A breakneck journey through reggaeton past and present.
On Reggaetoneras 3, the Spanish DJ blends like crazy, layering other people's tracks with her own inventive mash-up edits. It's not unlike the frantic style of classic '90s mixtapes (see the excellent Playero series), though that frenzy is amplified by the capabilities of today's software. Her tape spans all three decades of the genre's existence, from early B-sides and obscurities all the way up to the hybridized crossover stuff that's recently emerged from the club world. It's fitting that Ivy Queen, one of reggaeton's original icons and a pioneer for women in the genre, appears within the first few minutes on the killer "Guillaera," featuring Gran Omar. A couple songs later, we get "Que Se Le Hacen" by La Sexy Rose, a song about how men are like dogs—if they get violent, they can always be neutered.
Where the A-side is heavy on early-'00s classics, the B-side is where things start to go off-piste (in a good way). Early on we hear "Sucia Anthem," from the Dutch-Dominican producer Munchi, a pioneering artist in the short-lived but influential moombahton sound, which veers into a head-spinning cumbia remix of Darude's "Sandstorm." From there we get a series of cumbia-reggaeton fusions, eventually ending up at a Honduran interpretation of Reel 2 Reel's "I Like To Move It." One of the highlights along the way is "Desde Ahora," Shalimar's track from Playero 38, the 1993 mixtape that blended hardcore rap, dancehall rhythms and Spanish-language lyrics at a time when the term "reggaeton" didn't exist. It's a lot to take in, but it's an incredibly exhilarating ride and a great 30-minute reggaeton history lesson.