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April 15, 2024

From censored to celebrated: Historian speaks about influence of reggaetón in CT

Outlet: CT Insider

Author: Crystal Elescano
Photographer: Lau Guzmán

April 15, 2024


‘Many associate reggaeton with current Puerto Rican artists Bad Bunny, Rauw Alejandro and Tainy. While Vázquez is a fan of those artists, she said it was important to teach the origins of the genre.

She explained that the genre originated in the 1990s in Carolina and San Juan, Puerto Rico from reggae, hip-hop, reggae in Español, Salsa and Bomba. It comes from the underground scene of Puerto Rico such as the projects, barrios and underground clubs.

During the early years of reggaeton, the genre was censored and banned on the island.

“Police would raid neighborhoods where they thought music was being made,” Vázquez said. “They would destroy cassette tapes. This was because many artists would write about their lives which included violence, drugs and just what they were exposed to.”

In 2016, Bomba Radio became assessable to Connecticut residents, which was huge for the Puerto Rican population.

“With Bomba, Puerto Ricans were able to stay connected to their culture and have music available to them at any time,” she said.’

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