Latinos Say Rock Is More Than Just Reggaetón
— published by the New York Times
[snip] But last year, mainstream Latin media were suddenly smitten with a different alternative: reggaetón, the Puerto Rican twist on hip-hop and Jamaican dancehall.
Latin alternative music has been gaining exposure on noncommercial radio, on programs like the Los Angeles television show LATV (online at www.latv.com) and on tour. “The Red Zone,” a popular Los Angles radio program featuring Latin rock, is going into nationwide syndication. Yet while commercial Latin media have occasionally embraced a rocker – like Juanes from Colombia, who has won Latin Grammy awards – as a pop star, until reggaetón arrived they had largely clung to longstanding genres like pop, salsa and Mexican regional music.
With its simple, danceable beat, and with songs and videos full of men bragging about sexy girls, reggaetón had been building an audience in the Caribbean for at least a decade, then suddenly exploded on Latin radio stations here. Last year, the Clear Channel chain and other radio-station owners introduced a new format called Hispanic Urban (often compressed to Hurban). The format has been taking over older Spanish-language stations, bringing in bilingual disc jockeys and playlists that prominently feature reggaetón, often alongside Latin pop and English-language hip-hop.
For those of you paying attention, Clear Channel changed one of their long-standing hard rock stations (in Houston ) to Reggaetón last year. From what I can tell, the new station has a long following.
Time flies and things change…