destined to fade... When I say that it's here to stay, I mean that kids in Santiago de Cuba, and Cartagena, and Maracaibo, in Samana and Colon, in the caserios of Puerto Rico, and the urban barrios of the U.S. have created and are just really beginning to develop what is, arguably, the most vibrant and influential music of the Spanish Caribbean since salsa exploded from the slums of New York 4 decades ago... And the Spanish Carribean has, after all, been powerfully and indelibly influencing popular music around the world for centuries... (I mean, without the mambo craze in the '50's, rock heads wouldn't have precious classics like "Louie, Louie" or "Wildthing" to do raucous, drunken renditions of...)
lol - So, if anyone find themselves annoyed at this thread, forgive me for thinking that at least some people on here might actually give a f*ck...

Now, I'm hoping people might actually have something more substantial to say about reggaeton - you know, gear wise, technique wise... Just basic auditory impressions wise...
Old 11th August 2005
  #13
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Stoneface's Avatar
 

I got to be honest....I aint never heard of no Reggaeton till it got mention on this website.
Old 11th August 2005
  #14
Gear Head
 

Also, as regards the BamBam riddim, it has partly to do with the era of dancehall that cats in Panama and Puerto Rico first started catching the reggae bug... And as reggaeton differentiated itself from jamaican dancehall, that specific riddim was identified with reggae in general in the minds of young latino heads... Not that kids in PR don't do roots reggae also - it just always remained marginal compared to the dancehall sound...
The other reason being that the BamBam feel resonates strongly with Puerto Rican cultural memories... It's essentially an electronic variant of the foundational rhythm of the Afro Puerto Rican Plena, the term even having become associated with the BamBam feel by young reggaeton heads... It's also similar to the feel of a number of traditional bomba ( geographically differentiated but closely related profoundly african percussive, song, and dance forms that are widely respected as forming the historic backbone of Boricua music and culture generally) genres from different parts of the island...
Interestingly, and not at all coincidently, the two reggaeton artists that are arguably the most popular, both in PR and worldwide, right now - Daddy Yankee and Tego Calderon - both have roots in Loiza, a very heavily black municipality that is the symbol of the most purely african traditions in Puerto Rico, and their families have been very important in bomba for decades... Daddy Yankee's father having been an Ayala is rather like Nas being the child of Olu Dara...
They also both grew up in Santurce, a ghetto proletarian suburb of San Juan that has historically been very important musically - it was the barrio of Cortijo y su Combo, the first all black band to play live on Puerto Rican television back in the '50's, who were primarily responsible for taking bomba y plena and putting them in the international stage of early salsa...
Now, Daddy Yankee and Tego have obviously done very different things with that heritage, but...
I just wanted to let ya'll know what te deal was with that there BamBam riddim...
Old 11th August 2005
  #15
Gear Head
 

'gasolina' was pretty big here in the uk (in the top ten chart i think)- but its the only track i've heard

it reminded of the whole speed gar(b)age explosion that happened here in the UK which has now transformed into 'grime' music - a lot of youthful energy/anger which is exhilerating but not enough musical ideas/talent to really make any large impact

there seems to be a lot of this type of music around these days - kind of like an electronic punk using basic software like fruity loops (i read above), reggaeton is the pr version but you can bet that its happening all over the world

i think music that really makes an impact in a large sense like rock/hip-hop/jazz/reggae whatever has a little more 'depth' - it can go places that are a long way from its inception but still relate to what kicked the whole thing off. i cant here reggaeton or any of these other styles doing this

but if i was 17 and hispanic i'd probably love it
Old 12th August 2005
  #16
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Fajita's Avatar
haven't listened to much of it, aside from what I hear out of the car next to me, but I'm curious, is the structure of the songs the same as Rap? 16 bar sections?
Old 12th August 2005
  #17
Gear Head
 

Quote:
'gasolina' was pretty big here in the uk (in the top ten chart i think)- but its the only track i've heard
Quote:
i cant here reggaeton or any of these other styles doing this
I'm not saying that your point about the whole "electro punk" thing isn't interesting, but I don't think that your having heard Gasolina - a crossover track that in a lot of ways isn't really representative of the genre - can be a substantive enough of a base from which to categorize reggaeton and write off its importance...
Reggaeton isn't just the Puerto Rican version of some generic youth pop.... Its development has been tied to historical trends in Puerto Rico, and in the wider polyglot Caribbean...
This is something which, at least outside of the spanish-speaking Caribbean, is brand new, and has just exploded onto pop charts and radio stations around the world...
But, for years, this music has been the primary vehicle of expression for a whole generation of young people in Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Panama, etc...
To write it off based on, of all joints, Gasolina - being by far the biggest crossover hit the genre has produced - I mean... yo, lol...
What would someone say about rap's ability to convey depth and substance if all they heard was, say, one cut from Lil Jon?
Or even better, all those people that laughed off "Rapper's Delight" as some sort of novelty way back when? You know - fake ass crossover hit to get an audience involved who up until hearing it didn't even know that the genre existed?
Like it was an annoying fad that would work itself out sooner rather than later - and how many of those same self-appointed arbiters of musical validity had any f*cking clue about the whole little universe of hip hop that had been developing on the streets of New York for years?
Old 12th August 2005
  #18
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Barznbeats1's Avatar
 

I'm puerto rican and I don't really like it but if it makes money, that's all I'm concerned about. I guess seeing how nasty chicks get when it comes on gives it a point or too also
Old 12th August 2005
  #19
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Fajita's Avatar
so let's approach this from an enginnering/producing standpoint. Stacked kick/snare 16 bar groups for lyrics/hook. anyone mix it using the drum sub/compress it to hell/blend with raw drum track technique.

Double track the vocal or use chorus? how many chicks in the booth, in the control room (pics please).


Old 12th August 2005
  #20
Gear Head
 

I've always thought that cats were layering toms on their kicks in reggaeton... Likem they tend to have kind of a ringing tone along with the thud and heavy low end...
Old 12th August 2005
  #21
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rickrock305's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Barznbeats1
but if it makes money, that's all I'm concerned about.

good luck with that, ass clown
Old 12th August 2005
  #22
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Barznbeats1's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rickrock305
good luck with that, ass clown
U must not make any money, that's cool though, I'll send the starving reaggeaton artists you way so you can make a couple of bucks
Old 12th August 2005
  #23
Gear Guru
 
rickrock305's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Barznbeats1
U must not make any money, that's cool though, I'll send the starving reaggeaton artists you way so you can make a couple of bucks


nah, actually i do just fine. Don't act like you know when you have no idea, it makes you look even dumber. You can keep your reggaeton "artists", I'll be fine working with Pharrell and Storch.
Old 12th August 2005
  #24
Gear Head
 

oneleven.... yeah its a fair point that hearing one track hardly constitutes a wealth of knowledge! and your point about rappers delight is interesting too. but i stand by my point about there being a link between all these types of music - if you stand as close as you do to the source it may not appear that way to you tho.

anyhows cool thread
Old 12th August 2005
  #25
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Barznbeats1's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rickrock305
nah, actually i do just fine. Don't act like you know when you have no idea, it makes you look even dumber. You can keep your reggaeton "artists", I'll be fine working with Pharrell and Storch.
Pardon my back lil man.
Old 12th August 2005
  #26
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Fajita's Avatar
Less Hate More Tech

let's keep on track.

I noticed some "cheesy" snares. Real Lo-Fi stuff on some tracks. (been doing research by listening to the local Reggeton station) and that pluck thing is definately the cliche' sound common to all, besides the beat.

Who are the looney tunes?
Old 13th August 2005
  #27
Gear Nut
 

"Luny Tunes" are the big reggaeton producers of the moment. they did gasolina... i think they maybe did "oye mi canto" as well?

Reggaeton/Grime/Funk Cariaoca (Baile funk) in Brazil are all tied together w/ what's been called the "electro-punk" thing here on GS... Thinking about these styles in a very, very flattering light, you could almost say this is the new "folk" music of the world-- homegrown, w/ little need for virtuosity. If you've got a mic + fruityloops or an MPC-- which is where most of this all starts, anyway-- you can make music. They took the whole DIY aesthetic of early hip-hop and ran with it.

As far as artists go... I dunno. MIA's record is interesting in that she basically mined the ghetto's of east london, rio, and PR, used tons of distortion, and came up with a solid artistic statement. I think, production-wise, Luny Tunes and Mega from rolldeep in the UK are doing some interesting things w/ mid-tempo dance music. And DJ Marlboro in Brazil; baile funk is the lowest of lowest common denominators (only have the ringtone of the song you want to sample, but not the actual song? Just use the ringtone, it's ok) but his 2minute songs can rock a party like no one's business.

I say, give it another few years and every continent is gonna have its take on these 3-- post- hiphop dance music from the 'hood, w/ rough lyrics. International hiphop had its moment, but i would not be surprised if the growth of reggaeton/grime/baile sets the wheels rolling for a whole new slew of stuff like this.
Old 13th August 2005
  #28
i like some reggaeton, like baile funk more and grime most. its dance music first and foremost. strong rhythms and provocative vocals but i like melody and harmony in my music.. they are all lacking in that dept
Old 13th August 2005
  #29
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Funny this gets a mention. Some big name producer cat from Puerto Rico called up studios here in austin and decided to go with us and flew up here to produce this guy who lives here. The U87 and 737 got some use for once. I watched them work for a bit and the guy definately knew what he was doing and he was obiously talented even though I felt very disconnected from what they were doing.

As was said earlier, I've heard similar things about Tejano - The guys don't like it but the girls dance to it so the guys go where the girls are.
Old 25th August 2006
  #30
Gear Maniac
 
mars's Avatar
Reggaeton is a straight-up Soca beat frim Trinidad. First the Jamaicans "borrowed" it for dancehall, now PR's grabbed it. Interesting how they locked it into one riddim/tempo tho. Trinis can never stick to one thing for very long and are always changing things up. Soca gets faster and faster every year - up to about 170 now from 110/20 in the 80's. Funny thing is most kids in Trinidad call that beat a "dancehall beat", and are now trying to mix Reggaeton with Soca! Maybe that'll slow things down.

Still, I never thought I'd see the day when offbeat, syncopated snare would top the US charts.
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