Reggaeton is Puerto Rico’s horse in this race, and since its inception in the early 1990s, it has surged to a huge lead! It has broken down many musical barriers and has resulted in a collaboration leading to the #1 single on the Billboard Hot 100 chart at the time of this writing, Despacito by Luis Fonsi featuring Justin Bieber. Yes – Reggaeton has hit #1 in the USA!
Early on, Reggaeton incorporated many elements from Hip Hop and mixed them with Caribbean and Latin rhythms. Its lyrical themes were not considered wholesome by the Puerto Rican government and thus it was deemed obscene and inappropriate in mainstream culture.
Reggaeton’s most distinctive element its unique rhythmic signature: the Dembow riddim. Hear it here:
Here are the genre’s biggest crossover hits, worldwide smashes, every one of them:
2004’s risque “Gasolina” by Daddy Yankee
“Danza Kuduro” by Don Omar
And, the previously-mentioned “Despacito” but here’s the original by Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee with almost THREE BILLION VIEWS on YouTube!