What Is Reggaetón? 5 Female Artists You Should Listen To In Honor Of Hispanic Heritage Month
This article was written by The Zillennial Zine’s fall editorial intern Celeste MacMurray. Find her on Instagram at @clsmsanchezx. If you would like to share an article with The Zillennial, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In recent years the genre of reggaetón has really taken off. You may know songs like the 2003-hit “Gasolina” by Daddy Yankee, or the collaboration between Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee on “Despacito” featuring Justin Bieber in 2017. Recently, however, the genre really has been taking off and gaining more visibility. Similar successes can be seen from artists like Bad Bunny with the release of his album Un Verano Sin Ti and the massive success of his song “Tití Me Preguntó.”
Many debate the exact origins of reggaetón, but most agree that the migration of workers in the 80s to Panama for construction of the Panama Canal kickstarted the birth of the genre. This event alone caused the merging of the reggae genre with the Spanish language and culture.
Reggaetón incorporates many influences from Jamaican music culture such as dancehall, ska, reggae and Jamaican riddims. From the 80s and onwards to the 90s, reggaetón has traveled all across the Caribbean and led to other subgenres such as Dembow in the Dominican Republic. The genre also has a history of taking influence from hip hop, something that can be seen, for example, in “La Jumpa” by Arcángel and Bad Bunny that experiments with both house and drill beats.
For many years reggaetón has been a mainly male-dominated genre, but in recent years more and more women have been taking over the scene. In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month and to highlight some of the women topping the charts as of late, here are 5 female artists you should listen to as an introduction to the reggaetón genre.
Ever since the release of her song “MAMIII” in 2022, people have been unable to get enough of Columbian singer Karol G. The self-referred “bichota” has been having a highly successful year and has released two albums within the span of six months this year alone. The release of her album Mañana Será Bonito, which translates to “Tomorrow will be beautiful,” in early 2023 landed the album on the number one position on both the Latin Album charts and Latin Rhythm Albums. Later this year in August, she released Mañana Será Bonito (BICHOTA SEASON) and has been touring all over the United States.
Natti Natasha is no stranger to the charts and has been placing on them since she arrived on the scene in 2017. With the release of her song “Criminal” featuring Ozuna, she peaked at number 5 on the Hot Latin Songs chart. Another successful single of hers is her collaboration with Becky G on the song “Sin Pijama.” Knowing just how to make an addictive hit, you always find yourself coming back to relisten to her songs over and over again.
Before her crossover into the Latin music scene, Becky G was well-known for her success on the American charts with her song “Shower” when she was only 17 years old. Then, in 2016, she officially crossed over into the Latin market with the song “Mayores” featuring Bad Bunny. Since then she has reached massive success within the genre, and has collabed with a wide variety of artists such as Karol G, Peso Pluma, Pitbull, Anitta and J-Hope of BTS.
What I love the most about Anitta’s music is her ability to experiment with reggaetón while also honoring her Brazilian roots. The recent release of her song, “Funk Rave,” was meant to honor her roots as a Brazilian woman and within the genre of Brazilian Funk. As a speaker of Portuguese, Spanish and English, you can find songs of hers in any of the three aforementioned languages. “Envolver,” a Spanish track, topped the Hot Latin Songs chart at number 3 and remained on the charts for 21 weeks. She is also an openly bisexual woman and has talked about this in her Netflix documentary Vai Anitta in 2018 and does so in her songs as well.
Fairly new to the reggaetón and Latin trap scene, Young Miko is already making waves with her music. Breaking out into the scene in 2021 and starting off on Soundcloud, she has been growing in popularity since the release of her EP, Trap Kitty. As an openly lesbian rapper, she is not afraid to talk about her identity within her music and has been a beacon of representation within the scene. She has also recently collabed with artist Karol G on single “DISPO” for Karol G’s follow-up album Mañana Será Bonito (BICHOTA SEASON). “Classy 101” was the rapper’s first song to land on the charts, making it to position 15 on the Hot Latin Songs chart and 17 on the Billboard Global 200 chart.
Do you love reggaetón and have any artist recommendations? Let us know down below!