History of Reggaeton
Reggaeton is a musical style that comes from Jamaica Reggae with Hip Hop influences from the United States.
Based on the Spanish Reggae that developed in Panama and Puerto Rico in the 1970s, it was mostly from this Caribbean island that Reggaeton spread during the 1990s.
Thanks to the contributions of Hip Hop and Rap, Puerto Ricans have succeeded in reaching a large audience in Latin America and the United States, using modern musical instruments such as the Synthesizer, Sampler or Rhythm Box alongside instruments more Reggae late.
Origins of Reggaeton
It is in Jamaica that we will look for the origins of Reggaeton when many Jamaicans of Afro-Caribbean origin emigrate to Panama where will develop the Spanish Reggae.
This Jamaican community settles in the province of Colon, Panama City and Bocas del Toro, alongside other immigrants from Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago and other Caribbean islands.
Little by little, these Jamaicans will influence the musical tastes of the Panamanian population who will quickly integrate Reggae among the most listened styles in the country.
At the end of the 1970s, the first Spanish Reggae artists appeared in Panama, such as Rasta Nini, Wassanga, Nando Boom, Pan Poch, El General, Carlito Soul and Apache Ness.
In the 1980s, Spanish Reggae composers introduced other styles inherent in Jamaican Reggae, such as the Roots Reggae of the Rastafari movement, of which Bob Marley is the icon. Renato will create in 1985 the first Spanish Reggae Dancehall, “El Deni”, which will be taken by most Panamanian artists like Reggae Sam, Chicho Man, Pepito Casanova or Carmelita Anderson.
In 1990, Panamanian artists such as El General, Gringo el Original and El Profeta will perform on the Brooklyn, New York stages, which will allow the Spanish Reggae to become known internationally.
Michael Ellis is the producer of most of the composers of Spanish Reggae and it is he who will give the name of Reggaeton to this new musical style incorporating the influences of Jamaican Reggae, Dancehall and Raggamuffin.
In 1989, Michael Ellis went to Puerto Rico with several artists like El General, Killer Ranks, Vico C, Rude Girl, Profeta, Jam, Special Ed, Smooth The Hustler and Howie Irie, to present the first show of “Reggaeton” .
To name the Reggae he was going to produce in Puerto Rico, Michael Ellis decided to add the suffix “tone” which serves to give more importance to the word that precedes it. Reggaeton is therefore the “Grand Reggae”, the product of the mixture between Jamaican and Panamanian cultures.
Evolution of Reggaeton
During the 1990s, the Reggaeton will then develop in Puerto Rico thanks to the arrival of artists from the Virgin Islands like Jomo Pemberton, The Jah Seeds Band or The Zioniers Band, and Latin artists like Cultura Profetica, Vico C, Millo Torres & El Tercer Planeta, Filosofía or Gomba Jahbari. The influence of the Reggae of the Virgin Islands and that of Panama will then offer all its power to the Reggaeton which has just been born in Puerto Rico.
In Puerto Rico, Reggaeton is a musical style that will quickly seduce the popular layers as singers will interpret songs that speak of everyday life.
By mixing with the Hip-Hop and Rap from the United States, the Puerto Rican Reggaeton will reach a target even wider than the Latin American public.
In the early 2000s, Reggaeton moved to the United States through artists from different backgrounds such as the Panamanian group Los Rakas, the Puerto Rican American N.O.R.E. or singer Ramón Luis Ayala Rodríguez, better known as Daddy Yankee.
Daddy Yankee is most certainly one of those who has most popularized the Reggaton in the world. It was in 2004 that the Puerto Rican singer began his career with success since his first album “Barrio fino” quickly ranked in first position of the Top Latin Albums of Billboard. In this album is the song “Gasolina” which will position itself in the first places of many hit parades around the world.
Daddy Yankee will soon be joined by other Reggaeton singers who will hit Latin America, the United States, and around the world.
Among these artists we will especially remember Don Omar, another Puerto Rican who will populate the genre especially in Latin America and Spain. With titles like “Dile”, “Dale Don dale”, “Aunque ftete” or “Angelito”, Don Omar will win numerous awards and make a triumph in 2013 by winning 10 Awards in the 18 categories where he was nominated for the Latin Billboard Awards.
As with the Rap, the words of Reggaeton most often express the suffering of a people in rebellion against their Government, denouncing poverty and fundamental rights.
These songs will most often refer to the problems youth face in everyday life, such as street drugs, women, sex and love.
Dancing the Reggaeton
To dance the Reggaeton it is enough to feel the music, let it enter by the ears so that it comes out by the feet, the hands, the arms, the legs and all the parts of the body.
The Reggaeton dance is a good balance between the movements of the hips, feet, neck, steps forward and backward with turns to the right and left.
To introduce yourself to Reggaeton, stand in front of a mirror, with your feet slightly apart, and move your left hip while bending your legs a little, then move to the right again.
Stir the shoulders at the same rhythm as the hips, down and then upwards with a rocking motion. When you have coordinated these basic movements, move your arms like a clock keeping the rhythm.
The feet remain almost motionless, barely moving to the right and left following the movement of the hips.
Now, look closely at the video below that will help you better understand how to dance Reggaeton by letting you carry the rhythm of the music.