Thursday, July 30, 2009
My First Exposure to Reggaeton
My first exposure to reggaeton was on a trip to Cuba (I know... not PR but give me a break, I am from the Pac NW, I admit full ignorance) about 4 years ago. I was listening to A LOT of Three 6 Mafia at the time, and occasionally would hear these spanish rap songs down there (which were actually reggaeton but I didn't know any better) that had samples of guns cocking. This was relevant to my interests.
I searched and asked around for the song with the gun noises, but no one could help me. Eventually someone told me about this group called Cubanito 20.02 that was reggaeton. I guess they were really big in Cuba at the time. Back then, I didn't even know what reggaeton was, I thought it would just be called like cuban rap (or latin rap).
I was pretty into it, the raps were tight, but I just couldn't get over the singing and the silly drum beats, I was looking for something more agresivo. Also, there is one guy in the group who does that thing where you rap and kind of sound like a big dog; it reminded me too much of real reggae.
Anyways, I bought the CD and pretended to be into it so I could look worldly when I returned to BC. Most people liked it, usually girls, and it was fun to drink in the sun and listen to it.
We still didn't know what reggaeton was, so anything that sounded like it we would just call "Soy Cubanito," which was the title of the album.
About 3 years ago, the original CD (with case) was stolen out of my old 1986 Acura Legend, by who I imagine was a street person, in Victoria, BC.
If that guy didn't pawn the CD, he probably had a huge boner after listening to it. I like to imagine that somewhere in Victoria is a homeless person who reps a tropical island lifestyle due to the theft, even though he is in Victoria, BC. He lives in a cardboard city, but with lots of like fake palm trees, drink umbrellas, and loud shirts. Oh, of course, braids as well.
Since then, I am pretty proud to call myself a reggaeton listener and have learned so much! I have probably 20 reggaeton songs with gun samples in them now. It's too bad Pitbull is from Cuba because listening to Soy Cubanito now I realize they aren't that bad; however, I am at a point in my life right now where listening to any kind of Cuban artist translates into direct support for Pitbull, so I can't do that.
Reggaeton has shown me that it's ok to be a pussy, as long as you are also a thug. North American rap is all about being tough, all the time, which is really unrealistic! Thugs cry too, and fall in love, which is why reggaeton is perfect. North American rap is full of static characters, whereas reggaeton is about being dynamic and multi-dimensional.
Who knew that 4 years ago, a simple purchase would indirectly change my life forever? Not me!
-Talento de Victoria