Are we ready to vindicate reggaeton? To a big part of the Latin American music-loving crowd, the answer is a rotund “no.” In many respects, though, reggeton is a massive established property. Most of the genre’s big stars have contracts with major labels and are getting pushed to the forefront.
Musically speaking, the sounds heard on classic joints are still influencing far and wide. People are adapting rhythms in new, interesting ways. Take, for example, moombahton, that takes its cue from the Latino urban style to fuse it with gritty and exciting sounds. Hell, I just witnessed a live show where experimental drum project Black Pus dropped a perreo-ready beat on a slam-dancing crowd of noise lovers.
Far from seeking historical remission, Munchi made this mixtape because it’s a passion project for him. With 10 short tracks, the beat maker gives us over-the-top production, on-the-verge-of-annoying synths, and broken flow like it’s the summer of ’04. He even gets help from people such as Sir Speedy, Frikitona, and Mariano “El Argentino” to bring back the age of hyper sexual rhymes and dramatic beats. It’s interesting to revisit these sounds now since it doesn’t seem like a lot of time has passed, but it’s undeniable that reggaeton has gone through an evolution, especially evident when Munchi samples breakthrough stalwarts like Daddy Yankee or Wisin y Yandel.
Perreo 101 doesn’t give us deep cuts, innovation, or even something of our times. It’s reggaeton the way it used to be. Perhaps it’s still a little early to appreciate these beats for what they were on their own, but it’s definitely refreshing to hear a kick-ass producer let loose by adapting to the rules and limitations of a set genre and make it his bitch, all with tons of glee. One word to describe the mixtape is “fun.”
Myself, I would have loved to hear El General get the Munchi treatment.