Few reggaeton artists possess the suave flow required to believably move from spraying gasolina to romancing the masses.
But Tony Dize doesn't consider himself a mere reggaetonero. He's "the melody of the streets," a ponytailed Don Juan who harmonizes, rap-sings, and straddles the line between lusty romance and nasty raunchiness like he's the Puerto Rican LL Cool J. He's smooth enough to inspire sweaty sheets. But he's also rugged enough to bash out straight-up street bangers.
Inevitably, though, commercial success in the reggaeton world means ass-shaking tracks, which explains why Tony's first album, the somber and heartbroken La Melodía de la Calle, released via Wisin y Yandel's WY label in 2008, didn't produce any hits.
In fact, the underwhelming collection led Tony to switch labels, migrating to Pina Records, where he rather confusingly released a second album with the same name (but new tracks) in 2009. Featuring beats by Mambo Kingz and more merengue-ish tropical undercurrents, it spawned chart hit "El Doctorado."
Dize might have a soulful side. But he knows where to find the money -- on the dance floor, where fellow callejeros will put aside romantic inclinations to get down and dirty this Saturday night.