From Música Negra to Reggaeton Latino

This page hosts audio & video clips to accompany my chapter in the book Reggaeton (Duke University Press, 2009), co-edited with Raquel Z. Rivera and Deborah Pacini-Hernandez. You can read the chapter in full here, but I also recommend the context offered by our introduction and the contributors’ essays.

Marshall, Wayne. “From Música Negra to Reggaeton Latino: The Cultural Politics of Nation, Migration, and Commercialization.” In Reggaeton, 19-76. Durham: Duke University Press, 2009. [PDF]

Please consult the chapter for the context of the following schematic representations:

Figure 1: A skeletal sketch of reggaeton’s boom-ch-boom-chick


Figure 2: Dancehall reggae’s minimal “bomp bomp”


Figure 3: A (very) skeletal sketch of roots reggae’s “one-drop”


Figure 4: Vico C’s version of a standard hip-hop beat*


Figure 6: The basic elements of Puerto Rico’s localized Dem Bow


* The Vico C loop comes from the following clip in the documentary Chosen Few. (I claim fair use for these 14 seconds.)

For more of my writings on reggaeton, see here and here, and for the items I’ve tagged as reggaeton-related around the internet, see here. For a 40 minute mix of dembow-related tracks, go here; and here for an 11 minute mix of “Dem Bow” cover versions.

This lecture, delivered at Berklee College of Music in the spring of 2015, covers many of the same topics, with additional A/V examples:

Finally, a playlist that sketches out the same history I discuss in the chapter and the lecture:


I'm a techno-musicologist, internet annotator, imagined community organizer.

I left my <3 in the digital global, but I reside in Cambridge, MA, where I'm from.

I represent like that.

wayne at wayneandwax dot com

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