Sunday, November 12, 2006

Reggaeton: Calle 13, La Factoria, East African Reggaeton

It's going well with reggaeton! The genre received a big recognition last week at the Latin Grammys, where debuting rappers Calle 13 took home 3 awards (for best new artist, best urban music album, and best music video). At the same time, the awards comittee seems to be giving a signal to old-school rappers like Daddy Yankee and Hector El Father, that their 'gangsta' efforts won't live up to the new generation of less aggressive, more socially conscient raps (like Calle 13 and Tego Calderón). Have a listen to a new song leaked from their upcoming sophomore album, "La Crema", and compare it to this shit Hector's been up to lately.

As you might know, reggaeton not only originates from Puerto Rico, but also has roots in Panama (previous article). And now it seems the reggae panameño is reviving, with artists like Mach & Daddy appearing all over Latin America and the USA.
One of the first reggaeton songs I ever heard was Todavía by La Factoría, a group consisting of two sexy female singers and two macho latino DJs. A continent-wide hit back in 2003 :) Now La Factoría is back with "Dale", a contagious song in the typical panameño sound: not just a heavy beat, but lots of horns, piano tunes and electronica to support the joyful and sunny lyrics.

Even in Africa people are starting to dig reggaeton. Jean-Luc sent me this (german) article about 'raggaton' from Tanzania, where bands like East African Reggaeton Crew and Ray C are emerging in the same way the original Spanish 'reggaeton' originated: by mixing Jamaican ragga/dancehall tunes with aggressive and sexual hiphop-like raps. Check out some songs at

Calle 13 - La Crema mp3
La Factoría - Dale mp3 video pre-order @ CD Universe