I've posted about Calle 13 earlier, but these guys deserve more attention. Because their self-titled debut album is one of the most original and renewing in the urban latin genre. Because Atrévete-te is such a good song I'm putting it back on the playlist. And because the whole Spanish-speaking world is talking about them.
Residente Calle 13 does the lyrics, Visitante does the beats, and both are quite good at it (though not all songs on the album are of equal quality). Humour, flow and -very important- content coïncide in Residente's lyrics. Humour, as in "Pi-Di-Di-Di" where he makes fun of P Diddy:
[...] ("Do you have some Coca-Cola?") No, pero tengo vino Perico...
Y rapidito ese tipo me salio malcriadito...
("Do you know who I am?") ¿Como? ¿Que te llamas Juan?
("Do you know who I am?") ¿Que si yo me llamo Juan?
("Yo querer Coca-Cola!") Pues, mira Juan [...]
Flow, as in "La Jirafa", where his words help define the complex drum rhythm. And content, as in Atrévete-te, the answer to all the complaining that reggaeton is dirty and ordinary:
Yo se que a ti te gusta el pop-rock latino
Pero es que el reggaeton se te mete por los intestinos
Por debajo de la falda como un submarino
Y te saca lo de indio taino [...]
[...] ¿Que importa si te gusta Green Day?
¿Que importa si te gusta Coldplay?
On the beat side, Visitante is clearly better at producing reggaeton than hiphop. The latter songs are not varied enough to grab attention, while the reggaeton tracks instantly make you move. The difference is best noted in "Suave", which exists in both versions.
Calle 13 are white, both come from middle class families, and they went to art school. But who cares? Their music is different, exactly what the reggaeton genre needed, to keep from repeating itself. I'm pretty sure their universal sound will soon conquer the USA, keep an eye out for them!
Calle 13 - Atrévete-te