I wasn’t going to do any more reggaeton playlists in part because I wasn’t sure if anybody cared. But more importantly, I’m married and thus removed from the party scene. The bars and dance floors of Latin America are where you hear this music, and I’m not in any of those places.
But that all changed with “Tu No Vive Asi,” which I accidentally discovered on YouTube while not even browsing reggaeton.
“Tu No Vive Asi” by Arcangel and Bad Bunny
Note: the wife argued this is not reggaeton, but “rap.” For our purposes and in reality, there is really no difference. Reggaeton is the urban music of Latin America.
In my humble opinion, is a new milestone for reggaeton. I’d call it Art with a capital A. The sound and even the video transcend what was already a pretty developed industry. I have listened to it so many times, at least 30, that there would not have been a Reggaeton Roundup 2016 if it weren’t for this song.
Once or twice on the bus I have been tempted to stick my head out the window and holler at some local ñeros in stiff baseball caps, “¡Tu no vive asi!”
On a Christmas vacation to Arequipa I cooked turkey with stuffing while occasionally shouting out, “Tu ronca cabron y no vive asi!”
One very early morning in Arequipa’s empty Plaza de Armas with my daughter in the stroller, I shouted the same line with no consonants just to hear the echo off the portalitos.
Arcangel had been on my radar before but this song, but I may have to dig further into his catalog for more gems like this one. The whiteness of this new fella, Bad Bunny, and his distinct sound tempt comparisons to Eminem.
This song alone almost inspired an article titled “Hipsters will be listening to reggaeton in 100 years.” The argument would be that many people will dismiss this music because of the people they associate with it — scoundrels and crooks. But that was the exact crowd that created and partied to jazz and blues during each of those genre’s formative years. It may take a couple generations for these guys to look like sweethearts, but when that happens there’s no denying the funk. And when that happens, your grandchildren will be wondering what your lame ass was listening to right now. And when they found out you liked Rock en Español and techno/electronic/dance music, they’ll wonder if they were adopted.
“Me Reclama” by Ozuna and Lui-G 21 Plus
This makes the list because it has become the song of the summer in Lima. Like any genre, some songs catch on in some cities and not in tohers. Odd this one is so big in Lima because it doesn’t seem to have blown up in other cities, which I only assume because it doesn’t have a proper video. But if you’re drinking in any given seedy bar in Lima, this is what’s most likely on the radio right now.
“Tumba la Casa” by Los De La Nazza and Alexio
Inarguably catchy by a seemingly newcomer, or at least new to me, in Alexio “La Bestia,” the obese rapper from the video who is all of a sudden featured with the industry’s top acts. This song gets a special mention for being catchy with children. It’s the first Spanish-language adult song my son requests by name – it’s easy to say “Tumba la casa, mami.” So Tumba la Casa joins the exclusive list of adult songs he has requested which includes Blitzkrieg Bop, Walk and We Dem Boyz.
“Shaky Shaky” by Daddy Yankee
Perennial chart-topping Daddy Yankee’s flavor of the month. Utterly danceable, and forgettable after a year.
“Hasta el Amanecer” by Nicky Jam
The token reggaeton song for girls by the token artist for girls, and closing in on 1 billion YouTube views. If I had done a roundup last year, I would have been obliged to include Nicky Jam’s Perdon, which got stuck in my head despite (or because?) how annoying it is. It was everywhere.
“El Teke Teke” by Crazy Design and Carlitos Wey
This is the token overlooked gem from before the year of the roundup. Originally from 2012, this is obviously catchy but I found the video hilarious. Marry one of these women at your own risk 🙂
“Choca” by Plan B
Did I miss one worthy of mention? Post a link to your favorite reggaeton track in the comments. From my end, I will embed the video.