From Panama to the top of the charts: the history and roots of reggaeton music

Although today it is one of the most popular styles of music these days, the history of reggaeton can be traced back to a variety of musical genres. These genres range from reggae and dancehall to Latin American styles that include bomba, bachata, and salsa. He has also been heavily influenced by rap / hip-hop and R&B.

The style of reggaeton dates back to the country of Panama in the 1970s. At that time, Jamaican reggae began to influence the language and culture of the nation. These early artists gave the Jamaican style a distinctive Latin beat. Meanwhile, Puerto Rico in the 1980s was a site of a related movement. A group of hip hop artists led by Vico C began to combine reggae in their songs. Caribbean and African American music was becoming a significant influence in the country during that time. In the coming years, this trend will grow dramatically. It wasn’t long until a new genre was formed: a combination of Panamanian-influenced reggae, but heavily influenced by electronic music. The traditional Latin American sounds mentioned above were also a key factor for this emerging musical style.

Then in 1991, musician Shabba Ranks came up with a song called Dem Bow. Although it was not clear at the time, this song would go on to have a great influence on the development of the genre. You still follow it here today to refer to the heavy sound of the safe that is characteristic of reggaeton. A couple of years later, the name reggaeton was used for the first time, new artists began to make it extremely popular in various Latin American countries.

A second wave of reggaeton artists were responsible for breaking into the United States market. Once they did, it didn’t take long for them to become widely popular. Today popular artists like Wisin y Yandel, Don Omar, Rakim y Ken-y, Daddy Yankee and many more have topped the charts and cemented reggaetón’s reputation as an incredibly popular fusion genre that is here to stay.

In addition to being a musical force of their own, some of these reggaeton artists have collaborated with other more mainstream artists to draw even more attention to the genre. Daddy Yankee recorded a Gangsta Zone song with Snoop Dogg; Wisin y Yandel collaborated with 50 Cent in Mujeres en el Club; Dom Omar created Conteo with Juelz Santana; and Wisin y Yandel himself also recorded a song with R&B singer T-Pain. In the future, we can look forward to many more of these exciting collaborations, and reggaeton music continues to become more and more popular.