Saturday, July 30, 2005

The Problem with Regueton

Yeah, I listen to it, but the issue is for how long will all of us put up with it? There are many problems with regueton, and if not resolved it will go the way of "Hammer Time" and "Ice Ice Baby." As some of you may know I am a musician, after all, Songuacassal is derived from Son, Guaguanco, Casino, and Salsa. And so I tend to have a very acute ear for spotting "what music is here to stay," and "what music is going to be last years fashion."

Here are the problems with Regueton:

1) First of all, let us call this music by its real name: Champeta and bad Champeta at that. Champeta, for the record, is a Columbian style of music that has nothing to do with Puerto Rico, Raza Latina, or Gasoline. Shakira's song "Tortura" is a perfect example of a very good Champeta song. Daddy Yankee's "Gasolina" (as much as I'll listen to it) is a perfect example of a bad Champeta song. Stop calling it Regueton and call it by it's rightful name Champeta.

2) There is no set dance to Regueton. And to say that Perreo is a dance style is insulting the richness of our hispanic culture and heritage. Hispanics have always been known to be able to dance. Even those hispanics who may not dance well still tend to dance better than the average anglo-american. This isn't a stereotype, it's a cultural difference that should make us proud. Regueton, like Merengue, Bachata, Cumbia and Salsa, needs a basic dance pattern.

3) Unlike actual Reggae, Regueton lacks any cultural or societal connections or any point at all. And to claim: "Esta es nuestra herencia latina." Is insulting in lieu of points one and two. It's Colombian and it's lacking a dance, it's not ours and it has nothing to do with our heritage. If all regueton is going to do is sing about itself then it's going to die a horrible death.

4) I have a CD full of Salsa songs, and each one is obviously DIFFERENT. Regueton sounds the SAME song after song. Unless more variety is created (I've already heard bachata blends which yield some hope)Regueton will begin to bore.

That's it... four simple points that has regueton down for the count. It's now up to the industry to actually be creative.

9 comments:

Henry "Conductor" Gomez said...

Songuacassal,

Have you heard Orishas? I'm a big fan of theirs. It's Cuban Hip Hop but not Reggaeton. I wonder what you would classify it as.

Songuacassal said...

No, Hip Hop isn't Regueton. And ORISHAS are anything but Requeton!!!!! Though many who sing rap and hip hop will do regueton (like Miami's Cuban Pit Bull.)

Regueton (or reggaeton) has that distinctive: "Boom... ka boom ka boom" beat played sometimes ad nauseam.

As far as Cuban Regueton, there is a "special" version called "Cubaton." They use to have a website cubaton.com, but it no longer comes up. As to it being authentically Cuban, it really is the same kind of stuff as Daddy Yankee, only sung by Cubans on the island.

For more information about Cuban Regueton you may want to look up Topaz Records, the artist "El Medico" and his song "Chupa Chupa", also you may want to find other artists like "Control Cubano," "La Familia," "Cubanito 20-02," and "Candyman."

Jessi Prado said...

I'm a big fan of El Medico, Mey Vidal, CandyMan and many other Cuban reggaeton groups. What do you think of their style. I think it's very different. They blend in a lot of the Jamaican riddim along with the Cuban instruments.

Jessi Prado.

Songuacassal said...

Hey Jessi,

You're right, they did define a different sound for Regueton, and made it sound more like Reggae than Champeta. I think I would have prefered that it be a little more authentically Cuban in that it used Guaguanco, Conga or even Comparsa rhythms instead of the Jamaican "love-bump" that is heard in some of the songs. You know, why call it Cubaton if it sounds Jamaican?

I listen to Regueton probably everyday in the car simply because it's new, it's fresh, it's sexy and it's not Salsa. Yet with that said, it still needs to evolve to the next level, because when the novelty wears off (and it is) it'll die the death of the Lambada.

Well, now speaking of next level (and by that I mean moving beyond Lenox, Looney Tune, and Daddy Yankee)Mey Vidal, who you mentioned, no es solamente una tremenda y CUBANASA JEVA pero she is also a Regueton Dama de primer clase on the rise. We can only wait for her to make more of an impact. (for more information go to: Mey Vidal)

Thanks

Songuacassal said...

The link isn't working, so here is the site: www.meyvidal.com

Tremenda Trigueña said...

Songuacassal, I can feel your point on reggaeton, but understand that the face of Latin music for youth is changing...One thing that Latinos have always been great at is mixing several different styles of music and creating something new and fresh. I agree that Luny Tunes is quite repetitive and without a "point", but who is it targeted towards? 14 year-old Puertorican kids going to Catholic school in Río Piedras, not 30-somethings who have studied classical music! :) You're right, reggaeton is sexy music...which is why I listen to it. It puts me back in Puerto Rico (I have been listening to reggaeton boricua since '97 when I lived there) at the IUPI dancing on a rooftop above a reggaeton concert (obviously my yougner days). Reggaeton, like all other forms of music, will eventually evolve or die, but remember that it isn't targeted at our generation. It is targeted to the millions of youth who outnumber us. When I was growing up gangster rap was the new shockwave in town, and everyone was appalled. That particular style has died out, but I won't sit here and tell you that I don't get a giddy smile on my face when I hear DJ Qwik or Ice Cube circa 1991. Just like anything, we don't have to listen to it, but we should probably accept that reggaeton is here to stay for awhile at least...

Songuacassal said...

Tremenda! I not only listen to Regueton, but I dance to it (Damn good dancer here). Your right about the age difference, though I would argue that Gangsta Rap, which I did listen to back in the 90's did have some sort of social commentary (of course there was also the pointless sex, drugs, and booze part). Moreover, Qwik and Ice Cube (giddy smile rising) were obviously different in style; I don't see that happening YET in regueton.

I guess my comment is Regueton will stay, but if it doesn't grow then it will be a short stay at that! I don't think of it like gangsta rap, but kind of like the old school: "B stands for Bronco, Benz, BMW, Bass, Bangles and a pair of Bars, when you see us comin' up down the ave, you'll act like we are stars" -I mean what the f*@king hell were they singing about?! ;)

Tremenda Trigueña said...

True true, but you know Qwik sang "We smokin' bomb bud oh yeah, ooh yeah, we smokin' bomb bud"...I have never smoked weed a day in my life, but I sure do love that song! Hehe...the one thing they have in common is the undeniable power to get your booty shakin' and Songua, can you tell me what's more important than that? ño mushasho, ¡que siga la candela! ;)

Anonymous said...

Don't be such a hater... Regueton is fun and....fun. I really do think you must be old to be saying like, 'all songs have the same beat'.. I live in south beach, Miami and I can tell ya that Reggaeton (like americans type it) is gonna be the next best thing. If it doesnt last long, well, at least I enjoyed it for what it was worth. Who cares if it doesnt have a dance pattern... better so you don't have to be following the same boring steps and going around. Actually, I'm happy that it doesnt follow a step, that way you can dance as you feel, be yourself.
My advise: Go out more often, you might see that it's the next best thing.
Herbert.
herberttucker@hotmail.com