Tuesday, January 15, 2008

VARIOUS ARTISTS - Tributo Urbano a Hector Lavoe (Machete Records, 07)

I really hate when they use the word “urban” to describe a certain sound. I guess they started using it back when hip-hop started to branch out into too many new sub-genres that weren’t strictly rap anymore and the record labels and radios needed to find a way to somehow keep all that shit under the same umbrella.
What do they define as urban it goes way beyond my understanding. I mean, a lot of that ghetto-ass rap and r&b is as urban as indie electro-rock and house or drum-n-bass, in the sense that they come from the big city instead of the suburbs or small towns or, god forbid, rural areas.
Anyway, in a similar way, a couple of years ago they started to use “urbano” to define a new branch of Latin music that didn’t fit in any of the categories the major labels had for the music sung in Spanish: it wasn’t salsa, it wasn’t ranchera, it wasn’t rock-en-Español. And it wasn’t strictly rap either. So some dumb fuck in the marketing department of Univision decided to call it urbano and they even tried to imply that there was a certain “movement” of something called “regional-urbano”. That’s an oxymoron!
Now after the reggaeton explosion, somebody decided that reggaeton should also be considered urbano, since it’s listened by the Latin boys in the cities only... even when the beat comes, mainly, from a tropical island!
Anyway, the idea behind this compilation is to make reggaeton covers/colaborations/new versions of classic salsa songs by one of the masters of the genre, Hector Lavoe (I guess because somebody made a movie about him, that nobody saw, but they assumed there was gonna be a revival of his music associated to the film), and to do that, they invited a bunch of reggaetoneros including Don Omar and Hector El Father. There’s also New York rap-en-español sensation Tres Coronas and a bunch of unknown cheesy crap like Dalmata.
It’s definitely not my cup of tea but I did uploaded most of the songs to my party playlist. I don’t really like to spin salsa, when DJ’ing, so I guess next time somebody come up to the DJ booth to request salsa, I’ll play them this and see how they react. Then I’ll be able to judge if it works or not.

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