Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Reggaeton Revolutionaries

Following up on the previous post, with a special tip of the fitted to Wayne Marshall...

Wayne left a comment on the previous post linking to another Reuters piece entitled "Cuba's Fidel Castro honored with a reggaeton song." Cubaton artist Baby Lores wrote a song about Castro after rumors circulated that the reggaetonero had defected during his last trip to Europe. In the video for the song, while taking "traitors" to task, he is seen getting a tattoo of "El Jefe" on his shoulder.

In the last post I mentioned that to me it seemed like a lot of the rhetoric about reggaeton's "neoliberal" properties had to do with how Cuban revolutionary authorities perceive reggaeton as a product produced by Puerto Rico's neocolonial relationship with the United States. Baby Lores makes that point extremely clear at one point towards the end of the song when he says (roughly translated) "Let me see how I explain, don't confuse Cuba with Puerto Rico, excuse me for saying it this way, but instead of two I prefer only one flag." I thought it was pretty interesting that Lores takes Puerto Ricans and Cuban exiles to task in nearly the same breath, for effectively being gusanos. I don't really know what to make of it yet, but there is something interesting happening here around ownership claims and authenticity -- distancing Puerto Rico (and simultaneously the U.S.) in order to make reggaeton acceptable for consumption within Cuba.

I'll leave you with a YouTube response by Frankoraz:

He says: "Sentí la necesidad de representar al pueblo cubano que vive dentro y fuera de la isla. Esta es la respuesta indignada al irracional tema de Baby Lores "Creo", dedicado a la Revolución Cubana." [I felt the need to represent Cubans who live in and outside of the island. This is an angry response to Baby Lores' irrational song "Creo"].

1 comment:

raquelzrivera said...

Interesting that this "reggaeton" song has a hip-hop beat. Another bit of info to keep thinking about the constantly shifting meaning(s) of "reggaeton."