I have an embarrassing secret to admit. When I first heard reggaeton, I kind of hated it. YES IT’S TRUE; I hated reggaeton. These days, I’m embarrassed to admit it and honestly, have no idea how this is even possible since I’ve been obsessed for a few years now. I don’t speak a lick of Spanish (which is actually surprising considering the amount of reggaeton I listen to), but reggaeton is basically one of my favorite musical genres (after classic rock and right before dancehall – yes I love that to death too).
My journey to reggaeton appreciation was not a fun one. One of my earliest experiences with reggaeton (outside of Gasolina in high school and what is played on the radio) was during my senior year of college and my two friends who had studied abroad in South America had come back more in love with reggaeton than ever before. We were in the car driving to one of our club lacrosse games and they had been blasting hardcore reggaeton for over an hour, and I was over it. I had a headache, the beat was driving me nuts, and I couldn’t understand a word they were saying. Surprisingly though after that moment when it beat me down, I started to like it shortly after.
Reggaeton holds its roots in the same resounding drum/bass background beat. At first I kind of thought all the songs sounded the same, but it wasn’t until I branched out and heard other artists and their songs when I realized reggaeton could be so many things. Danza Kuduro introduced me to Don Omar. It was then when I realized reggaeton artists can do so much more. I also realized that you don’t need to understand the lyrics to enjoy the music as long as it has a good beat. Most of the time these days no one is even saying anything noteworthy in English and I still listen to that stuff. And lastly, I realized that if there’s any type of music you can dance to all night, it’s reggaeton and latin hip hop and pop.
Anyway, I know that reggaeton can be a little scary for those who aren’t familiar. If you don’t speak Spanish, you won’t understand any of the lyrics. Why is there this beat that just keeps repeating? Well, although reggaeton’s roots are in one specific type of beat, there are a lot of Latin artists that make a wide variety of different sounding music that is just excellent. So, if you’re a little scared of reggaeton and want to know what it’s all about, here are five songs I recommend you check out.
If this song doesn’t make you want to dance, get off my blog now. Whenever this song goes on in a bar, club, car, passing car, neighbor playing so loud I can hear, my playlist at work, you’ll find me dancing.
I love this song. It’s my favorite song by duo Wisin & Yandel. The rap in the middle is my favorite part (you’ll know what I’m talking about when you hear it).
Daddy Yankee is a big hitter in the reggaeton world, and this is a big hit that has a great beat.
4. Gasolina – Daddy Yankee, Pitbull, N.O.R.E
Classic reggaeton hit that put Daddy Yankee on the charts in the US. I chose the remix because it has a familiar face to us all, Pitbull (before he started doing whatever it is that he does now).
Classic song with a classic reggaeton beat.
Like I said, these are some “intro” songs that I hope will give you a good introduction to reggaeton. They’re catchy and by well known artists, and I’d definitely recommend checking out these artists’ other songs on Spotify. When all else fails, Songza has a bunch of really great reggaeton stations (many located in the “Party at the Beach” activities section). If you’re not familiar Songza is a great site and app that’s similar to Pandora, but has better playlists in my opinion. Enjoy!
For my reggaeton lovers out there, what are some of your favorite classic reggaeton songs?