If you’re a fan of reggaeton and trap, you know the urbano movement has divided Puerto Ricans and Dominicans since, well, forever. Longstanding competition in the industry, as well as deep-seated socio-cultural conflicts between the islands – like xenophobia, racism, and classism – have often served to divide instead of unite us, despite our shared roots and lived experiences. While some treat the rivalry between domis and boris in urbano as friendly competition, the clash has also raised some questions about ethnic discrimination, and sparked conversations about access and censorship, given Puerto Rico’s relationship to the United States.
But a new project from DR urbano heavyweight Alofoke Music is attempting to change the status quo. Un Solo Movimiento is a massive compilation album dedicated to uniting artists from PR and DR, spanning the worlds of reggaeton, dancehall, dembow, trap and beyond.
Santiago Matias Garcia, founder of the staple urbano radio program and label Alofoke Music, developed the concept after seeing the growth and exchange between these artists over the last few years. As he told Beats 1, Un Solo Movimiento emerged because he saw a much-needed possibility for collaboration. “We’ve collaborated musically but never on a serious record. There’s a lot of Dominican talent that doesn’t have the opportunity to record with artists from our sister island,” he said. “We tried to open that opportunity as mediators, and I think we’ve achieved a great project…We sought to send a message of unity.”
Matias Garcia also notes that the goal of the project was to develop the urbano movement in the DR to an international level. “Currently, the Dominican Republic’s urbano movement is expanding,” he said on Beats 1. “Important collaborations with artists from other countries have put us on the map…Artists are positioning themselves in other very important markets, like Chile, Argentina, and also Europe, specifically Spain. There’s a very good opportunity here,” he said.
The project, which dropped on this week, features 30 original songs, with collaborations between legends like De La Ghetto, Arcángel, Fuego, Lito Kirino and many more emerging artists. Ranging from underground hits to radio-friendly club bangers, it’s an ambitious work that’s guaranteed to make waves in the thriving urbano scene.
Listen to Matias Garcia’s interview with Beats 1’s Trap Kingz show and stream the full album below: