Reggaetón, Born in Panama, Bred in Puerto Rico

Written by Robin

I bet you thought that reggaetón came from Puerto Rico. Actually, it originated in Panama!

Reggaetón has its roots in Panama, where Spanish-language reggae was apparently developed in the 1970s by Jamaicans who were descendants of immigrants who helped build the Panama Canal. The new fusion caught on in Puerto Rico, where rapper Vico C (Luis Armando Lozado Cruz) produced the first Spanish-language hip-hop record in 1985. Eventually, the two influences combined into a music that appealed to urban youth in Puerto Rico and ultimately evolved into contemporary existing Reggaetón.

In 2004 reggaetón gained widespread popularity in the United States, eventually gaining attention in many western countries. This was due to N.O.R.E. introducing the genre to mainstream American radio and club scene with “Oye Mi Canto,” followed by Daddy Yankee’s album “Barrio Fino” and his mega hit single “Gasolina.” “That song Oye Mi Canto was the key to introduce reggaeton to the masses,” says Daddy Yankee. “It’s like what Rapper’s Delight (by the Sugarhill Gang) was for the hip-hop movement in the early ’80s.”
Other popular reggaetón artists include, Nina Sky, Nicky Jam, Zion y Lennox, Rakim & Ken-Y, Voltio, Calle 13, Héctor El Father, Ivy Queen, Wisin & Yandel, and Tego Calderon, Alexis Y Fido, Angel & Khriz, Tito El Bambino.