Hip-hop is by far the most region-oriented genre in music. When you are first getting introduced to an emcee only two things really matter: their name and where they are from.You never hear anyone say "California's Katy Perry" or "Oklahoma representative Garth Brooks".
Still, while we are so concerned with who is the king of New York or the influence of Southern rap, we forget there is a whole world out there full of music. Sometimes it takes something like
, highlighting some global music trends you probably don't know about (unless you live in Asia or Brazil) and sometimes it takes an artist selling out Yankee stadium to get our attention.
You can learn a few from the former, but if hip-hop and R&B is your game, then I bet the latter will interest you. Romeo Santos might hail from New York (perhaps that's why he sold out Yankee Stadium), but his style is definitely rooted in music outside this country. With a Dominican father and a Puerto Rican mother, it's no surprise that Bachata is in his blood. Just what is Bachata? Well it's a Dominican style of music that is all about romance and heartbreak. I'm still learning about it myself, but it sounds like it is essentially Dominican R&B that, thanks to its salsa roots, you can dance to. Hmmmm...catchy, danceable beats with songs about heartbreak? Sounds like someone else we know about who happens to be from up North. Perhaps that's why this Romeo Santos and Drak collab seems to fit so well even though they don't speak the same language.
Spanish probably helps, but you don't really have to to appreciate Santos. He has a great voice, the words seem to flow (even thought I don't always know what he is saying), and the beats are really cool. R&B can be a little flat to me, but the salsa influence gives it a little more life than normal R&B. Normally when there is a language barrier I have a tough time getting into the music, but I really dig this stuff. Santos may be a new name to you, but you might have heard of Aventura. Aventura was the group Santos was in before they all took a break to to solo stuff, and it is even doper than his solo stuff. The instuemrnals are much richer and layered.
Oye. Nostoros Escuhamos a la musica de los Estadios Unidos pero son mas musica fantastico en el mundo. Sorry, got a little caught up there. I get it, it's easier to find music from the America/UK because they speak the same language and are always the focus of American blogs, but there is so much good music out there that taking the time to check out music from somewhere can be totally worth it. Music is one of the few things that every culture shares; it may not always be similar, but expression through music is consistent in pretty much every culture ever.
If it weren't for that Pepsi article I would have spent the last hour writing abotu another American rapper, but I'm glad I took the time to find something new, something I really enjoy. It may be harder, and you may not exactly understand the music all the time, but taking a more global approach to listening will make you a better fan of the music. Plus you can impress your hipster friends with your obscure musical tastes; win win.