Thursday, January 22, 2009

Rakim y Ken-Y - Te Regalos Amores

When you first hear the name Rakim and Ken-Y, you can't help but think it's a rap duo. It's ok, we all make that mistake. Rakim is actually José Nieves, and there is no viable explanation about why he goes by the name Rakim other than the fact that he sometimes goes by the initials R.K.M. Rakim drops most of the rhymes on their tracks and is considered the "rapper." Ken-Y on the other hand sings the melodious and infections hooks and has mas passion. He is also considerably better looking than Rakim, and some would say he looks like a smaller version of Enrique Iglesias.

They just released an album called The Royalty (2008) on Pina Records, though if you listen to it for more than a few minutes, you should not have any problem figuring that out since they yell it out all the time.

This video is for the best song on the album "Te Regalos Amores" which according to an online translator means "I love gifts," but that can't be right.

The video appears to be set on some sort of horse ranch and both Rakim and Ken-Y are wearing awkardly tucked in shirts, which can only mean that they are there for classy purposes. It is also worth nothing that Rakim kind of looks like a hispanic version of Penn from Penn & Teller.

You have to click the picture to go to Youtube because they have disabled embedding.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Reggeaton Mysteries: Ivy Queen

For centuries Latin America and the Caribbean Isles have been filled with mystery: Bermuda triangles, Mayans, and Cities of Gold are just a few. Reggaeton has continued this tradition by creating many of it's own mysteries, and one of the biggest is Ivy Queen.

When you first hear Ivy Queen on a remix you think to yourself "why is she listed on this remix? There are no women singing on this track? Only soulful latino men. I guess it's another one of those improperly tagged reggaeton downloads." (Note: Reggaeton online is facing an epidemic of bad MP3 tagging, it's like the Napster days out there...seriously).

Then you decide to take to the internet to learn more about this Ivy Queen and you watch a youtube video. Then the mystery begins.

You see a rather obvious transvestite open her mouth and out comes a beautiful voice that does not sound unliked Ken-Y. So you start looking further and you see that many other people (including latinos who can speak spanish) are confused about Ivy Queen's gender. At the same time you also find comments from various people who are quiet eager to have sex with Ivy Queen. But then again, there are a lot of people who want to have sex with Trannys which I suppose I understand as the desire to have the best of both worlds. But I kind of believe it ends up being the worst of both worlds.

The main problem is that without knowing her gender, we do not know how to get her pregnant.

In any case, the genital package of Ivy Queen remains a mystery, but her ability to rock out with sweet jams is no mystery. It's certified.

"Dime," a truly awesome jam, regardless of what package you possess. Though this video could use more watermarks.

-Estilo Blanco

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Review: Talento De Barrio

Daddy Yankee's first foray into the world of feature films is a bit of a mixed bag.

We will start with the positives.

On one hand, it has delivered one of the greatest soundtracks in history. Pose, Somos De Calle, Talento De Bariro, incredible tracks all the way through.

The movie also features some awesome shots of La Perla and teaches us valuable lessons about proper etiquette in Puerto Rican Night clubs. They are pretty scary, I'm not going to lie. But it did teach Talento de Victoria and Estilo Blanco to only go to night club with metal detectors. That way we will only get beat up over a misunderstanding and not shot.

There is also a pregnancy in the movie!

Finally, there is a CHINESE guy in the movie. Though he only has one line before he's shot, they also find a way to get a villain character to bust his balls about knowing karate. Asian dudes cannot catch a break, but this is a Chinese guy who lives in Puerto Rico, hangs with PR thugs, and speaks Spanish. Without a doubt he is the coolest Chinese guy on earth.

There are some negatives. Namely the plot, dialogue, and many many unecessary scenes. There is a strange scene where the good guy (Daddy Yankee) stomps a man to death for raping a girl. While we do not condone rape at all, the rape played no role in the film, and the death added nothing other than to make DY look a little crazy.

It drags a little bit too.

But in the end, the movie is about PR and reggaeton so as far as the rest of the world is concerned this is the best movie ever made. Also it was shot using expensive cameras and looks good, unlike most Master P movies.

In short, we want to see more.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Puerto Rican Haircut

While the music is what draws you to reggaeton, you can't help but get into the culture that surrounds it. As we try to figure it all out, we start to connect the dots and find trends and patterns that give us insight into the music and the lifestyle.

One of the things that seems to pop up over and over again is the same haircut.

For some reason, Puerto Ricans seem to like a hair cut that is very short on the sides and then pushed forward to create a STRAIGHT hairline across their forehead. There are theories that this is done to try and look more like a black guy but I'm not sure. To get a better idea of the style, take a look at the picture on the left. De La Ghetto might have the most perfect PR haircut on earth. So thick and luxurious!

It is a sweet haircut that cannot be pulled off by just anyone.

Curly hair? Get a Grateful Dead CD. Widows peak? Start listening to Indie Rock. Blonde? You look too much like Eminem. Bald? Acceptable if you are jacked.

You need to have very straight black hair that is thick enough to form a perfect line. If you hair is thin, you will end up looking kind of creepy and greasy (see photo below). Though just a theory at this point, I think Chinese guys and maybe an Indian dude could pull it off.

Video: Baby Rasta y Gringo - Tiemblo

Reggaeton can be pretty predictable in an awesome way. Remix usually means "same song with 5 more guys on it" and old school often means "that beat from Save the Last Dance".

Forget all that when watching the video for Tiemblo from Baby Rasta y Gringo's "The Comeback". It is a 2008 album which is notable because they reunited on it after breaking up in 2004.

Rather than typing a bunch of boring stuff you're not going to read, just fast forward to 2:34. Holy crap right? The song is a jam, but something inside of me was shouting "NERDS!" and wanted to give Baby Rasta a wedgie.

I don't know how they did it but they managed to shoot on location in The Matrix for this one. Is it just me or is Baby Rasta looking a lot like JP from Grandma's Boy?

Grade: C+

The song is a jam, but I have to take off a couple letters for the video. I need reggaeton to make me less of a nerd and more cool instead of the other way around.

-Talento de Victoria

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Friend of Reggaeton: N.O.R.E.

We have done a good job of talking about the enemies of Reggaeton, but now it's time to talk about the friends of reggaeton.

N.O.R.E. or Noreaga is a famous New York Rapper who had awesome songs like Superthug in the mid 1990s. His best feature is that is insane. Here are some lyrics from Superthug:

Aiyyo, we light a candle
Run laps around the english channel
Neptunes, I got a cockerspaniel
We on the run now, yo, it aint no fun now
And where I go, you niggas cant even come now
You aint the lord, nigga, break it, I don't care
And when ya get caught, remember that I don't care
N.o.r.e., nuthin but the atmosphere
Yo for now we on the run, yo if that ain't clear
Weak niggas wanna stick, you but that ain't fair
You we down in vegas, money, skies too courageous
And yo, Im on the run, but still rip stages
And call me animal thug, when I'm in cages

Also prominent: "what"

In any case, in 2002 he put his career on the line and put together a reggaeton video called Oye Mi Canto that became the first ever reggaeton video on MTV.

From Wikipedia:
"Oye Mi Canto" is a Reggaeton single by N.O.R.E.. The song was originally released in 2004 as the lead single from the album 1 Fan a Day, which is heretofore unreleased. It is his second biggest hit, peaking at #12 on the Billboard Hot 100. It was later included on the 2006 album N.O.R.E. y la Familia...Ya Tú Sabe. The song features Nina Sky and Reggaeton artists Daddy Yankee, EX Thugz-2-Life, Gem Star and Big Mato. The song originally featured Tego Calderón in place of Daddy Yankee but was later changed for the video. It's N.O.R.E.'s first venture into the increasingly popular Latin genre reggaeton. In a 2004 interview with MTV, N.O.R.E. says of the single, "I fell in love with this music. I did this joint originally for a mixtape. The Latino people haven't been spoken to in a while, since [Big] Pun died. They haven't felt like they had something proud [in hip-hop] to stand on, so being both Latin and black, I wanted to rep my Latin side for once. Why not do it with this new music, instead of doing a Spanish rap record? This is what speaks for the inner-city Latino youth." In 2004, the LP was one of the most-played singles in the US"

He has never said he started reggaeton, but he used his power and fame to let other people (i.e. white) learn about the music.

For this act of genorisity he has eared the first "Friend of Reggaeton" post.

Notes about the video:
2. I can't get over that room

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Enemy of Reggaeton: IO Cable

So, IO Cable decided to try to secure the Latino Market by creating this ad. It just reinforces ridiculous stereotypes and is all about cable packages. Though I think there are some clues in there, specifically the presence of a pirate. This is because true Reggaetoneros steal cable.

The other possibility is that they get some sort of awesome weird satellite dish (pictured) that gets them special Puerto Rican channels that I don't even know about yet...

In my dreams these channels features instructional videos about dancing, speaking Spanish, and making love PR-style. They also have awesome game shows that are like a mix of Press your Luck and and a porno.

From what I can tell, this ad ran in Jan/Feb 2008 and Cablevision's stock actually went up.

I think that Reggaeton is so strong that even weak reggaeton can boost sales of sub-par cable services.

p.s. ok, the beat is actually pretty hot.
-Estilo Blanco

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

My Introduction to Latino Culture

Though truth be told La Parka is the greatest wrestler in history.

I miss WCW.

-Estilo Blanco
p.s. god bless youtube, I've been looking for this video for 10 years.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Ebay: Awesome Shirt

Do I really have to explain this one? If you wear this shirt when you are working out then you are automatically 100% stronger. You putting up a pair of 45 plates? Put this shirt on then slap two more on...EACH SIDE. Then do 28 reps just to show off. Also it will make your sweat smell like frying plantains (delicious) which will draw in many ladies.

If you wear this shirt to a night club you will get kicked out.
Stated Reason: Dress Code
Real Reason: Jealousy
Alternate Real Reason: Female Riot

Just as a thought, imagine this shirt from other countries?
Canada = Hilarious
USA = White Trash
Mexico = Pretty Cool
Dominican Republican = Only acceptable substitute for this shirt
France = Ridiculous
Spain = Confusing
Russia = Sort of Awesome
Japan = Makes you a bullseye for punches

-estilo blanco

DVD Review: Aventura - K.O.B. Sold Out at Madison Square Garden

One word: incredible.

Over the past 10 years my standards for a good concert for any sort of "urban" music has deteriorated to almost nothing. Most live hip hop has become one famous guy and like six not famous guys rapping along to a song that sounds a lot better on the radio. If it were Rock Band, they would fail within the first five seconds.

I'm not sure who was the first to think: "this song will be better if some dude joins me on every fifth word. Oh yeah, we'll both yell to make it extra sweet."

Unfortunately, with strong influences of hip hop have leaked into Reggaeton and the few live performances I've seen have not been that great. Then, I saw Aventura at Madison Square Garden.

They sold the place out and I've never seen energy like this at a concert. They are talented, incredible, and work the crowd into a frenzy.

This video is a must watch for anyone who likes music and/or has a soul. Truly incredible, life changing stuff here.

In addition, they also provide this video which lets you know the massive talent gap between the Kings of Bachata and Wisin y Yandel.

-Estilo Blanco

Enemy of Reggaeton: Pitbull

It's no surprise here. Look how much he raps in English and he is so desperate for acceptance by real rappers, it's pretty weak.

Pitbull got famous when Lil' Jon decided that he wanted some of that sweet, sweet money from the Latino Market. But rather than actually looking into Reggaeton and signing someone awesome like Voltio, he signed Pitbull and collected a check.

His first album was called M.I.A.M.I. (Money Is A Major Issue), and clearly he spent so much time coming up with the acronym. It is so obvious that he got the "money" part right away and spent forever thinking about the rest of it. Though his choice of a clever acronym does play into my theories about him.

First off, he claims to be Cuban but get a look at Pitbull, he's pink! So if he is actually Cuban then pretty obvious that his family probably owned Casinos and Fruit plantations in Cuba before Castro took over. Which means he's essentially the oppressor, so not a lot of credibility there.

My other theory is that Pitbull has no Cuban blood whatsoever, he is just a white guy who shaved his head, got a Rosetta Stone DVD, and took a trip to Cuba and thought it was cool. He was going to get into the revolutionary stuff, but then he saw Scarface and thought it would be awesome to pretend to be Cuban.

Finally, his ability to make witty acronyms is something that white people do when they create non profit organizations. So, you know, kind of a clue as to what he's really all about.

Pitbull is also an enemy of Reggaeton for feuding with Daddy Yankee over the issue of immigration and even challenging him to a debate in Spanish. There is no doubt that Pitbull would get smoked as he keeps asking where the bathroom is and telling the moderator that she is beautiful.

Truth be told, he could pretty much demolish us in a Spanish debate. But whatever.

-Estilo Blanco
He also says "she's loose off the goose" all the time in reference to Grey Goose vodka. What a dork.

Friday, January 2, 2009

La Perla

Listen to enough reggaeton, and you'll eventually hear the name La Perla at least a few times. From what I've read, it seems to be the roughest part of San Juan. De La Geezy grew up there! Located on the north-west part of San Juan beside a cemetary, nuff illegal activities happen here. Most travel sites recommend that tourists never even go there. Craziness! 

You may recognize La Perla from our favorite, the Somos de Calle remix, as well as this Pistolon remix (notice the cementerio and the concrete skate bowl which replaced the old wooden ramps authorities tore down.)

Despite all the bad stuff I've read and heard, it's seems like a nice place to visit. That is, until I see videos like this:

Randy and the Chucky doll

One of the drawbacks of not being hispanic or speaking spanish (yet) is sometimes you don't really know what's going on in the world of reggaeton without guessing or using poorly translated lyrics from the internet.

Case in point being Randy and his Chucky doll. What's up with that? I noticed it in the Tu Te Las Trae remix, Ese Mahon, and now in this live video.

One day, when someone reads this blog, if you are hispanic, speak spanish, or both, can you please comment on what the deal is? If you are white and know that's fine too.

Talento de Victoria

3:15, someone in the crowd is holding a doll

1:53, macking a ho with the doll

1:20, again!