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Reggaeton is a form of urban music popular in Latin countries that's sort of a hybrid of reggae, Jamaican dancehall, Caribbean pop, rap and traditional Latino dance. But the best thing about the genre is that it exudes sex.
For instance, check out Ivy Queen. The busty 36-year-old cougar with talons for finger nails will represent the ladies in Trenton on Saturday at the Sovereign Bank Arena's Reggaetone Explosion and give headliners Don Omar and Tego Calderon (and even Shakira) a run for their money.
She's one hot tamale. So hot to trot, the Puerto Rican-native earned the recognition as Raggaeton's "La Reina del Reggaeton" or The Queen of Reggaeton.
For a decade she's reigned as a woman who's forged a style, enriched a sound, led a musical movement to become a global sensation, while being nominated for a Latin Grammy along the way.
With songs like "Quiero Bailar" and "En La Disco," she's alwyas on fire, so you better keep your distance. Or she'll tie you up in those Freddie Kruger-like finger nails.
Reggaeton - Ivy Queen - Diva (Video)
Reggaeton Lyrics and themes
Reggaeton lyrical structure resembles hip hop lyrics. Like hip hop, most reggaeton artists recite their lyrics rap-fashion rather than sing it melodically, although earlier reggaeton songs were toasted in which some are today. Unlike hip hop music, however, a significant percent of reggaeton artists are also singers, may blend rapping and singing, and may also have a "street" image, similar to Akon. Like hip hop music, reggaeton songs have hooks that are repeated throughout the song. Reggaeton started as a genre composed of mostly male artists, with a slowly increasing number of female artists debuting over the years. Notable female reggaeton artists include Ivy Queen, Mey Vidal, Adassa, and Glory. Reggaeton lyrical themes are versatile. Typical themes may include sex, dancing, love stories, partying, short anecdotes of the rapper's life, and problems in life. Popular reggaeton songs are mainly intended to be danceable, rhythmic, party-like songs for young people. Reggaeton may or may not be objectionable depending on the artists, song, and the listener's interpretation, as one reggaeton song may have many interpretations because a song's meaning may not be very clear and direct; Many of the songs are highly subliminal. For example, the song Gasolina is often considered appropriate for children and has made it into the Reggaeton Niños series. However, because of the various possible connotations and literal interpretations of the song, some people criticize Gasolina as having possibly inappropriate sexual content. Latino ethnic identity has been a common theme in reggaeton, articulated musically, lyrically, and visually. Ivy Queen Albums you must have
Reggaeton - The Sound of the Summer
Reggaeton has been the only sound hot enough this summer to cut through the fog of humidity plaguing New York and the radio waves. All June and July I've heard the bumping rhythms and Spanish rap of reggaeton come booming from cars in neighborhoods across Queens, and the new reggaeton station 92.7 La Kalle has earned a preset in my car. Reggaeton, the hottest Latin music genre, blends Jamaican dancehall beats to Latino rap, and it has begun to cross over to the mainstream. Reggaeton stars like Daddy Yankee have climbed the Billboard charts and hip-hop crews and Latino singers including Shakira are cutting reggaeton singles. Even the NY Times has noticed, publishing an article (sadly, archive only) on the music in July.
In Any Language, a Whole Lotta Shakira Goin' On
Shakira doesn't need much to shake an arena to its rafters. No pyrotechnics, no army of backup dancers, no elaborate staging -- not even a pair of shoes. Just her charisma, pipes and hips. E specially the hips. Let's just say that wars have been fought over lesser hips than Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll's. Playing Tuesday at the sold-out Verizon Center, the barefoot singer/songwriter/hip-shaker from Colombia kept things relatively simple yet still managed to make an absolutely convincing case that she's a global pop star in the truest sense.
For one thing, she's a preternaturally gifted performer who has an easy command of the stage and the sort of radiating presence that you just can't teach. There's also that matter of her multi-ethnicity (her mother is Colombian, her father Lebanese), as well as her bilingual catalogue: Though she began as a Spanish-language singer, Shakira has been performing in English, too, over the past five years. And perhaps there's more to come -- she evidently speaks five languages.
Already, her music incorporates influences from all over the world: Tuesday's set opened with a musician playing a solo on an African stringed instrument and, over the next 90 minutes, touched on everything from cumbia (from Shakira's native Colombia), reggaeton (from Puerto Rico) and tejano (Mexico) to bossa nova (Brazil), disco (America) and power ballads (a genre that no country likely wants to claim). There were also Middle Eastern flourishes, most notably during the introductions to "Ojos Asi" and Shakira's English-language breakthrough, "Whenever, Wherever" -- all the better to get the star in a belly-dancing mood.
The crowd, of course, went apoplectic when Shakira began to undulate to those two songs. There was shrieking. There was hyperventilating. There was fainting. And that was just my own reaction.
Shakira is among pop music's greatest dancers, as there is much more to her repertoire than just those swaying hips. (Though there are those.) Lithe and graceful, she has incredible isolation and instincts, not to mention pretty fine technique. If this music thing doesn't work out for her, she might consider a career in modern dance.
But she can hold her own as a singer, even if she doesn't have the best, most distinctive voice in the business. In fact, she tends to sound a lot like other artists: During the rock power ballad "Don't Bother," the obvious reference point was Pat Benatar -- and Shakira even looked the part, gamely strumming a glittery purple electric guitar, then snarling with her foot atop a monitor. In the anthemic "Si Te Vas," she became Cher en español. And Shakira's inflection during "Underneath Your Clothes" recalled Alanis Morissette's -- particularly as she began to caterwaul.
Shakira's voice is plenty powerful. She also rarely misses notes, unlike most of her song-and-dance counterparts. That's no small feat given how kinetic she is in concert.
Backed by a seven-piece multi-culti band that mostly stayed pinned to the back half of the spartan stage, Shakira performed more songs in Spanish than in English, which was a good thing: She's a more convincing vocalist in her native tongue, as she's obviously more comfortable with the language. (She has the tendency to sound tight and clenched when she sings in English. Then again, you might, too, if you were mostly performing melodramatic power ballads.)
Still, her between-song chatter was almost entirely in English. The only time she addressed the crowd in Spanish came after she mentioned that she'd written "Inevitable" on a beach in her homeland, and a roar came from the audience -- particularly from those sections wrapped in Colombian flags. At that point, Shakira proffered a brief shout-out in Spanish. But the language itself ultimately didn't matter, particularly when she unveiled her most recent hits -- both of which have achieved great success on a global scale. First came "La Tortura," from Shakira's 2005 Spanish-language album, "Fijacion Oral" (not to be confused with her 2005 English-language album, "Oral Fixation"). The "La Tortura" video was the first in Spanish to land in regular rotation on MTV, and thousands in the crowd saluted the song and its galloping reggaeton beat like some sort of international hero. The finale was the summer smash "Hips Don't Lie," a duet with the rapper-producer Wyclef Jean, who'd opened the show and thus re-emerged to perform the song live. Not that anybody was paying any attention to him. Not with Shakira making the entire arena twitch simply by swiveling her you-know-whats.
Shakira's Albums you must have
Maykel Fonts, stage reggaeton (Shakira). Roma-2007
Shakira ft Wyclef Jean - Hips Dont Lie
Illustration from Clyde Mendes column at Salsa TV, Singapore