Puerto Rico Puerto Rico Music
Hip-hop, folk and electronic music are thriving in Puerto Rico, and the rock scene is stunning. The gigantic and sneezing rock scenes of the late 80s and early 90s in the island's capital San Juan sound like a perfect backdrop for the current wave of hip hop.
The diverse social elements that make up this tiny archipelago are embodied in the slave migration - the migration of people from the Caribbean to the US and Puerto Rico. Puerto Ricans combine these different elements to create music styles that are unique to each island.
Salsa has been brought to life by marginalized communities in New York, while the lyrics of discrimination and poverty in Puerto Rico have inspired protest songs for decades. Some of the biggest names in "Puerto Rican music" have used the modern genre as a form of political expression, unity and refuge, as the Puerto Rican people revolt against a corrupt local government and explicitly demand the resignation of Governor Ricardo Rossello.
The Ivy Queen has promoted women's physical and sexual autonomy, while Tego Calderon has used his music to denounce the oppression of women in Puerto Rico and other parts of the United States. Latin American music and the artists who helped bring it to the mainstream, such as Elton John, Beyonce, Katy Perry and Rihanna, have also joined the movement.
Even Beyonce jumped on the trend by remixing "Mi Gente," one of her most popular songs, for those affected by Hurricane Maria, which devastated Puerto Rico last year. The remix of Mi Gesture showed a profit from the tune she donated to the hurricane - which hit other Caribbean islands as well as the United States in 2017.
And then there is the percussion-driven musical tradition, rooted in the history of resistance in Puerto Rico and fundamental in its music. Parranda comes from music developed on the island during the Civil War and the Revolutionary War, as well as during the Second World War.
Puerto Rican music has evolved over time, starting with a rich folklore tradition, and has become an important part of Puerto Rican cultural heritage and identity. As we have seen, this process has been going on in Puerto Rico for many decades, but it also has the potential to make a new music that embraces everyone - the diversity of the island's musical traditions, from traditional to new to old.
Although salsa cannot be described as rooted in Puerto Rico, there is no doubt that this style of music has been refined in New York City. This cultural change has left a lasting mark on Puerto Rican music as we hear it today. It has enriched and shaped the sound of the island's native musicians, as well as the culture of the local population, and this has shaped what we hear today, not only in the form of salsa, but also in its music.
This paved the way for artists like Carlos Santana, Tito Abreu and many others, including Juan Pablo Iglesias, Julio Cesar Chavez, Luis Fonsi, Jose Luis Rodriguez, Juan Carlos Garcia and others, to bring Latin jazz and salsa to a mainstream audience.
Music may have conquered the world, but it is more important than ever that Puerto Ricans remember where they came from. And of course Menudo, long considered the greatest teen boy band in history, comes to Puerto Rico.
Puerto Rican music really began on the island itself with the Taino Indians, who were once the only inhabitants of this island. Among the most famous names of salsa are "Tito the Tiger," "Chico" and "Salsa de Puerto Rico" ("The Tiger of Puerto Rican Music"). Before being exterminated by the Spanish, who colonized the region from 1508, they inhabited Puerto Ricans for thousands of years, making them the second largest indigenous population in the world after the United States.
In the following decades, all kinds of Puerto Rican and international artists recorded for En Mi Viejo in San Juan. In the 1920s, large numbers of Puerto Ricans and Cubans - Americans from Puerto Rico and Cuba - emigrated to New York City. This led to a great wave of "Puerto Rican immigration," and in the 1930s and 1940s, highly educated musicians from Puerto Rico and Cuba began to influence the growing jazz scene in New York. Musicians from Puerto Rica or Cuba often traveled to New York with their families and friends to make recordings, often for performances and sometimes for permanent immigration.
Puerto Rico's soul food eatery, long considered one of New York's most popular and long-lasting "soul food" eateries. It is known for its excellent food and unique atmosphere, and for the fact that it is actually owned by musician Ruben Rodriguez. In 2013, I found out that the restaurant's owner, Juan Ponce de Leon, is a Puerto Rican.