More than boom-ch-boom-chick

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Relishing the rich and varied canon of Latin music, I could not believe my bad luck when I moved to New York in 2004 and all you could hear blasting from cars, delis and bars was Daddy Yankee’s “Gasolina.” Not only was it the dance-du-jour, ready to spread like fire throughout the continent, but somehow this phenomena made the question of Latino identity in this country even more complicated.

Now that the waters have settled —Daddy Yankee showed his true colors by endorsing John McCain for President, artists like Calle 13  pushing the genre in new directions— Reggaetón has come of age by receiving the academic treatment. Reggaetón (Duke University Press, 2009), a collection of essays and in-depth interviews, gives the first great blast of Latino music in the XXI century a much needed perspective.

Essays like co-editor Wayne Marshall‘s “From Música Negra to Reggaeton Latino” show the complex and transnational evolution of the genre. His musicological analysis of —yes— “Gasolina” even made me listen to that awful song with an attention I didn’t think possible. Other texts included in the volume, such as an interview with Panamaniam reggaetón forefather El General —police officers cutting his dreadlocks, public buses serving as moving clubs— bring the music back to where it belongs: the heart.

At NY1 Noticias, I had the opportunity to interview one of the co-editors of the project, Hunter College researcher and musician Raquel Z. Rivera.

Watch the interview.

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One thought on “More than boom-ch-boom-chick

  1. jose manuel:
    con motivo de una proxima visita a la gran manzana, me detuve en el articulo de hoy del diario el mercurio “jovenes chilenos que han conquistado nueva york” y al percatarme que habias salido de la escuela de derecho de la chile (actualmente curso 4ºaño en dicha facultad), segui el link de tu blog y bueno, fue muy grata la sorpresa ya que esta buenismo,felicitaciones. sobre todo los comentarios de musica.
    a proposito, en una parte de la entrevista dicen que “el reggaeton es producto de la sociedad machista”, yo creo que lo relevante es que el reggaeton mas que ser “un producto de” es una plataforma de construccion de un modelo de sociedad (machista) y la pregunta obvia es el por que las mujeres no dicen nada y mas aun cantan a coro “que se van a subir la falda hasta la espalda” y todas esas cosas.
    aquellas que quemaron sus sostenes por los derechos de la mujer se deben estar revolcando en sus tumbas.
    veo con frustracion y pena que los veinteañeros de hoy seremos “la generacion del reggaeton” y por mas que uno haga actos terroristas musicales, como cambiar sin que nadie se percate, la musica en los cumpleaños,etc… la lucha esta un poco perdida.
    una vez mas felicitaciones por la pagina, se despide:
    gustavo acuña marchant
    alumno de la escuela de derecho de la u de chile

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