I first heard of DJ Playero in this long, excellent post from Wayne.
Playero a key player in Puerto Rico’s rambunctious proto-reggaetón scene of the early 90s (think hiphop-jeepbeat-reggae DJ-mixed madness, with rapid-fire singalong vox en español & that low-slung bass reminding you to celebrate your ass’s rhythmic possibilities, which are many). [All 4 MP3s in this post come from Playero’s Greatest Hits vol. 2 mix.] i responded to Wayne’s article, saying, among other things:
Wayne’s piece raises provocative questions on the transformation of ‘música negra’ (black music) to ‘reggaetón latino’, where the “receding presence of hiphop and reggae, this disappearing sonic blackness” gets supplanted by the sounds and stances of pan-Latino cultural nationalism.
Do the soft laws of of authenticity and community anticipate, provoke, or reflect this shift?
Or is trying to read causality into viral culture, street culture, a losing proposition from the start?
Mutation, not birth.
DJ, not Author.
3-2-Get Funky – Se Te Hundió El Barco (note the sung melody from this track – riffing on Junior Reid’s infamous ‘One Blood’ vocal line, recently sampled in The Game’s single of the same name. then, 10 seconds later, RZA’s beat for Method Man crashes in…)
Ownership requires strict timekeeping – the original came first, the dude we’re gonna sue for copyright infringement came later. But ‘derivative’ culture (DJ culture, webbed thoughts) is a miasma of signifiers and style, dancing in the omnivorous, sensual now. Listen to the way his mixes pull in black music from all around… Lots of the DJ Playero tapes sound as fresh today as they ever were. Maybe fresher.
The swamp, the sampler, the street. Heat become environment, the air in your lungs.
Yesterday a tornado passed thru mi barrio.