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Cheat Sheet

Cheat Sheet: Urban Latin

by Rachel Devitt

Cheat Sheet: Urban Latin


"Urban Latin" is at once an extremely specific and yet incredibly vague term, but for our purposes here we've defined it loosely as Latin music that in some way cozies up to mainstream hip-hop and R&B, whether through its beats, its aesthetics, its collaborations or its target audience. We've focused this Cheat Sheet on three prominent styles: reggaeton, Latin hip-hop, and the newest big player in this game, bachata. That Dominican pop genre hasn't always been as urban-identified as, say, reggaeton (in fact, bachata was originally the music of the rural poor), but many of its biggest stars are carving out an aesthetic kinship to R&B that feels organic and sounds hot.

Case in point: Romeo Santos, the former lead singer of bachata boy band Aventura, who continues his former group's interest in hip-hop and R&B on his just-released, hotly anticipated solo debut. Get to know some of Santos' fellow "urbanites" with our Cheat Sheet!