Cubaton History


To found the origins of the Cuban Reggaeton needs to go back of a few years and not to speak only of the reggaeatón, but also of other musical genres.

 As we have already explained on our portal, in Puerto Rico the musical genre “reggaeton” come from a fusion of the reggae with the dance music dance and obviously the roots must be founded in the Rap and in the Hip-Hop.

 In Cuba these musical genres never are totally “exploded” but the “black music” was developed with different Caribbeans influences. Perhaps the genre that has given the origins to the birth of the Cuban reggaetón has been the musical genre called “soca.”

 Precursors of these rhythms have been in Cuba Carlos Manuel and the manager and composer of El Clan, the group that accompanied Carlos , Pedro Camacho, always ready to experiment new sounds and rhythmics. Pedro Camacho has been the first one to create  different rhythmics into the musical arrangements of his group, without never however to modify its themes or texts, that “unexpectedly” were always romantics and melodics…

 It was 1999 when the track “Agua Fria” is exploded and this also thanks to a “remix” on bases of dance music. They were also the years were the Timba had already been exploding for a lot of time, and had notably changed the Cuban musical style. The genred soca therefore  has started a new way to dance in Cuba very different from what we always  used to see and to listen.

 Any person has had the opportunity to see on live how Carlos Manuel y El Clan, almost in all the tracks they treated of thematic of love, on the stage there were always drummers and ballet dancers , realizing a real and  colored show, to which today many artists are inspired.

 Would it be easy to affirm” Whats’ up with the genre soca and the reggaetón?

Perhaps nothing, but in Cuba any musical phenomenon buds, giving and turn life to new genres. In an island where the influence of the American artists and the musical fashions of other Countries don’t certainly reach contemporarily the rest of the American continent, in a Country where to the censorship it strikes very more of other Countries, it is natural to think that cannot be developed a real musical movement of Rap, Reggae or Hip-Hop as it has happened to Porto Rico.

 The first track of success of genre Reggaetón in Cuba has been “Matame” of the group Cubanito 20.02, that with the famous refrain “ulakalakala” they have made to dance all Cubans and European tourists. Cubanito 20.02 certainly is not able however to define a real group of reggaetón since their rhythms are near more to the Caribbean music that to the real reggaetón.

 There had previously been a small parenthesis of the group “Clan 537” that with their track Quien Tirò the Tiza had received enough success. But their genre was a lot of rap and the escape of some musicians caused to disappearing of the old group, that today with new elements and sonority it is successful and has preserved only the name of the old group.

 They begin so to listen to the first “foreigners reggaeton themes” into the streets of  Habana City and the first one among all has been “Felina” of Hector y Tito (at the beginnings of 2003). Singers as Don Omar, Daddy Yankee, and others had also played in the discos of the Cuban capital.

 Santiago de Cuba could not remain back certainly in this new musical developments.  Land of the Cuban Rap and now also has given life to its  own movement of Reggaeton. The unforgettable hit entitled “Mordidita” of the rapper Candyman was the firs experiment that receives success and the peak that have had with the project Cubatón, financed by Swedish producers. Artists as the same Candyman, El Medico del Rap, La Fres-k, Klan Destino, Control Cubano. Michel and Topaz Sound give life to the first cd of denominated “Cuban reggaetón: Cubatón”.

 Today they are many the groups of success and our portal has often dedicated space to the artists of Cuban reggaetón, introducing them and making to listen to their tracks. In our portal also was uploaded from a long time the videos of the movement Cubatón and of the artists produced to Cuba.

 Surely among the artists that have received more success we find Eddy-k that is exploded thanks to the collaborations with other musicians. Its presence in the remix of the track La Habana Me Queda Chiquita of Christian and Ray Alonso has made to know the group to the Cuban public. Other collaborations then with Haila in the track Entrale, Llegaron Los Grandes with Charanga Habanera and also a track entitled No Te Pases De La Raya with Los 3 De La Habana (now all living in USA), has confirmed their popularity.

 The successes of tracks like Mujeres, Fiera y Zorra and Aqui Estan Los Cuatro has consecrated the mastergroup of the Cuban reggaetón. The famous  Don Omar has chosen them as supporter group for his tour that has done ago in Mexico in this times.

 Entirely different has been the impact of Yami Manzano and his group Eminencia Clásica. The group of Cienfuegos was born in 2005 among the principal groups of genre in Cuba and tracks like Pitchea has been a hit for months. Unlike the other groups, Eminencia Clásica follows the Hip-Hop/Dance genres and also thanks to the splendid choreographies of his members, the group has become so exclusive in Cuba. The collaborations then in some tracks and in a summer tour of the known Cuban artist Paulo Fg has consecrated them as one of the groups most famous in Cuba.

 We don’t forget that in the Caribbean Island from many years it is celebrated near Habana City between August and September the Cuban Festival of Hip-Hop, where were born a lot of artists and groups that we mention in this article.

 In 2006 instead we can quote for the first part of the year the group Clan 537 that with the tracks La Caperucita and Dejala Ir  has been in the peak of all the classifications. Baby  Lores and El Insurecto and the dj Tiralo Ale join together to form this group and they have given “life” to what has been the group of this year in the genre reggaetón.

 Now is the moment and the turn in the celebrities of Cuban Reggaeton  of Alexander, Jacob and Dj Nando in art Gente De Zona. Their tracks like La Campaña, Soñè, La Novia de un Amigo Mio, El Animal and so many others, have been all hits in Cuba and outside o Cuba.

 Currently (2009) in Cuba they are many groups and singers that are renewed old groups, creating new groups or following careers from solo or that they have gone to live and to work to the foreign countries. Among the principal groups we also quote Los Salvajes as Los cuatro (ex group Eddy-K), Acento Latino, Blad MC, Yulien Oviedo, Los Tres Gatos, El Chacal, Eduardo Mora, Javier Voltaje and so many others that you will find in our portal with the relative biographies.

 To finish this article we want to analize the motives of the success of the Cuban reggaetón in Cuba and the foreign countries. Often the artists are forced to make to turn their promos among the dj’s of the discos or in “pirate compilations” on the street to make to be known and there is not of abnormal in this, considering that to Cuba the channels of promotion are not many. Famous covers as “Yunay” and “La Tuba” will never find a record label that also produces them to Cuba because they are often products “self made”. The secret of their success is that follow generally rhythms very easy to listen and dance, while the “portorican reggaetoneros” follow rhythms that are often so harder as music and contents.

 Often however the authors of those tracks are anonymous and they terminate in the compilations of success of the Italian and European record producers, that cleverly and with shrewdness and little professionalism they exploit the popularity of the trakcs without corresponding the relative rights to the same authors.

 Obviously we don’t want to compare the “genius” of the genre like Daddy Yankee, Wisin y Yandel, Don Omar to the Cuban artists, but the fact that the ” Cuban reggaetoneros”  has not lost their Cuban musical identity it is very important. Today we can find any artists of salsa play and to sing the rhythms of reggaetón, but never happens the contrary. This perhaps because in many Cuban reggaetóneros are present musical tools also used in the salsa music (pianos, trumpets, drums etc), a signal therefore that it is synonymous of the tendency not to want to denaturalize his own musical origins.