While it is true that the reggaeton we know and love today came of age in Puerto Rico in the first decade of the new millennium, earlier examples of what would eventually lead to its creation seem to come primarily from Panama where historical records indicate an influx of workers from the West Indies in the early 1900’s for the construction of the Panama Canal.
El General – Rica y Apretadita
While many did not stay there, a significant enough proportion did that parts of Panama City now have a majority black population. As is often the case when foreigners bring their music and culture to a new country, you saw an interesting blend of sounds which led to what some consider reggaeton’s closest relative, Reggae En Español.
Nando Boom – Dem Bow
In an amusing example of circular logic, a click on the link to the English-language translation for the Dutch wikipedia article on bubbeling takes the reader to the article on sandungueo. Known more widely as “perreo” or what we here in North America might call “bump and grind,” sandungueo is the style of dance most closely associated with reggaeton.
Latin Fresh – Ella Se Arrebata
Thus, by following a musical trajectory from the Caribbean to the Netherlands and a separate one from the Caribbean to Latin America, we arrive in the same tiny corner of cyberspace concerned not with balanced inquiry into what exactly these musical styles are but rather the scandal of all the pelvic thrusts that happen when they are played.