Reggaeton is a modification of raggamuffin that, in turn, developed from reggae and Hip Hop. Reggaeton distinguishes itself through its provocative and full of protest Spanish lyrics and exhibits the impact of further Latino styles, like bomba and salsa.
Reggaeton is a relatively new music style that has become increasingly popular in the 90's.
Youth as the target audience of Reggaeton
Just like North American Hip Hop, reggaeton is also directed primarily at young people. Young people of Puerto Rico were inspired to this sound by Panamanian rap to which they also added the rhythms of Bomba and Salsa. So, reggaeton is closely related to the urban youth movement Underground.
In Spanish, one can identify not only Reggaeton, but also a dance style closely related to it and known as Perreo: Perreo comes from a Spanish word "dog" and refers to the lewd way of dancing resembling sexual positions.
Expansion of Reggaeton
Reggaeton gained recognition and popularity first in Panama and then mostly in Puerto Rico. This musical direction expanded very rapidly, though, into other Latin American countries, such as Dominican Republic, Peru, Venezuela, Columbia, Mexico, Nicaragua and Cuba. In recent years, this music style emerged in the USA, mostly in the cities with large Latino population, like New York or Miami.
Nowadays, reggaeton is well known in most of the Spanish-speaking countries and is now capturing Europe. Spanish music industry puts in special efforts into intensive reggaeton promotion, although reggaeton is characterized by flamenco elements there.
The immense popularity of reggaeton in Latin American centers gives a reason to believe that pretty soon it is going to surpass the popularity of such typical Latino music styles as salsa or merengue, reggaeton is "in".
The most popular singers
At the moment, Tego Calderón, Don Omar or Daddy Yankee are the most famous reggaeton performers, but the constantly growing popularity of this music assures the development of many more artists, discos and dance schools, that will make it possible to participate in and enjoy this avant-garde, contrarian urban musical direction.