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NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2007

REPORT: PUERTO RICO

Reggaeton Nation

El perreo, reggaeton's signature dance, was described by one politician as a "triggering factor for criminal acts."

By Frances Negr6n-Muntaner and Raquel Z. Rivera

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San Juans Hiram Bithorn Stadium, five-time T WAS A STUNNING SIGHT. ONSTAGE IN 2003 AT senator Velda Gonzalez-former actress, grandmother of 11, and beloved public figurewas doing the unthinkable. Flanked by reggaeton stars Hector and Tito (a.k.a. the Bambinos), the senator, sporting tasteful makeup and a sweet, matronly smile, was lightly swinging her hips and tilting her head from side to side to a raucous reggaeton beat. Only a year before, the same senator had led public hearings aimed at regulating reggaeton's lyrics and the dance moves that accompany it, known as el pcrreo, or "doggy-style dance," in which dancers grind against each other to the Jainaican-derived dembow rhythm that serves as reggaetons backbone.I Using her reputation as a champion of women's rights, Gonzalez chastised reggaeton for its "dirty lyrics and videos full of erotic movements where girls dance virtually naked," and for promoting perreo, which she called a "triggering factor for criminal acts. "I Her

efforts as reggaetons "horsewoman of the apocalypse" touched off such a media frenzy around perreo that Puerto Rican writer Ana Lydia Vega humorously noted the irony of transforming a mere dance into a national obsession. "To perrear or not to perrear," Vega wrote with characteristic flair. "Finally we have an important dilemma to fill the huge emotional vacuum that we are left with every four years by electoral victories and plebiscitary failures.'14 Originally dubbed "underground," among other names, reggaeton is a stew of rap en cspafiol and reggae en espahol, cooked to perfection in the barrios and casernos (housing projects) of Puerto Rico. Drawing on U.S. hip-hop and Jamaican reggae, Spanish-language rap and reggae developed parallel to each other throughout the 1980s in both Puerto Rico and Panama. Although it was initially produced by and for the island's urban poor, by the mid-1990s, reggaetons explicit sexual lyrics and commentary on the violence of everyday life had caught the ears of a wary mid-

Frances NcgronMuntaricr is the author of Boricua Pop: Puerto Ricans and the Latinization of American Culture (NYU Press,

2004). She teaches Latino and Caribbean literatures and cultures at Columbia University Raquel Z. Rivera is the authoi of New York Ricans From the Hip Hop Zone (Palg?ave Macmillon,

2003) and editor, with Dcborah Pacini Hernandez and Wayne Marshall, of Reading Rcggaeton (Duke University Press,

foethcoming) 35


NACLA REPORT ON THE AMERICAS

REPORT: PUERTO RICO

dle class that responded to the new sound with its own become a sacrilege. It's almost equivalent to being a bad brand of hostility "Many people tried to stop us," recalled Puerto Rican."'" Though Ramos is overstating the point that reggaeton Daddy Yankee, reggaetons biggest star, in an interview. "As a pioneer, I think I can talk about that, about how the gov- has no enemies-as recently as August, a local TV perernment tried to stop us, about how people from other so- sonality promised to explore how reggaeton is "fueling cial extractions .. looked down on young people from the the country's current wave of criminality"-he calls atbarrios, underestimating and seeing us as outcasts."' tention to the genre's trajectory from a feared and marRunning contrary to middle-class values, reggaeton has ginalized genre rising out of Puerto Rico's poorest neighbeen attacked as immoral, as well as artistically deficient, a borhoods to the island's primary musical export.11 How threat to the social order, apolitical, misogynist, a watered- could such a dramatic change happen so quickly? How down version of hip-hop and reggae, the death did reggaeton become the dominant sound of the "national" soundtrack? How did a SpanishIn con traIst to sentence of salsa, and a music foreign to Puerto Rico.' In the exemplary words of the late poet rap en esspahol language musical phenomenon originating in Edwin Reyes, the genre is a "primitive form of a poor colonial possession of the United States and sa Isa make it so big that even its former enemies musical expression" that transmits "the most elementary forms of emotion" through its "brutal- roman ticca, must now pretend to like it? izing and aggressive monotony"' In a nutshell: commercial success-achieved, however, in the most unexpected of ways. Faced with an unprecedented and seemingly eggae .toin uncontrollable crime wave, the state also paid spoke directly close attention to reggaeton. Associated with to the social Puerto Rico's poorest and blackest citizens, and ton glory was paved with the best intenT IS A GREAT ROAD TO REGGAEcondit ions tions of the IRONY genre'sTHAT veryTHEdetractors. While their presumed disposition toward indiscrimireggaeton exploded across Puerto Rico, the nate sexual depravity and violence, reggaeton preval ent in media, religious organizations, and cultural was targeted by the island government as a dangerous criminal. In 1995, the Vice Control DiviPuertc Rico, gatekeepers coalesced to contain and regulate sion of the Puerto Rican police, assisted by the like ouitrageous it, producing a chain of events with unanNational Guard, took the unprecedented acunern ticipated consequences. The intent may have ployment tion of confiscating tapes and CDs from music been to crush reggaeton, but the result was rates, f ailing stores, maintaining that the music's lyrics were quite the opposite. Before the media paid attention and the state obscene and promoted drug use and violence. school[s, and The island's Department of Education joined seized on reggaeton as a convenient symbol of goverr iment in and banned underground music and baggy the country's social woes, the genre was largely a contained class phenomenon. But the efforts clothes in an effort to remove the scourge of corrup tion. hip-hop culture from the schools. to censor reggaeton transformed it from marBut slowly throughout 2003, a campaign year, the ginal to notorious, boosting its appeal as the new idiom of body politic began to swing the other way. It became rebellion for many of the island's youth. "It's only logical," common to see politicians besides Senator Gonzalez on Ivy Queen, the genre's lone female star, has said. "When the campaign trail stiffly dancing reggaeton to show off you prohibit something, that's when a kid will most want their hipness and try to appeal to younger voters. By early to know about it. Velda Gonzalez gave us the best promo2007, when no one complained after Mexican pop singer tion, because she sparked the whole world's curiosity. We Paulina Rubio told the media that her reggaeton single have to be grateful for that. She helped us commercialize was a tribute to Puerto Rico, since "it is clear that reggae- the genre."" Once reggaeton burst out of the barrio, it became imton belongs to you," writer Juan Antonio Ramos declared possible to repress for a second reason: It was "real." In the war against reggaeton officially over. "Five or seven years ago, such a statement would have contrast to the commercialized and sanitized rap en espabeen interpreted not only as an unfortunate mistake, but nol and salsa romantica that largely replaced the barrioas a monumental insult to the dignity of the Puerto Ri- centric lyrics of salsa's classic period, reggaeton spoke can people," Ramos wrote. "Reggaeton's success has been directly to the social conditions prevalent in the country: such that it no longer has any enemies .... It would not outrageous unemployment rates of up to 65% in some be an exaggeration to say that condemning reggaeton has towns, failing schools, government corruption, and wide36

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Unsurprisingly, this had a major impact on sales, transforming reggaeton from a cottage industry, in which recordings were homemade and sold from people's cars, to bigtime releases by established record labels that sold in department stores. From 2002 to 2003 alone, sales increased exponentially, with new reggaeton releases selling between 50,000 and 100,000 units a month, consistently accounting for about a third of the top 10 albums 4 sold in Puerto Rico. By entering pop culture respectability, the genre became a vehicle to launch the careers of schooled ssicsalsawithastrongdose artists with eclectic musical tastes. Fusing an experimental style strongly rooted in the working-class aesthetics ofcla A turning point in gaining critical of hip-hop, Tego Calder6n reaches back in time to Afro-diasporic musical roots. attention was the musically, pospread drug violence. Government officials tried to blame etically, and politically sophisticated 2003 debut album the music for many of the island's problems. But the reg- of Tego Calderon. His populist lyrics-which reminded gaeton generation understood the music's crude language, many of salsa's El Sonero Mayor, Ismael Rivera-together explicit sexuality, and gritty street commentary as no less with his innovative musical fusions, use of world-reobscene, violent, or morally suspect than Puerto Rico at nowned musicians in live shows, and charismatic yet large. In rapper Eddie Dee's pro-rap anthem "Censurarme humble demeanor appealed to the old-school salsa lovers por ser rapero" (To censor me for being a rapper) for ex- and the intellectual left. ' Fusing an experimental reggaeample, he criticizes the moral corruption of the island's ton style strongly rooted in the working-class Caribbean elites by referring to the ex-secretary of education, Victor aesthetics of classic salsa with a strong dose of hip-hop, Fajardo, who was convicted in 2002 of stealing federal Calderon's innovation strategically reached back in time to funds, and to Edison Misla Aldarondo, a former speaker working-class, Afro-diasponc musical roots. of the House of Representatives found guilty of extortion, With Calderons successful debut, it started to dawn on money laundering, and attempted rape of a minor: some of reggaetons critics that the problem might not be the genre itself, but the underground, amateurish way it had To censor me for being a rapper thus far been produced. As journalist Laura Rivera MeleIs like censoring a whole people ndez commented in a glowing review of a 2003 Calderon I don't care if you like me or not concert in Puerto Rico, which included the participation of After all, my high school diploma musical heavyweights Roberto Roena and Tempo Alomar, Was signed by a man who was corrupt.... "Any genre cultivated with musical care and a generous time Most of us are better people than them investment can transcend prejudices and become the voice No rapper on this island of various generations and social classes.'" Since reggaeton Has been accused of crimes as dirty as Misla's. was here to stay, perhaps the answer was not to demean it but to nationalize it, that is, to nurture artists like Calderon Even more ironic, the state's success in scaring reggae- who could be trusted to carry on the nation's officially recogton producers into cleaning up their act backfired. Al- nized musical traditions. though the avowed objective of state censorship was to HE POPULARITY OF REGGAETON AT HOME WAS VITAL TO stop the music, the result was radio-friendly lyrics that now reached and appealed not only to barrio kids but the genre's new status as a national music. Yet as imalso to middle-class youth. Reggaeton quickly became portant, if not more, was its validation by intermathe norm at dance parties, discos, and other gatherings. tional music markets, including not only the United States 37


NACLA REPORT ON THE AMERICAS

REPORT: PUERTO RICO

Reggaeton stresses the island-diaspora connection, integrating into the long-standing history of Puerto Ricans in hip-hop.

but also Europe (particularly Spain and Italy), Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Panama, Japan, and Australia. The song that pumped up the world and brought reggaeton's global appeal home was Daddy Yankee's aptly titled "Gasolina" (2004), an ode to what women want from an unabashedly male perspective. Seemingly coming out of nowhere, the song and its phenomenal success attracted the attention of a sluggish U.S. recording industry desperately looking for the next big thing to sell on the urban youth market. The anticipation that reggaeton could do for Latinos what hip-hop had done for African Americans prompted a wave of change throughout the industry "Tropical" salsa stations in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Miami quickly changed their format to accommodate reggaeton and other "hurban" (Hispanic urban) genres. Hip-hop labels developed Latino imprints and signed the top talent. Major stars like Daddy Yankee were now not only making millions but also being hired for product endorsements, going on tours, and running clothing lines. Two years after "Gasolina" greased the way, reggaeton albums were going gold, platinum, and even double-platinum, ranking among the top sales successes of the Latin music industry 38

With increased sales beyond Puerto Rico, a formerly resistant global music industry finally recognized reggaetons "artistic" merits when the upstart duo Calle 13composed of two middle-class, light-skinned, collegeeducated men, Residente and Visitante-nabbed three Latin Grammys during the 2006 ceremony The entry of Calle 13 into the reggaeton pantheon also represented a significant change in other ways. If Calderon was the reggaeton champion of an Afro-Caribbean working-class aesthetic, Calle 13 fused a wide range of music styles with unusually surreal lyrics for the genre. Through expedient interventions into mainstream politics with hiphop tracks like "Querido FBI" (2005), which denounced the killing of the militant independentista leader Filiberto Ojeda Rios, Calle 13 redefined what a reggaeton vocalist's relationship to Puerto Rico should be. Although Calle 13, like other reggaeton performers, typically comment on sexuality, gender relations, and the racism and violence of barrio life, Residente has fashioned himself as the nation's digestive system, transforming the garbage of desire, politics, and violence into a usable language to criticize the status quo."r "It bores me to talk about the system," he raps

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NOVEMBER/DECEMBLR 2007

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in "Tributo a la policia," a recent song protesting the shooting of an unarmed civilian by a police officer. "The system bothers me like an enema/So I give the middle finger to the system/And I spit phlegm on the system." Of course, reggaetons growing sophistication does not mean that everyone in Puerto Rico accepts it. But with Daddy Yankee's global success, Tego's populism, and Calle 13s "alternative" sound and tirades against state power, reggaeton now has all the necessary qualifications to become a national music that is presentable beyond the island's borders.

of Puerto Ricans in U.S. hip-hop music and culture." In this regard, reggaeton may at times imagine the nation as a contained space, but this notion of the local is composed of globalized cultures. At the same time, reggaeton's success story highlights Puerto Rico's contradictory location in the global economy While the island is poorer than all the states in the union, by using an independent production model inspired by U.S. hip-hop and based in the grassroots, reggaeton artists are not only global stars but also local entrepreneurs. This is evident in the proliferation of labels like Reggaeton calls DJ Nelson's Flow Music, Daddy Yankee's El T EGGAETON'S GLOBAL REP ARGUABLY FORCED Puerto Rican elites to accept it as a valuCartel Records, and Wisin and Yandel's WY Reattention to the cords, which have allowed performers to mainL able cultural export that brings attention and prestige to the island. In earlier years, to betain a much greater degree of control over their centrality of little reggaeton was to denigrate poor, black, urproducts and earnings than salsa musicians black culture ban youth culture, an easy target. Today the genre ever enjoyed. In becoming the island's most represents one of the most impressive stories of and the important cultural export since Ricky Martin, Puerto Rican economic and cultural success in the reggaeton showcases how social groups writmigration of last decades-one that may also be particularly ten off by the state, educators, and the media people and welcome at a time when many people in Puerto have transformed a homegrown product from Rico have lost confidence in the government and underground infamy to global popularity ideas in (and are uncertain if the island will ever recover from Equally revealing, the political economy of out of) Puerto its rampant corruption, incompetent leadership, reggaeton exposes the blurriness of elite and Rico, not and party factionalism. other spheres of power. For instance, many of Reggaeton's story, then, holds the hope the dramatic censorship acts undertaken against as exotic reggaeton were partly a response to widespread that even under dire conditions, the people of Puerto Rico can find creative ways to make a additions but rumors that its recordings were financed by mark in the global economy In capturing the as constitutive narco- trafficking. Yet, as is also the case with imagination, it also tells us much about what the government's operations, the lines between elements. legality and illegality are extremely blurry The kind of nation Puerto Ricans are imagining and inhabiting in the global era. point was dramatically driven home last year, For starters, reggaeton calls attention to the centrality when the killing of alleged drug dealer Jose "Coquito" of black culture and the migration of peoples and ideas Lopez Rosario was for months top headline news in Puerin (and out of) Puerto Rico, not as exotic additions but to Rico, largely because of his ties to both reggaeton artas constitutive elements. If Puerto Ricans and other Latin ists and elected officials. Reggaeton is, as so many of its Americans have celebrated Spain as the "motherland," artists have clearly seen, no more law-abiding or corrupt reggaeton redirects the gaze toward Africa's diasporas. If than the island's ruling elites. The ability of the island's lower classes to see through much of Puerto Rican high culture is invested in distancing Puerto Rico from the United States, reggaeton brings upper-class hypocrisy further underscores the greater role Puerto Rican culture closer to the U.S. mainstream than of global markets in valuing the nation's culture and how ever by becoming a part of the "hip-hop nation." If Puerto local consumers, audiences, and corporations have largely Ricans on the island pride themselves in being whiter and displaced the traditional local elites in shaping ideas wealthier than all other Caribbean islanders, reggaeton about the nation. In the end, reggaeton's story is a proinsists that Puerto Ricans are as much a part of the Unit- ductive point of entry into Puerto Rico's changing sense of ed States as they are of the Caribbean." If island-based itself: While still a poor colony of the United States, with Puerto Ricans have looked down on Nuyoricans and the more than half of its population living in the continenrest of the diaspora as not-quite-Puerto Ricans, the reg- tal United States, and widespread discontent at how the gaeton generation stresses the island-diaspora connection country is going, Puerto Rico is playing the national game in order to integrate itself into the long-standing history better than ever-on the global stage. W] 39


NACLA REPORT ON THE AMERICAS

NOTES

Puerto Rico's New Era 1. Eliezer Curet Cuevas, Economia politicade Puerto Rico: 1950-2000 (San Juan, Puerto Rico: Ediciones M.A.C., 2003), p. 38; Edwin Irizarry Mora, Economia de Puerto Rico: Evolucion y perspectivas(Mexico City: Thomson Learning, 2001), pp. 88, 156, 219. 2. U.S Bureau of the Census, http://factfinder.census.gov/home/saff/main. html?_lang=enun. Search for "Puerto Rico poverty." 3. Irizarry Mora, Economia de Puerto Rico, p. 135. On the evolution of the public sector, see Leonardo Santana Rabell, Fulgor y decadencia de la administraci6n publica en Puerto Rico (San Juan, Puerto Rico: La Torre del Viejo-DEGI, 1994). 4. Eliezer Curet Cuevas, Economia polftica de Puerto Rico, p. 178. 5. Irizarry Mora, Economia de Puerto Rico, p.226. 6 For these estimates, see several studies carried out at the time: General Accounting Office, "Pharmaceutical Industry Tax Benefits of Operating in Puerto Rico" (1992), "Congressional Budget Office, Potential Economic Impacts of Changes in Puerto Rico's Status Under S. 712," 1990. See also Government Accountability Office, Puerto Rico, "Fiscal Relations With the Federal Government and Economic Trends During the Phaseout of the Possessions Tax Credit," May 2006. 7. See Sarah Grusky, "Political Power in Puerto Rico: Bankers, Pharmaceuticals and the State" (Ph.D. dissertation, Howard University, 1994). 8. Jose A.Delgado, "Cuadran cifras en la manufactura," El Nuevo Dia, October 21, 2005. 9. Caribbean Business, "ACornered Economy," August 18, 2005, p. 18 10. See Edgardo Melendez, Puerto Rico's Statehood Movement (Greenwood Press, 1988). 11.A task force appointed by President Clinton rendered a controversial report in 2005 that concluded that Puerto Rico remains a possession of the United States. See "Report by the Presiden's Task Force on Puerto Rico's Status" (December 2005). Predictably, its conclusions have been strongly denounced by ELA supporters. 12. Although there are some dissident views in the texts by Eileen V.Segarra, Katherine Terrell, James Aim, Ronald Fisher, and James L.Dietz, this is still by far the dominant thrust of the interventions and policy recommendations included in Susan M Collins, Barry P Bosworth, Miguel A. Soto-Class, The Economy of Puerto Rico: Restoring Growth (Center for a New Economy, San Juan, Brookings Institution, Washington, D.C., 2006). Collins, Bosworth, and Soto-Class argue, for example, that Puerto Rico is "one of the world's most open economies, with free mobility of goods, services, capital, and labor to the large, prosperous U.S market. One might expect these conditions to pave the way for rapid economic development in Puerto Rico, with living standards converging steadily with those enjoyed in the rest of the nation" (p.1). Much of the following text is devoted to searching for the causes that may have prevented the market from working its magic, without any pause to consider the possibility that the free market is itself the problem. 13, See James Aim, "Assessing Puerto Rico's Fiscal Policies," in Collins, et al., The Economy of Puerto Rico. 14. Cesar S. Rosado Marzan, "Dependent Unionism" (Ph.D. dissertation, Princeton University, 2005), p. 16; Carlos Ala Santiago, "The Puerto Rican Labor Movement inthe 1990s," in Edgardo Melendez, Edwin Melendez, eds. Colonial Dilemma: Critical Perspectives on Contemporary Puerto Rico (South End Press, 1993), p. 143 15. See Conferencia Sindical, "De la huelga del pueblo a la cumbre social: Elmovimiento obrero puertorriqueno en la encrucijada" (Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico: Frente Socialista, 2001), http //es.geocities.com/frentesocialistapr/page2/ files/librosindical2001 .pdf. 16, Some of these ideas are developed in Rafael Bernabe, Manual para organizar velorios. Notas sobre la muerte de la nacion (Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico: Huracan, 2003). Puerto Rico's Social Movements 1. J. Torres, Filiberto Ojeda Rios. su propuesta, su vision (San Juan: Editorial Callej6n, 2006).

40

2. The entire interview was broadcast by WPAB 550 in Ponce, Puerto Rico. For more information, see Ibid. More Than 25 Years 1. Robert Friedman, "Clinton: Clemency Was Humanitarian Act," San Juan Star, September 22, 1999, p. 5, citing President Clinton's letter to U.S. congressional representative Henry Waxman. 2. Jose F Paralitici, Sentencia Impuesta. 100 Anios de encarcelamientos por la independencia de Puerto Rico(San Juan: Ediciones Puerto Histdrico, 2004). The Diaspora Factor 1. Gabriel Haslip-Viera, Angelo Falc6n, and Felix Matos-Rodriguez, eds., Boricuas in Gotham: Puerto Ricans in the Making of Modem New York City (Markus Wiener Publishers, 2004). 2. Ramon Grosfoguel, Colonial Subjects: Puerto Ricans in a Global Perspective (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2003). 3. Angelo Falcon, Atlas of Stateside Puerto Ricans (Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration, 2004). The figure for Puerto Rico indicates the number of residents who identified as Puerto Rican in the census's so-called Hispanic question. 4. U.S. Bureau of the Census, American Community Survey, 2005 5. Carmen Teresa Whalen and Victor Vazquez-Hernandez, eds., The Puerto Rican Diaspora: Historical Perspectives (Temple University Press, 2005). 6. Jorge Duany, The Puerto Rican Nation on the Move: Identities on the Island and in the United States (University of North Carolina Press, 2002), chapter 7. 7. Rodolfo 0. de la Garza, DeSipio, F Chris Garcia, John Garcia, and Angelo Falcon, eds., Latino Voices: Mexican, Puerto Rican, and Cuban Perspectives on Americans Politics (Westview Press, 1992), p. 104 8. Angelo Falcon, "Stateside Puerto Rican Activist Findings" (unpublished manuscript, National Institute for Latino Policy, August 2006). 9. Edna Acosta-Bel6n and Carlos E.Santiago, eds., Puerto Ricans in the United States: A Contemporary Portrait (Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2006), chapter 5. Reggaeton Nation 1. For a detailed account of reggaeton's musical aesthetics, see Wayne Marshall, "We Use So Many Snares," in Daphne Carr and Mary Gaitskill, eds., Da Cape Best Music Writing 2006 (Da Capo Press, 2006), pp. 260-71. See also Wayne Marshall, "From Musica Negra to Reggaeton Latino: The Cultural Politics of Nation, Migration, and Commercialization," in Raquel Z.Rivera, Wayne Marshall, and Deborah Pacini-Hernandez, eds., Reading Reggaeton: Historical, Aesthetic and Critical Perspectives (Duke University Press, forthcoming). 2. Jaime Torres Torres, " 'Condicionada' la evolucibm del rap," El Nuevo Dia, September 24, 2003; Israel Rodriguez Sanchez, "A investigar los centros nocturnos," El Nuevo Dia, August 22, 2003. Mined Gonzalez Rodriguez, "Velda sigue con el ojo en el 'reggaet6n,' " Primera Hora, August 22, 2003. 3. Welmo E. Romero Joseph, "From Hip-Hop to Reggaeton, Is There Only a Step?" in Reading Reggaeton. 4. Ana Lydia Vega, "Eljaleo del perreo," El Nuevo Dfa, May 23, 2002. 5. As inthe case of salsa, the national origins of reggaeton have been (and continue to be) the subject of heated debate. See Wayne Marshall, "From Musica Negra to Reggaeton Latino." 6. Javier Andrade, "Who's Your Daddy?: Daddy Yankee Takes Reggaeton to the Next Level with 'Gasolina,' " Miami New limes, March 10, 2005. 7. See, for example, Yolanda Rosaly, "iAlto a la mOsica 'underground'!" ElNuevo Dia, February 7, 1995; Lilliana Garcia Arroyo, " 'Rap underground': cNueva alternativa o pornografia?" Claridad, March 24, 1995, Carmen Millan, "Aatacar las agencias el 'perreo,' " El Nuevo Dia, June 11,2002; Jaime Torres Torres, "'Condicionada' la evolucion del rap", Jaime Torres Torres, "De espaldas a la tradici6n," El Nuevo Dfa, October 10, 2004, 8. Edwin Reyes, "Rapeo sobre el rap en Ciales," Claridad, December 28-January 3, 1995-96. Two weeks after Reyes's article was published, Rafael Bernabe replied from the pages of the same newspaper with an article titled "Rap:


NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2007

REPORT: PUERTO RICO

soy boricua, pa' que tOIo sepas" (Rap: I'm Puerto Rican, just so you know), in which he criticized Reyes's position for "dripping with classist prejudice" and attempting to pose itself as "the arbiter of national identity" by seeking to uplift rap enthusiasts from tuserias (lowliness) to Puerto Ricanness. Claridad, January 19-25, 1996. 9. See John Marino, "Police Seize Recordings, Say Content Is Obscene," San Juan Star, February 3, 1995; Raquel Z.Rivera, "Policing Morality, Mans Dura Style: The Case of Underground Rap and Reggae in Puerto Rico in the Mid1990s," in Reading Reggaeton. 10, Juan Antonio Ramos, "Puerto Rico: ýreguet6n?" El Nuevo Dia, April 1,2007. 11.A Calzdn Quitao Primetime, August 10, 2007, WAPA America. 12. Alfredo Nieves Moreno, "(Di)Vanidad: Entrevista a Ivy Queen," El Nuevo Dfa, Revista Domingo, April 18, 2006. 13, Kilates: 2do Impacts, 2005. 14, Tatiana Perez Rivera, "Lucrativo el baile del perreo," El Nuevo Dia, May 26, 2002.

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15. Felix Jimenez, Las pr9cticas de la came: construcci6n y representaci6n de las masculinidades puertorriquenias (San Juan: Ediciones Wrtigo, 2004). 16. Laura Rivera Melendez, "Brilla el 'negro Calde,' " El Nuevo Dfa, March 16, 2003. 17. See Frances Negr6n-Muntaner, "Poetry of Filth: The (Post) Reggaetonic Lyrics of Calle 13," in Reading Reggaeton. 18. See Mayra Santos, "Puerto Rican Underground," Centro Journal 8, nos. 1 and 2 (1996): 218-31; Jorge L. Giovannetti, "Popular Music and Culture in Puerto Rico: Jamaican and Rap Music as Cross-Cultural Symbols," in Frances R. Aparicio and C6ndida F J6quez, eds., Musical Migrations: Transnationalism and Cultural Hybridity in Latin/o America, volume 1 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2003). 19. See Juan Flores, "Creolit6 in the 'Hood: Diaspora as Source and Challenge," Centro Journal 16, no. 2 (Fall 2004): 289; Raquel Z. Rivera, New York Ricans From the Hip-Hop Zone (Palgrave Macmillan, 2003).

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TITLE: Reggaeton Nation SOURCE: NACLA Rep Am 40 no6 N/D 2007 The magazine publisher is the copyright holder of this article and it is reproduced with permission. Further reproduction of this article in violation of the copyright is prohibited. To contact the publisher: http://www.nacla.org/

A-Reggaeton  

Reggaeton Nation por Frances Negrón y Raquel Z. Rivera

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