sorry about being M.I.A finals are so crazy right now!
In the mean time I want to give a shout out to the new Duke University Press anthology Reggaeton coming out in Feb. 2009. Its edited by Raquel Rivera, Wayne Marshall, and Deborah Pacini Hernandez.
From Duke UP:
A hybrid of reggae and rap, reggaeton is a music with Spanish-language lyrics and Latin-Caribbean aesthetics that has taken Latin America, the United States, and the world by storm. Superstars including Daddy Yankee, Don Omar, and Ivy Queen garner international attention, while aspiring performers use digital technologies to create and circulate their own tracks. Reggaeton is the first critical assessment of this wildly popular genre. Journalists, scholars, and artists delve into reggaeton’s local roots and its transnational dissemination; they parse the genre’s aesthetics, particularly as they differ from those of hip-hop; and they explore the debates about race, nation, gender, and sexuality generated by the music and its associated cultural practices, from dance to fashion.
The collection opens with an in-depth exploration of the social and sonic currents that coalesced into reggaeton in Puerto Rico during the 1990s. Contributors consider reggaeton in relation to that island, Panama, Jamaica, and New York; Cuban society, Miami’s hip-hop scene, and Dominican identity; and other genres including reggae en español, underground, and dancehall reggae. The reggaeton artist Tego Calderón provides a powerful indictment of racism in Latin America, while the hip-hop artist Welmo Romero Joseph discusses the development of reggaeton in Puerto Rico and his refusal to embrace the upstart genre. The collection features interviews with the DJ/rapper El General and the reggae performer Renato, as well as a translation of “Chamaco’s Corner,” the poem that served as the introduction to Daddy Yankee’s debut album. Among the volume’s striking images are photographs from Miguel Luciano’s series Pure Plantainum, a meditation on identity politics in the bling-bling era, and photos taken by the reggaeton videographer Kacho López during the making of the documentary Bling’d: Blood, Diamonds, and Hip-Hop.
Contributors. Geoff Baker, Tego Calderón, Carolina Caycedo, Jose Davila, Jan Fairley, Juan Flores, Gallego (José Raúl González), Félix Jiménez, Kacho López, Miguel Luciano, Wayne Marshall, Frances Negrón-Muntaner, Alfredo Nieves Moreno, Ifeoma C. K. Nwankwo, Deborah Pacini Hernandez, Raquel Z. Rivera, Welmo Romero Joseph, Christoph Twickel, Alexandra T. Vazquez“I cannot overstate how critically important this volume is. It captures the synergies of a musical and cultural movement that few have seriously grappled with, even as the sounds and styles of reggaeton have dominated the air space of so many urban locales.”—Mark Anthony Neal, author of Soul Babies: Black Popular Culture and the Post-Soul Aesthetic
“This anthology introduces a chapter in hip hop history that brings it all back home, back to our transnational Afro-Spanish-speaking countries and diasporas and ‘hoods where young people are going through their hip-hop ecstasies and traumas, but in their own language and in their own unique and hitherto unknown style.”—Juan Flores, author of From Bomba to Hip-Hop: Puerto Rican Culture and Latino Identity, from the preface to Reggaeton
I saw a panel presentation with Félix Jiménez, Raquel Z. Rivera, Welmo Romero, and Alfredo Nieves Moreno at the PRSA 2008 and I can say with confidence that this book is going to change the game. You can pre-order the book from Duke UP and I suggest you do so if you are at all interested in popular music or reggaeton.
For more info check out Reggaetonica.