REGGAETÓN TAKES ITS PLACE
It was a curious omission. By 2005, one could hear reggaetón’s steady “boom-
ch- boom- chick” dembow beat blasting from cars and windows throughout
the United States and beyond. Daddy Yankee’s rapid vocals on his massive
hit “Gasolina” appeared to reach every corner of the globe. Radio stations
dedicated exclusively to reggaetón broadcast all over the United States, and
mainstream tele vision stations like mtv included “Gasolina” in their regu-
lar rotations. And yet, not one reggaetón artist was nominated for a Latin
Grammy for Album of the Year.
“Gasolina” received a nomination for Rec ord of the Year (but lost to Ale-
jandro Sanz’s pop song, “Tú No Tienes Alma”). Besides that, only the “Best
Urban Music Album” category contained any reggaetón nominees or win-
ners ( Daddy Yankee’s Barrio Fino won that year); but, “Urban Music” was
created specifically for hip- hop, rap, and reggaetón albums. And it wasn’t
just Daddy Yankee who was left out. Many people were shocked when
the “Producer of the Year” category excluded reggaetón production duo
Luny Tunes. “Producer of the Year” nominee Sebastian Krys commented,
“I thought Luny Tunes should’ve been nominated for Producer of the Year.
Their productions are changing the landscape of radio, of tele vision, of
everything.”1 The ghettoization of reggaetón within the Urban Music cate-
gory prompted Kalefa Sennah of the New York Times to proclaim, “Luckily,
exciting new genres don’t typically wait for statuettes before they set about
INTRODUCTION
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