Enter the Hurbans

In the Chapter “Enter the Hurbans” by Petra R. Rivera-Rideau, she talks about how the rise of reggaetón came to be and how was perceived when it entered mainstream United States music. Rivera-Rideau’s central argument is that the U.S media has made reggaetón into something it is not. Rivera-Rideau’s point is that the U.S media has made the reggaetón singers into hypersexual people who are fairer-skinned than most of their Latin peers. The U.S media also portrays the singers as people from the “hood.” Daddy Yankee is the poster child for reggaetón because he is a lighter-skinned Latino who states that without reggaetón he would either be dead or in jail. Rivera-Rideau detests the fact that the U.S media also portrayed well-established Latin singers as “new discoveries.” Rivera-Rideau also dislikes the fact that hip -hop does not get credit for influencing reggaetón. Rivera-Rideau’s dream would be that race would no longer affect the music industry and it should be valued for what the music is and not where it comes from.

Reggaetón is a form of hip-hop that is often sung by Latin artists especially Puerto Rican artists. Reggaetón is associated with “urban” Puerto Rico. What Rivera-Rideau says this translates to is black, poor, thug Puerto Ricans. Reggaetón is often associated with Afro-Puerto Ricans and, because of this, it has been put in this box with hip-hop. The box that reggaetón and hip-hop share is they one that is called “Hood Origin Music.” This means that they both are seen as coming from poorer areas of cities which means they are associated with drugs, sex, and gang violence. Therefore, they are associated with a “lower” class of society and may never be seen as socially acceptable. Reggaetón is male dominated genre, but the singers are portrayed as being super sexy Latinos. A classic example of this is Ricky Martin.  

The reason the cultural exchange between reggaetón and the U.S happened is because the U.S music industry saw the “hurban” population as an “untouched motherload,” meaning they saw dollar signs. As a result, many radio stations started broadcasting reggaetón and other Latin music. If the U.S music industry did not see financial potential for them in reggaetón, it would not have entered the average American’s vocabulary. The U.S music industry say how the hurban population was not having a music directed at them, so they took it upon themselves to make reggaetón more available to them. The cultural exchange between the U.S and reggaetón is because the music industry wanted more money.

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