Remixing Reggaeton: Enter The Hurbans

     In the United States, Latinos were stereotyped as “hypersexual party people”. They were seen as “hot tamales” for the way citizens of the United States perceived their music videos and themes in their songs. However, Rivera-Rideau’s argues that if these Latino songwriters and performers could “pass” as being white, they had a chance at being assimilated into the mainstream music industry of the United States. Rivera—Rideau argues, while illustrating through the usage of a spectrum, that these Latino music artists are racialized, essentially being labeled, categorized and compared relative to White Americans and African Americans, to promote the style of music throughout the industry.

     The chapter mentions that Reggaetón does have many similarities to music produced by Black Americans, however, when the genre was introduced to the United States it was labeled as “Hurban” or “Hispanic Urban” to primarily attract the Latino Americans that resided in the states to the style of music. By labeling the genre “Hurban” the genre had the opportunity to flourish in the United States because it was initially targeted to a community that could more easily relate to the style and its themes. I’m sure this was a marking ploy created so that once the music became popular in highly concentrated latino regions of the U.S., the musical genre would spread to other cultures and regions ultimately making more money while appearing to assimilate the culture. Throughout the chapter, I noticed that it seemed that Rivera—Rideau argued in the United States we tend to group the latino genre differently depending on how we care to view the culture in a specific circumstance. Rivera—Rideau states that “this Hurban category linked Latinidad and blackness via stereotypes associated with poor, urban black and Latino communities while simultaneously maintaining the rigid separation between the two categories in the U.S. racial lexicon;” this sentiment ultimately shows that we acknowledge the stereotypes that say these minorities belong to a lower class but we should keep them separate probably to appeal to the Latino community.

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