[“Happy Cinco de Mayo” from Tray]

Head to La Congona for my Cinco de Mayo special, 6 cumbias 4 May 5th!


On Wednesday, May 6th, 7-8PM EST, Raquel Z. Rivera and Wayne & Wax, co-editors of the new ‘Reggaeton’ book, will be joining me live in studio for Mudd Up! radio (WFMU 91.1 FM NYC, streaming worldwide, no te lo pierdas!) !

From Panamanians to Playeros to post-DemBoleros, they’ll be spinning rarities alongside discussion of the genre’s complex roots and current possibilities.


on Flickrlandia, Logan Mills reimagines Wu Tang LP artwork as Blue Note classics:


[Logan Mills Wu Tang redesign]



[Logan Mills Wu Tang redesign]



Fans of cumbia and other tropical sounds should come to the Bersa Discos party in San Francisco tomorrow (sat.) nite, where i’ll be DJing krunk kumbia heaters alongside Bersa bredren and some of Buenos Aires’ Zizek gang.

ive been chatting a lot about cumbia lately, so i’ll take this moment to say: reggaeton production as lively & creative than ever. here’s a supercharged cover tune, sort of… from a Dominican-German? singing one of the songs labeled inappropriate by Clear Channel post 9/11:

Wilman de Jesus – Walk Like An Egyptian (Pytter mix)

plus, the only neo-whatever WTF clubb jam that’s more now thing than Crookers’ Kid Cudi remix is a new top secret Jah Dan exclusive i will be airing at all available soundsystems, prod. by Matt Shadetek, the only producer i know whose music has gone full viral in NYC black youth culture.


“I was posing [nude] like this.”

“Oh, that’s good.”

“Yeah but this is America. People will think the worst of me.”

Ni fu ni fa…”

. . . .

Tego Calderón – Ni Fu Ni Fa (from El Abayarde Contra-Ataca)

El Abayarde

. . . .

This Friday, I will be DJing at the massive WFMU Record Fair in Manhattan. 8-10pm. Many hard-to-find records in one place. I’ll probably spin cumbia / north african tunes.

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Raquel Rivera’s Reggaetonica has been popping as of late (more bilingual blogs please). This post references recent waves of police violence in Puero Rico, linking to excellent new response songs by Calle 13, Welmo, and Julio Voltio. (I dropped the lyrically stunning Calle 13 one in my radio show last night, approx here.)

Residente Calle 13

[Residente, Calle 13. note Basquiat tattoo!]


if you harbor any doubts about David Banner’s complicated greatness, I suggest you read his Fader interview.


When people come to David Banner they want some pimpin, a little bit of violence, a little bit of God so they won’t feel bad about the pimpin and a little bit of revolution just because they know that that’s me. Past that motherfuckers don’t want shit else from David Banner. I tried to be creative, I tried to change music. Fuck that. We don’t even get the support from our own structures and the shit that we be around. So it’s like, we gotta do safe music, everybody wonder why people in the south do the type of the music they do, because ain’t nobody behind us. We don’t have that support that Eminem has, we don’t have that label support that Outkast has, and then on they last record Outkast didn’t get supported so how can we do something experimental when our label ain’t gonna push it on America? We can’t do what Eminem is doing, like if I had the support that Eminem had…shit I might mix some salsa music with some reggae music and throw some 808s in there, you never know what the fuck a nigga might do. And that’s what movies have done for me. I don’t wanna be David Banner all the fucking time. That’s depressing. With movies I could be somebody else.

[foto by Amanda Marsalis, from Fader 28]


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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?

H.C.P. – Soy Un Criminal

Or is trying to read causality into viral culture, street culture, a losing proposition from the start?

DJ Playero – 37 Remix

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.