What is reggeaton?
Reports suggest that reggaeton is a blend of Jamaican sounds reggae and dancehall combined with Latin sounds such as bomba, plena, merengue, bachata, hip hop and electronica. Reggeaton, is known and referred to as plena, musica del underground (underground music) and musica urbana (urban music). Many stories have circulated the airwaves and no agreements have been made on who created the genre or where the movement began. Some sources believe that the genre dates back to the early 1980's, and originated when a Panamanian producer named Michael Ellis introduced the artist El General. Other sources suggest that the movement began in Puerto Rico in the early1990's with several founding fathers who created and flourished the movement. Today, the birth of the genre is still hotly debated.
Reggeaton making its way into American culture
Although not highly televised in mainstream American culture, the genre is thriving in Spanish music television shows, through online social networks and offline Latino communities. Reggeaton maybe popular through these avenues but much work is still needed to create a firm stance for the reggeaton culture and music to be a huge hit in American mainstream music culture.
Reggeaton artists Don Omar and Tego Calderon are finding ways that supercharge not only their careers but also raises awareness to the reggeaton movement, their music, and creates new career opportunities within the American mainstream music business and culture. Most recently, Don Omar and Tego Calderon played lucrative roles in movies Fast and the Furious 4 and Fast and the Furious 5. Surely enough, sources say that movie goers not only get to see these artists in action but also get a taste of their music throughout the movies. These roles will certainly, underline the artists' acting abilities but the question of whether it will highlight their reggeaton stardom and create a lasting impression of reggeaton music in the American music arena, time will only tell.
Similar to Tego Calderon and Don Omar are Wisin and Yandel, who are gaining popularity and success in marketing their music from doing collaborations with American hip hop artists. Hip hop artists 50 cent, Akon and T-Pain, have worked with the dynamic duo, Wisin and Yandel creating songs that blend hip hop style, reggeaton beats, rap style and spanish lyrics. Aside from their success in Latin America, Wisin and Yandel's collaborated songs have brought attention to the genre as well as their artistry in America.
In addition to that duo, is the well known, Daddy Yankee. Highly regarded in Puerto Rico for his music alongside artists like Don Omar, Daddy Yankee was one of the first to explode his reggeaton artistry through collaborations including artists Fergie, Snoop Dogg and others outside of the reggeaton genre.
The future for Reggeaton music and reggeaton movement
What does the future hold for reggeaton? Will new up-incoming reggeaton artists use other career opportunities to make their music widely known in American culture? Will there be opportunities for reggeaton as a brand to hold its own category or will it continue to be a hit only in pockets of Latino online and offline communities and or reaggeaton enthusiasts? Sources suggest that the reggeaton movement is growing steadily within American culture and that in the years to come, reggeaton will be widely known. As far as how the music will be introduced whether directly or indirectly it is yet to be known. So far, the indirect method of introducing the reggeaton artist and genre has been proven to be a successful method, for some artists. Collaborations and acting roles are certainly honing in on the reggeaton hype and it is hoped that support for the movement will grow and continue to thrive strongly and effectively in America.