I’ve written about Peruvian cumbia and more recently salsa, so it’s only right I write about reggaeton. Reggaeton was the first Latin music I liked, because it’s so similar to rap. I had a common reference point to start from. While many older people don’t like reggaeton, it’s not as unpopular among them as rap is among older gringos.
Here’s are some of my favorites to get you started.
Daddy Yankee – La Fuga
I was first turned on to reggaeton in 2004 by Daddy Yankee’s smash hit Gasolina. He’s by far the most popular reggaeton act and it was difficult to pick just one of his tracks. I passed Rompe, Lo Que Pasó, Ella Me Levanto, and Pose to give you the underrated gem, “La Fuga” (The Escape).
Interestingly, Daddy Yankee endorsed Republican candidate John McCain in the 2008 election.
Don Omar – Anda Sola
Many people felt it unfair that Daddy Yankee was seen as the king of reggaeton. They say Don Omar was the true founder. I have no idea, but this is my favorite track from Don Omar. “Anda Sola” could be translated ‘she rolls solo’.
Don Omar’s most popular hit, which you’re sure to hear in the clubs, is Salió el Sol.
Wisin y Yandel – Sexy Movimiento
Puerto Rican group Wisin y Yandel is probably the next most popular reggaeton act after Daddy Yankee. Unfortunately Wisin Y Yandel videos suck because they incorporate movie-like plots ala Puff Daddy videos from the 90s.
Nigga – Te Quiero
There’s a lot of romantic reggaeton. Panamanian Nigga, known as ‘Flex’ in the US market, won a Latin Grammy for this track. (Video starts at 24 seconds.)
Khriz y Angel – Carita de Angel
This is another romantic reggaeton track. This track makes the list because it was a special song for me and Milagros, my last girl in Peru. God I miss her.
If you like romantic reggaeton, check out Sensación del Bloque by De La Ghetto & Randy.
Luny Tunes ft. Wisin Y Yandel y Daddy Yankee – Noche de Entierro Remix
A classic. Know this one.
La Fabri-K – Cual es tu Cau Cau?
This song got heavy airplay in Arequipa because the group is Peruvian. Well, Peruvian-American anyway. La Fabri-K hails from America’s largest Peruvian neighborhood in Paterson, New Jersey. ‘Cau-cau’ is Peruvian slang for ‘problem’ or ‘beef’. What’s your problem?
The DJ Warner style of reggaeton is distinct. I’ve never heard it in Bogota, but they play it non-stop in the reggaeton clubs of downtown Arequipa, Peru. Very heavy, hardcore.
Calle 13 – Atrévete-te-te
Calle 13’s “Atrévete-te-te” has an addictive beat that’ll have you nodding your head the first time you listen despite not knowing what the hell they’re saying. My best translation of “atrévete” would be ‘just do it’.
Control Machete – Si Señor
Mexican group Control Machete has this song featured on the soundtrack of Mexican film Amores Perros, which put Gael Garcia Bernal‘s on the map as an actor. The beat’s so irresistible it was also used in a Levi’s ad aired during the Super Bowl.
This song may be considered Spanish hip hop more than reggaeton, but I can’t tell the difference between the two genres so they’re all going in this post.
Vakero – En El Barrio Ya No Hay Gente
Chocquibtown – De Donde Vengo Yo
Colombian group ChocQuibTown is gaining popularity in the reggaeton / Spanish hip-hop scene. They hail from Chocó, the heart of the Afro-Colombian community. This track won a Latin Grammy. Lots of Colombian costeño Spanish in their music.
If you liked that song, check out Somos Pacifico, which you’ll surely hear in Colombian dance clubs.
Cypress Hill – Latin Lingo
This song isn’t reggaeton at all. But since I’m getting more and more into Spanish rap, I thought it only right to include Los Angeles’ own pioneers in Latino rap with the aptly named, Latin Lingo from 1991.
Support what Expat Chronicles is all about. Leave a tip to keep the laughs coming (and the news, insight and other stuff too).