September Playlist Highlights
|Dile||Don Omar||Reggaeton||Puerto Rico|
|Dutty Love||Don Omar ft Natti Natasha||Reggaeton||Puerto Rico|
|Danza Kuduro||Don Omar||Kuduro||Puerto Rico|
|Gasolina||Daddy Yankee||Reggeaton||Puerto Rico|
|Ven Conmigo||Daddy Yankee||Dance||Puerto Rico|
|Sexy Moviminto||Wisin y Yandel||Reggaeton||Puerto Rico|
|Follow the Leader||Wisin y Yandel||Dance||Puerto Rico|
|Pa Que Se Lo Gozen||Tego Calderón||Reggaeton||Puerto Rico|
|Pegaito a la Pared||Tego Calderón||Reggaeton||Puerto Rico|
|Papi Te Quiero||Ivy queen||Reggaeton||Puerto Rico|
|Dime||Ivy queen||Bachata||Puerto Rico|
|Peligro De Extinción||Ivy queen||Latin Fusion||Puerto Rico|
In part one of this two part series we delved into the origins of reggaeton music. In part two we will look at some of the top reggaeton artists of today and what YouTube can tell us about how reggaeton is evolving.
Possibly the most successful reggaeton artist ever, Don Omar (aka William Omar Landrón Rivera) has been making reggaeton music since the early 2000’s. His first studio album, “The Last Don”, was released in 2003 and is 100% reggaeton. Some of the more popular tracks from the album are “Dile”, “Dale Don Dale” and “Pobre Diabla” with “Dile” having the most YouTube views at 35 million*. Fast forward to 2010 and the release of his album “Meet the Orphans”. On this album and it’s follow up, “MTO II” Omar moves away from pure reggaeton to include a number of other musical styles. Like “The Last Don”, these new albums contain several hit songs. However, according to the view counts in YouTube it’s the non-reggaeton songs that are the most popular. Granted “Dutty Love” and “Hasta Abajo” have over 49 and 30 million views respectively. However, the smash hits “Danza Kuduro” and “Taboo” have a combined total of almost 500 million views. As I mentioned in my last blog post, “Danza Kuduro” is a take on Kuduro music from Angola and “Taboo” is a take on Lambada from Brazil.
One of the originals from the early underground/reggaeton scene, Daddy Yankee (aka Ramón Luis Ayala Rodríguez) has been making music since the mid 90’s. However, it wasn’t until the release of the song “Gasolina” that his commercial success took off. “Gasolina”, from the 2004 “Barrio Fino” album, is one of the anthems of reggaeton music. Internationally successful, the song reached to number 2 on charts in Denmark and Italy and number 32 on the US Billboard top 100. The song has 22 million views on YouTube. Yankee’s latest album “Mundial” was released in 2010 with the most popular song on the album being the merengue influenced “La Despedida” (included in the MPop blog post playlist) with 25 million YouTube views. Yankee’s next album “Prestige” comes out this month and of the three singles that have already been released the most popular is the dance influenced collaboration with Prince Royce “Ven Conmigo” with a YouTube view count of 60 million.
Wisin y Yandel
Juan Luis Morera Luna and Llandel Veguilla Malavé are the Puerto Rican duo known collectively as Wisin y Yandel. Like Daddy Yankee, Wisin y Yandel are early arrivers to the reggaeton scene dating back to 1998. Some of their popular reggaeton work includes songs such as “Pam Pam” (2005, 10 million YouTube views), “Pegao” (2006, 11 million YouTube views), and “Sexy Movimiento” (2008, 13 million YouTube views). Their latest album “Los Líberes” was released in July of this year. The top song from that album is the dance influenced collaboration with Jenifer Lopez “Follow the Leader” with a YouTube view count of 60 million.
Women are much less prominent in the reggaeton world than their male counterparts but Ivy Queen (aka Martha Ivelisse Pesante) is one of the few exceptions. She has been involved in underground/reggaeton music since its early days with her first albums being released in the late 90s. Her first reggaeton album, “Diva” was released in 2003 and the most popular song from the album is “Papi Te Quiero” with about 3 million YouTube views. However, like the other artists I have listed her most popular song on YouTube is not reggaeton. It’s the 2008 bachaton song “Dime” with almost 7 million views. She released a new album, “Musa”, at the end of last month. The first single off that album, “Peligro de Extinción”, is not reggaeton either but Latin fusion. The song only has about 100, 000 views. However, it is currently her top selling song on iTunes (the track is not available on iTunes Canada).
At 40 years of age Tego Calderón (aka Tegui Calderón Rosario) is one of the older artists in the reggaeton scene. He has gained recognition not only for his music but also for his socially conscience lyrics, a rarity in modern reggaeton. Though very talented he has not achieved the same internationally popularity of the other male artists in this list. Searching for him on YouTube you will find that his two most viewed songs are almost 10 years old: “Metele Sazon” from 2003 (15 million views) and “Pa Que Se Lo Gozen” also from 2003 (5 million views). Calderón appears to be more interested in making good music by his standards (reggaeton or otherwise) and less interested in making music that will sell albums. Case in point, Calderón has stated that he finds modern reggaeton has become too much like pop music and for the first single, “Pegaito a la Pared”, from his upcoming ablum, “Mr T”, he has incorporated more elements of dancehall and reggae.
YouTube views are not exactly a scientific measure of the direction reggaeton music is headed. However, I think they are a good indication of the music people are seeking out and what I take from these view counts is that audiences are showing a preference for the non-reggaeton music put out by reggaeton artists. In turn, commercially successful artists and those that want to be commercially successful are turning more and more to non-reggaeton music to increase their popularity. There still is a big market for pure reggaeton but what I see (and hear) is that the music is moving away from the dem dow driven tracks of the past 10 years. How reggaeton evolves is anyone’s guess but like any popular genre the more popular it is the more it sounds like pop music.
Questions, comments, requests? Send me an email at djyeayea_at_salsaddiction.com
Hasta la próxima
* There are often multiple videos for the same song on YouTube. For view counts listed in this post I took the count from the video that had the most views. The YouTube view counts are current as of Sept 1, 2012.