AfrodiasporaPOP!

In October, I spoke to Rolling Stone (always wanted to say that!) about how, in their words, “reggaeton, dancehall, baile funk, afrobeats and other diasporic styles are mixing faster than ever — without much help from the U.S. music industry.” The topic has been a sustained thesis on this blog and in my work, of

Desperately Seeking Dembow: Wayne & Wax Poetics

I don’t know if you dear readers get tired of hearing about dembow, but I sure don’t. That said, if my boom-ch-boom-chick narratives start to seem as monotonous a march as some allege with regard to the dembow beat itself, do let me know. Well-worn paths notwithstanding, I’m happy to share this latest riff on

Dembow Complex

In case you missed it, I recently published a piece in RBMA mag about the history of the Dembow, a history I’ve been working to tease apart and put together for a looooong time now. If you’re not familiar with RBMA, it stands for Red Bull Music Academy. And I was pretty happy to be

Chombo Chursday b/w Paki Chulo

Check it out, my micropublic: I’ve got another “Throwback Thursdays” post over at Okayplayer’s LargeUp blog. This time I’m waxing nostalgic about a song produced by none other than El Chombo — Incluye el tema… Veteran readers of W&W may remember El Chombo as the producer of the notorious “Chacarron,” a song which — back

Some Boston Beats (and Rhymes) This Week

Tonight at Enormous Room, Beat Research is delighted to welcome Zuzana Husárová, a Slovakian scholar currently in residence at MIT. In her own words, Zuzana is into: electronic literature, inter/transmedial narrative, digital art, interdisciplinary literary theory, theory of fictional worlds, multilinear writing, techno-aesthetics, performativity of digital sign, playful aspects of culture, etc. She also takes

A Country That Was In Another Country

Since we’re back to the topic of the wide and contested world of reggaeton, it felt fortuitous to find in my inbox this morning a link to a new interview with Renato, Panamanian pioneer of reggae en español. With the effective prodding of Peter Szok, a history professor from Texas, Renato helps to further flesh

Global Reggae

Next week I begin teaching my second course at MIT. It’s a new syllabus, though it draws on certain materials I’ve used before. In contrast to previous offerings, however, this will be the first time I teach a class with a primary focus on reggae outside of Jamaica — on what I’m calling here “global

DJ El Niño Presents: Dancehall Reggaespañol 2010

I first got in touch with DJ El Niño several years ago, dead in the middle of a little research project that would finish like this. (Incidentally, my co-editor Deborah Pacini Hernandez just publlished a new book which is well worth checking: a sweeping and deep synthesis of the history of Latin American popular music,

Panamanian Reggae Rabbit Holes

Boima’s post about a Panamanian/Nigerian jerk-off made me wonder about this Suku Castro character calling out “TODO MUNDO JERKEANDO!” So I did a quick googlywuzzit on his name and landed on this page, which not only hosts yet another interesting example of jerk practice in Panama (a mix containing no Spanish verses but cut’n’pasting several

Independent Riddim

Thanks again to Tom, our man in Panama, who recently pointed me to an additional, and interesting, instantiation of the Miss Independent riddim. As we heard previously, the Ne-Yo instrumental — most famously reappropriated in Vybz&Spice’s “Rampin Shop” — has become a veritable version in Panama, supporting no fewer than a dozen local voicings (and

A La Plenísima

Plena is Spanish for ‘full.’ But it has other meanings too, depending where yr @ —                      In Puerto Rico, plena refers to street music played on panderetas (see, e.g., Sorongo‘s comments here). In Panama, plena refers to reggae — homegrown reggae en español in particular. The riddim method has been alive and well in

Dem Bow Dem

I’ve already discussed and DJ-demo’d the degree to which the Dem Bow riddim underpins the lion’s share of reggaeton tracks. But one remarkable part of the story I haven’t given much focus here is how “Dem Bow” the song — in particular, the chorus melody, but also the basic theme of the lyrics — has

El GaTo VoLaDoR

thx to bill@immanentdiscursivity for sharing this hilariously awesome lookinassnigga-style google-img setting for el chombo’s pre-chacarron reggae/ton panameño classic, “el gato volador” — i wonder how this might shed light on ethanz’s cute-cat theory?

linkthink #95363: Color Guard

Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) PALAOA – Livestream streaming sound from the antarctic ocean (via bldblg) (tags: audio science sound soundscape nature antarctica) Canyon Cody el canyonazo, studying music in grenada via fulbright, promises to live-blog the making of an al-andulus inspired album, w/ such collaborators as gnotes, over the month

Linkthink #4083: AfroCaribEdition

Solo Plena: a frequently updated Panamanian “plena” blog (that means reggae there, y’know), showing that Panama’s reggae scene, as reinvigorated and reshaped as it may have been by the reggaeton explosion, continues apace. &nuff Pma plena pon YouTube too, classic a nuevo here’s El General doing his best Don Dada — and Aldo Ranks puttin

For Unawful Canal Knowledge

Some linkythinky things: Peter Scholtes just wrote an extensive piece on reggaeton for City Pages. Rather than simply rehearsing the well-worn narrative, Peter brings in the voices and stories of performers and enthusiasts in the Minneapolis/St.Paul reggaeton scene, giving new texture to a story whose contours have become all too familiar. He includes a large