1 Quoted in Sandra Barrera, “All Over the Musical Map at the Latin Grammys,”
Daily News of Los Angeles, November 3, 2005.
2 Kalefa Sennah, “Latin Grammys are Still Seeking an Identity,” New York Times,
November 3, 2005.
3 A second reggaetón per for mance featured Don Omar, who sang a medley of hits
from his album The Last Don, which was nominated for Best Urban Album.
4 Unless other wise stated, all Spanish translations are my own.
5 As I will discuss later, the origins of reggaetón are hotly debated. However, I
focus my analy sis on reggaetón in Puerto Rico because many of the most pop u lar
artists come from the island. Moreover, Puerto Rican artists and DJs played an
essential role in developing reggaetón when they pieced together vari ous musical
practices from hip- hop, dancehall, and other traditions to create what we now
recognize as the typical reggaetón sound. See chapter 1 for more information.
6 Colloquially, the phrase la gran familia puertorriqueña (the great Puerto Rican
family) refers to Puerto Rico’s racially mixed national identity (Alamo- Pastrana,
“Disrupting Declarations of Freedom”; Jiménez- Román, “Un hombre (negro)
del pueblo”; Rivero, Tuning Out Blackness; Torres, “La Gran Familia Puertor-
riqueña ‘Ej Prieta de Beldá’ ” [The Great Puerto Rican Family Is Really Really
Black]). Brazilian theorist Gilberto Freyre is credited with developing the concept
of “racial democracy” to address similar racial dynamics in his country. Since
then, several other scholars of Afro- Latin Ame rica have employed the term racial
democracy to describe comparable systems of race relations in the region that
celebrate race mixture and racial harmony while contradictorily embracing white-
ness and maintaining racial hierarchies. Another common term in scholarship on