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Saturday, June 14, 2008

Reggaeton Round Up, Part 2: ¡Cumbia Tranzas Güey!

This round up we gwan mainstream cumbia-techno-rave-trance-synth-reggaeton.

Like I said before, my Nigga from Panama is featured on a ravy cumbiaton track of the new A.B. Quintanilla project, Kumbia All Stars.

The story of A.B.'s former group, Los Kumbia Kings, is one ripe for a telenovela with a bitter break-up, ensuing beef, and claims that payola is a big part of a rival's success.

As Puerto Rican reggaeton seems to be heading off into new territory, and Panamanians are reclaiming the roots of spanish reggae, nuevo cumbia, taking cues from both, is in the right place for a mainstream global taykeova in the "urban" latin listening audience (as already evidenced on this site and many others.) Perhaps in the minds of many Latinos, reggae and cumbia have always been related. My girlfriend said that when she was a youngster in Bolivia, they used to call El General cumbia, and when I listen to "Tu Pum Pum" today, I hear how they could feel the cumbia rhythm inside the reggae beat (as I hear reggae in the first cumbia songs I heard.)

Since the break up of Los Kumbia Kings, Cruz Martinez and A.B. Quintanilla started their own cumbia super groups, Los Super Reyes and Los Kumbia Allstars. (I like their naming strategy!) With two of the biggest hits on the radio here on La Kalle in San Francisco, there must have been some formula in their camp that works, but as any hip hop fan knows, a good beef and a little (un?) friendly competition can be quite beneficial for the listening audience. As different camps try to out do each other, creativity can come from just wanting to out-do their former homie.

Here is one track from Los Super Reyes, one from Los Kumbia Allstars, and one Cumbiaton track from a couple years ago, remixing another Panamanian reggae song by la Factoría.