Reggaeton – How Jamaican Dancehall music influenced the music of Latin America – Episode 28

Published on October 24th, 2015

How Jamaican Dancehall music has influenced the music of Latin America, from the digging of the Panama canal to dominance of Dominican Dembow. This show features Wayne Marshall, Marlon Bisphop and Phillipsman

Reggaetón is a music genre which has its roots in Latin and Caribbean music. It’s sound derived from the Reggae en Español from Panama. This rhythm came to Puerto Rico and achieved a greater worldwide popularity. After its mainstream exposure in 2004, it spread to North American, European, Asian and African audiences.

Reggaeton blends musical influences of Jamaican dancehall and Trinidadian soca with those of Latin America, such as salsa, bomba, Latin American hip hop, and electronica. Vocals include rapping and singing, typically in Spanish. Lyrics tend to be in a hip hop style.

While it takes influences from hip hop and Jamaican dancehall, reggaeton is not precisely the Hispanic or Latin American version of either of these genres; reggaeton has its own specific beat and rhythm, whereas Latin hip hop is simply hip hop recorded by artists of Latino descent. The specific “riddim” that characterizes reggaeton is referred to as “Dembow”. The name “Dembow” is taken from the dancehall song by Shabba Ranks that first popularized the beat in the early 1990s, and appears on his album Just Reality.