When I began learning Spanish over a decade ago, I remember sometimes listening to certain songs in Spanish just out of curiosity.
I’d like to say that it was to “help improve my Spanish skills” and maybe it was to a degree in the sense that it slightly improved my listening skills.
But, if I’m being honest, it’s 90% not the reason for why I listened to songs like these below here.
Why those songs specifically?
Honestly, I wasn’t that familiar with Latino culture in general, was learning Spanish and decided to fuck around with random Latino music to see what was out there and if I could understand it.
But, more importantly, I probably replayed those specific songs because they actually sounded alright to listen to.
They definitely aren’t the greatest hits of Latin American music but they’re an alright start for a random teenager in Iowa going through his first semester of Spanish class.
And, if we're being honest, they sound much better than certain alternatives like vallenato or banda.
Not that I would even know what that music sounded like back then.
Still, it was my earliest introduction to reggaeton music that I can remember.
Sitting down and trying to go along with the lyrics to see how fast I can speak in Spanish.
Lots of “yaah, cogela, tetas grandes, es la puta del barrio fino. Yeah …. THIS IS SPANISH.”
In the years since, my reggaeton knowledge transcended beyond very basic songs to various other artists.
Then I began traveling around Latin America.
And, all across Latin America, my refined tastes for reggaeton were vindicated as I continually came across bars or clubs playing reggaeton music.
“Ah, these are my people! I understood their culture since I was 14.”
Truth be told, I always assumed that nobody disliked reggaeton.
It was commonly heard in cheap public city buses, in clubs and bars and wherever else.
And all of the locals I became friends with seemingly liked it.
It wasn’t until I came to Mexico where I noticed that the love for reggaeton isn’t universal.
The Hate for Reggaeton
Obviously, not EVERYONE likes reggaeton in Latin America.
There’s got to be someone who dislikes it, right?
Maybe some 97 year old grandmother in a rural Bolivian town of 1,450 people who only listens to music like this?
OK, she doesn’t like reggaeton for sure!
But anyone else?
Well, as I said, it wasn’t until I arrived to Mexico City where I actually noticed any sentiment against reggaeton.
It’s similar to this article here where I asked “do Latinas hate reggaeton?”
Because, after enough time in Mexico City, I’ve noticed a specific type of woman who claims to dislike reggaeton but listens to it.
And that’s where we’ll start off at.
The Musical Genre Piñata: Only for the Maleducados
One thing you will notice about a lot of Latin Americans is that there’s a lot of people in this region were are EXTREMELY superficial at trying to put on a show of being “educadooooo” or “educated.”
Like those who are insistent on trying to show how great their English is or whatever else it might be.
It’s my opinion that plenty of Latin Americans do the same when it comes to reggaeton.
For starters, you have those women I mentioned before in this article here where, on Tinder, they claim they hate reggaeton.
Personally, I interpret this as their way of saying “I’m not like the other women. I’m not a slut.”
Because, given reggaeton’s reputation for having more erotic lyrics, it’s just a way of saying “I’m not into that. I’m not easy.”
Then, as I said, they oddly enough like reggaeton when with me.
“Que le pasa, amiguita? Pensé que no le gusta reggaetón?!”
But it goes deeper than that.
Given that reggaeton also a reputation of being for “nacos” or lower class people, I’m of the opinion that some Latin Americans dislike reggaeton just because of that reputation.
Where some don’t want to be associated with anything that could be deemed “lower educated.”
Beter for “those of the calle” than for an aspiring millionaire like myself!
Because, similar to the women, I find these same type of Latin Americans to still ENJOY reggaeton when the moment passes.
Be it going to bars or clubs where it is playing, listening to it at home or just enjoying it in public when it comes on the radio in the bus or something.
Which, to be fair, might sound odd, no?
Why would someone who is so obsessed about “coming across as educated” be hearing reggaeton that they supposedly hate on a public bus?
Don’t they have a car?!
The Middle Class is Above it All
That’s the irony of it!
In my experience, I often find there is a bit of smoke behind the fire for some of the stereotypes that people bring up regarding reggaeton.
One of them, as you can see here, is that reggaeton is “only for nacos and fresas.”
And, as you can see here, those two words are quite the contrast!
Low life people living in shithole neighborhoods and the upper class folks both liking reggaeton?
Though, when I saw that comment, I read some of the responses and found this also that I agreed with here.
Where, in Mexico City anyway, you see a lot of love for reggaeton in the gay neighborhood Rosa.
I used to live near there (next door in Roma) where I’d pass by the area occasionally and you’d (and likely still do) always hear reggaeton music from the bars.
Similarly, I remember my last walk through Tepito – a neighborhood known to be dangerous and shitty – and was very impressed by the reggaeton viejo songs that they were playing.
And for the fresas?
Well, being honest with you, I don’t go to clubs in Polanco where they go.
I have been to nicer clubs though in Polanco before and in other Latin cities and have met upper class Latinos.
It is based on my experience that they tend to be sometimes be less judgemental about reggaeton ironically enough.
After all, you’d think that they’d hate reggaeton give “it’s for nacos.”
But not really!
To sum it up, I would take the screenshots above and say there is smoke behind the fire regarding reggaeton having more love from “fresas, nacos y los gays.”
Though there is a difference!
In the clubs I have been to, I’d say, based on my limited experiences only, that “fresas” tend to listen to more “reggaeton nuevo” and nacos – like those in Tepito or Santo Domingo – listen to more “reggaeton viejo.”
That is generally true!
In the gym I go to in Santo Domingo, there’s A LOT more reggaeton viejo than reggaeton nuevo.
Personally, I think it’s because reggaeton nuevo is newer, less sexually explicit and fresas – though they do engage in their own form of classism – don’t feel the need to prove how “educado” they are by hating reggaeton.
They know everyone else knows that they are more comfortable and don’t see the need as often to hate reggaeton to show to others how “educado” they are above those “nacos” who listen to it.
And the nacos? Why do they prefer reggaeton viejo?
Again, this is all just gringo “talking out of my ass” speculation but I feel it’s because reggaeton viejo sounds “more hungry” and also “is more direct.”
The young men who are hungry down here in Santo Domingo or in Tepito resonate more with someone who sounds like they are hungry like Tego Calderon and not some upper class rich kid like Bad Bunny who gets his 3 meals a day served from a chef.
On top of that, I feel folks down here have less issue with “direct language” and actually prefer it (the men at least).
They want to hear lyrics about “fucking the hoes like they hoes” instead of “I love you, you love me.”
That really is the difference, in my opinion, between newer and older reggaeton.
The latter sounds like it comes from artists who haven’t made it yet and are hungry or at least remember what it was like being hungry and who made music in a time where they were allowed to be more direct with no censer allowing them to be more sexually explicit and rougher in their lyrics.
Whereas new artists – like Bad Bunny (seriously, who the fuck calls themselves Bad Bunny?) – doesn’t have either when you compare him to the older shit from Tego Calderon, Daddy Yankee, etc.
Even with Daddy Yankee, you hear his older shit than his newer shit at the gym I go to.
It simply resonates more.
And why do the gays like reggaeton?
I don’t know.
But, what I do know, is that if you walk past Rosa during the night, you’ll hear reggaeton and it seems popular there also.
So I agree with that screenshot above saying that Rosa has reggaeton also.
I guess gay people aren’t as afraid to be as sexually explicit or they don’t mind those type of lyrics anyway.
Still, I can hear one of the complaints already – “aren’t you stereotyping?
Yes but much of what I’m saying is true based on my observations and opinion only.
Still, obviously not every fresa, naco and gay dude likes reggaeton.
But, when I look at that screenshot way above, it does resonate with my experience in that I get what they mean.
There’s a few minor observations to put out there before we wrap this up.
First, it is my opinion only that those who are most likely to stick their noses at reggaeton – viejo or nuevo – are middle class folks who feel a need to prove that they are above it.
Or very religious folks.
Or women who want to come across as “not slutty.”
Second, this is obviously all stereotyping as I said. It’s really just shooting from the hip thoughts regarding informal experiences I’ve had and observations where I’ve noticed who is more likely to enjoy reggaeton or look down upon it.
Third, obviously you got those who dislike reggaeton not because they are obsessed with trying to come across as “educadoooo” but simply because they don’t like it. Just not their style. Fair enough.
Fourth, you got guys like this dude here who, in my opinion, dislike reggaeton because they want to come across as “woke” to women.
The same type of character who runs up to random women he don’t know asking in a nasally voice “IS HE BOTHERING YOU?!?!?’
In short, the type who says he dislikes reggaeton because of how “misogynistic” it is because that’s the only talking point he’s heard about it that he thinks will make women like him more.
Fifth, the bigger point here is to again emphasize the class emphasis I see between reggaeton and who likes it by class.
As I said, it really is that type of music that, for some odd reason, is a symbol of the classism in Latin America by how often people associate it with “nacos” even though the lyrics of the latest songs are basically neutered.
To me, it’s just retarded how people hate on reggaeton today for that reason because I dislike it whenever people blow smoke up your ass about how “above it all” they claim to be and also especially in regards to their retard understanding of current reggaeton songs.
Most reggaeton songs of today are not like those 20 years ago.
Finally, I obviously like reggaeton. But, if you dislike reggaeton for whatever reason (even if the reason is bullshit or if it’s just because you don’t like it), then no hard feelings.
We all like what we like and that’s understandable.
The only thing is I’m not going to act like an arrogant ass calling you a “naco” because of whatever your musical tastes are.
If you happen to be of so low T that reggaeton is not part of your gym routine but “Barbie Girl” or “Madonna” is, then I’ll respect what you prefer.
We’re all human anyhow with our own tastes.
Anyway, that’s all I got to say.
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Thanks for reading.
And enjoy some last minute reggaeton here.