Origins of Reggaeton

Reggaeton has its roots in Latin and Caribbean music. Its sound derives from the Reggae en Espanol from Panama.  This genre was invented, shaped and made known in Puerto Rico where it got its name; most of its current artistes are also from Puerto Rico. 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 Hip-Hop, and Electronica. Vocals include rapping and singing, typically in Spanish. Lyrics tend to be derived from Hip-Hop.

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.  The origin of the word reggaeton comes from combining the English term reggae with the suffix -on, used in the Spanish language to describe something big.

Currently, Puerto Rican mainstream acceptance of Reggaeton has grown increasing more visible with Reggaeton's appearance in popular culture, including a 2006 Pepsi commercial featuring Daddy Yankee and Ivy Queen being named the musical spokesperson for Mountain Dew by PepsiCo. Singers like Don Chezina, Tempo, Eddie Dee, Baby Rasta & Gringo, and Lito & Polaco were very popular.

The name reggaeton only gained prominence in the mid-2001 (from the 2001 to 2002 period), with the Dem Bow beat characterizing the genre; this is in contrast to the more Reggae, Dancehall and Hip Hop-derived tracks previously created. Today, the music flourishes throughout Latin America. 

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