I know from experience that reggaeton is one of those genres that people either love or hate. I myself have mixed feeling about reggaeton, but I admit than I'm fascinated by its cultural impact and worldwide reach. Like salsa before it, reggaeton quickly became the music of choice for a new young generation of young Latinos.
Over the past decade those hard-hitting syncopating beats have been steadily creeping up on us. From the streets to the radio and the night clubs, reggaeton is everywhere you look. And now -- finally -- there's a new book anthology examining the genre.
Conceived and edited by authors Raquel Z. Rivera, Deborah Pacini, and Wayne Marshall, the book Reggaeton is the first serious study directed at the social significance of the genre. Rivera (author of New York Ricans From The Hip-Hop Zone), Marshall (winner of a Da Capo Best Music Writing nod in 2006), and Pacini (author of Rokin' Las Americas) brought together scholars, artists, and journalists to investigate and write about all aspects of reggaeton.
The book has been getting good media review and interest from other music writers. Jeff Chang, author of the groundbreaking Can't Stop Won't Stop: A History of The Hip-Hop Generation, praised the anthology as an "exciting, exhaustive treatment of this vital culture."
My own contribution for this Anthology is titled, "You Got Reggaeton in My Hip-Hop: Crunkiao and 'Spanish Music' in The Miami Urban Scene." My intention was to expose to the world the many different layers that exist within Latin music, and what better place to write about than multicultural Miami?
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Other contributors to the book include Tego Calderon and Residente, Grammy-winning frontman of Calle 13.
My hope is that this anthology will prove a useful, interesting read to college students and those fascinated in the social-anthropological aspects of the Latin music scene. Hopefully this book will also help dispel some negative stereotypes and shed some light on the stimulating world of Latin music.
Bellow are some links to recent reviews:
- A review in The Wire magazine
- First academic review, in Transforming Cultures e-journal
- DJ/Rupture's radio show on WFMU
- El Nuevo Herald