Reggaeton it a favorite genre of music among many Dominicans, especially the youth. Whether you are just here for a visit or you are here for a while, like bachata or Merengue you are bound to here Reggaeton while you are in the country.
Like Bachata or Merengue, Reggaeton is not only a Genre of music, but it also comes with its own style of dance. Unlike bachata or Merengue, it is not a native to the Dominican Republic, but it has become very popular in the country.
What is Reggaeton? Well some might say, well you separate the word and you got Reggae and ton. That must mean it has got some Bob Marley in it. While it Reggaeton does have some similarities to Reggae, it is definitely not the same, laid-back, island music Bob played. In fact it is not usually even the same language.
So what is Reggaeton? Reggaeton can be closer likened to Rap than Reggae, sharing many similarities. Like Rap, Reggaeton shares a distinct beat, that makes it well liked and very popular in the streets and in clubs. While the beat is close to a rap beat it definitely has its own separate characteristics. While the beat of Reggaeton is closer to a Rap beat, it does share some similarities with Reggae.
Reggaeton tends to travel a little more than a typical rap beat and has an ever so slight island feel. Like Rap, Reggaeton focuses primarily on the use of drum and keyboards.
Once again the voice of a Reggaeton artist can be most likened to a rap artist, but unlike rappers the majority are also singers and occasionally add singing to their Reggaeton.
Although Reggaeton traces its roots as Spanish reggae in Panama, Puerto Rico it typically recognized as the birthplace of Reggaeton. Reggaeton first started as Spanish Reggae, often quite literally Jamaican Reggae translated into Spanish then re-recorded over the same tune.
This Spanish Reggae soon got an injection of Hip hop then Reggaeton really started to become what it is today.
Undergound Music of Puerto Rico
Reggaeton had a rough beginning, for a time Reggaeton was simply referred to as “Underground.” The connotation of that word is exactly what it was. Underground. It was embraced by youths that were considered on the edge and often part of criminal society.
It was normally viewed as obscene and for that reason it was condemned by the Puerto Rican government and many measures were taken to abolish the music completely, but “underground” distributions that copied recorded tapes kept the genre from dying all together.
Today, Reggaeton has gained popularity and has many times top Hispanic and American music charts alike. It has also become one of the most listened too and danced genres of music in the Dominican Republic.