Puerto Rican Hip Hop With Jamaican Dancehall Essay

1199 Words May 13th, 2016 5 Pages
In 2004, Reggaetón entered the mainstream music world, quickly spreading to all areas of the world. Reggaetón originated from the underground scene of Puerto Rico’s urban life, combining Puerto Rican hip hop with Jamaican dancehall. In Petra R. Rivera-Rideau’s, book Remixing Reggaetón Rivera-Rideau discusses the cultural politics of race in Puerto Rico, focusing on Reggaetón as a critique of Puerto Rico’s “racial democracy.” At the start of this book, Rivera-Rideau focuses on Puerto Rico’s underground music scene as a culmination of the African Diaspora and a political statement of the racial conditions Puerto Rico faced at the time. During a time when some Latin Americans viewed Spain as the “mother land,” Puerto Rico’s underground music scene “...Reggaetón redirects the gaze toward Africa’s diasporas”(Rivera-Rideau pg. 4).
While diaspora literally means the dispersion of a people across other lands with a connection to their place of origin, Rivera-Rideau explains how this definition actually has a negative effect on race relations in Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico is often depicted as a “racial democracy” where “Africa [is viewed] as a historical and static point of origin rather than an important site for the negotiation of contemporary African Diasporic identities”(Rivera-Rideau pg. 13). African ancestry was viewed as being pre-modern and something of the past; those who did not let go of this past were then seen as outsiders of modern Puerto Rican society. While most Puerto…

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