Thursday, April 05, 2007

Ay Chico (y Chicas!)

Let's talk about music. Like Top 40 music. Today's Top 40 music.

I don't care for it. I work in an industry that requires me to stay on top of what's charting, what the kids are buying, what people on TRL (that still exists, right?) are screaming about and shit... and then exploit that. I honestly make decisions based on artist's criminal records. It's retarded.

What I'm saying is that I'm dealing with "urban" music, mainly. Hip hop and R&B. Now, I don't have anything against hip hop and R&B. I think alot of it today is boring, but there are certainly moments... Most of it is crazy repetitive, though.

But I really, really love "hurban" stuff. Hurban? You haven't heard that phrase? It's "hispanic" + "urban..." Hurban, get it? It applies to all the Spanglish rap, reggaeton, and Latin pop these days.

I've always been a sucker for this stuff - it's in my blood. Really - Grandpa's from Spain and Mom's from Colombia. My mom listens to about 3 different Latin radio stations and has more CDs than I do, except that very few of them are in English. She's got all the Juanes, Carlos Vives, Mana, and she is solely responsible for me having the complete Shakira catalog (which I love - especially the unplugged album. It's muy bueno!).

Anyway, after I listen to a dose of Top 40 radio to refresh myself at work, I switch over to Latino 96.3. It's the hip hop and reggaeton station featuring DJs and callers who Spanglish all over the place, so my once Spanish fluent ears can make sense of what's going on more often than not. And I just love the tunes! Reggaeton is fucking fun. I'm sure it's just as repetitve as hip hop, singing about las chicas and el dinero y drugas and shit, but for some reason, it sounds more interesting to me. It's not the language difference, it's the music. They incorporate street sounds and instruments which make it more real for me... certain kinds of car horns, accordions, pounding drums and beats...

Right now, I Heart Pitbull. He's a Cuban dude singing about money, girls, and la migra. He's actually got quite a political bent, when he's not singing about partying. His parents raised him on Latin poets and he grew up listening to Luther Campbell's shit as well as G-funk styles, and wanted to freshen up the Miami bass sound.

I also really love Julieta Venegas. She currently does sweet sunny Latin pop, but it's more interesting than American pop. To me - I'm not sure why. She mixes in violin and cello and reggae rhythms and rock en espanol toughness... Oh, and accordion. I must like the accordion. It's kinda jazzy, though. Along with everything else.

So maybe it's just genetic, for me to appreciate hurban music more than urban. But it wasn't always this way... I just suspect that hurban is producing less crap at the moment. Maybe.