I am a PhD student specializing in U.S. diplomatic history at Indiana University. I am also a Contributing Editor for the music and special events section at http://music.ienlive.com/. I report on the latest in the EDM and LA night club scenes.
I want to use this space as a means to explore how Reggaeton, night clubs, and youth urban culture serve as a point of social and cultural contention in the United States, Latin America, the Caribbean, and throughout the globe. Reggaeton and Electro Latino, like Hip-hop, have truly become transnational genres in the night clubs and in urban spaces.
Lastly, I want to work on my craft as a music journalist and bring the latest in the very vibrant music and dance scenes of Reggaeton and Electro Latino to English-speaking audiences.


#Arcangel - Pa Frontiar (Prod. By Dj Motion) (Blinblineo.Net).mp3

Preview: Arcangel - Pa Frontiar (Prod. By Dj Motion) 

Get Ur Freak on- Puerto Rican DJ Motion clearly knows understands his concept of motion on the dance floor when he unleashed Arcangel’s “Pa Frontiar”. The back beats are smooth and interweave in the background to Missy Eliot’s “Get Ur Freak On” throughout the cut. It has been getting some serious buzz in the Spanish-speaking Reggaeton sites and scene. This track has some serious dirty bass and booty shaking bounce. Enjoy and Prrrrrra! 


-Lucy Tambara-Armas

Preview: Clique Remix Yomo - Kanye West feat Big Sean, Jay Z (Unofficial Version) 

Nothin’ fresher than… uh not this track. “Clique” follows the recent explosion of North American Hip-hop artists teaming up with Reggaeton artists to create fresher and bolder cuts. This led to some off the chain top-charting busters such as Wisin and Yandel’s “Algo me Gusta de Ti” featuring Chris Brown and T-Pain. Whereas, “Algo Me Gusta de Ti” contains mucho flow and a ballad-like quality, “Clique” feels as if it were thrown together in a hurried matter. What is bizarre is that there was no rhyme or reason for this hot mess, Kanye’s crew dropped the original version of the song last fall.

For an example of how to not ruin your budding careers as a Hip-Hop artist, Reggaeton star, or DJ turned music producer, check out the preview.

-Lucy Tambara-Armas

(Source: youtube.com)

Disco Latina en Japón (by detounpocojapon)

Being of mixed Japanese and Mexican ancestry, the ideas of tamales with white rice or bumping mariachis with my pink bling Hello Kitty headphones are the the norm. However, I often wondered how my two cultures intersected with each other within the society. Being a native of Los Angeles, I rarely saw Japanese Americans closely interact with Mexican Americans in the city, even if they were neighbors. I met a few Happas like myself every now and then, but rarely with my combo. 

Urban spaces are endless source of fascination because it is within the space of the night club, social togetherness, hierarchies, and tensions all come together. In the land of fusion aka Los Angeles, while people may share the same highways, for the most part, people tend to stick with their own groups of people.

In the clubs of Hollywood, Asians, whites, Latinos, and Middle Easterners, South East Asians all dance in the on the same dance floor, but will frequently segregated themselves by only dancing with those within the same ethnicity. Every now and then you have a hiccup and will see some exchange between groups, but it is far a few between. I am often confused on which part of the floor to dance on because though I look mostly, Asian it would be expected for me to dance with the Asians. However, because I speak Spanish and also feel at ease with Latinos, I often choose to dance somewhere between the two groups.

To come across this clip, a Latin club in Japan, it was striking and made me feel at home. Japan a rather homogeneous land, it was fascinating to see how the Latin music has shaped their night club scene. A mixture of Reggaeton and J-pop got the crowd moving and dancing. Latinos and Japanese dancing alongside each other was my lived reality growing up as a Mexicana/Japonesa.

However, this should not be totally shocking. Mexico and Peru both have sizable Japanese populations. Transnational genres like Reggaeton really are proving to be durable in many contexts. From Dakar to Tokyo, keep sporting those gaffas and say dale! 

-Lucy Tambara-Armas

January 2013 New Reggaeton Tracks

Dale! Time to ring in 2013 with some pulsating beats with mucho flow. My personal favorite track that I cannot seem to get enough of these days is Gocho’s featuring Yandel and Wayne Wonder “Amor Real.” These beats are the right mix of electro pop and Reggaeton. It is the type of song you can dance, drive home to, or just chill out with your besties. Top 40 Latin airwaves are also catching on because this catchy song is on regular rotation.

-Lucy Tambara-Armas


Estreno mundial del video musical “More” de los artistas Puertorriqueños Jory, Zion y Ken-Y.

Descárgalo aquí/Download Here: http://bit.ly/Ngrfxq

Dale! Buena musica!


Caliente y mucho flow! Reggaeton in Dakar

Ocean breezes, palm trees, and smooth beats- Reggaeton has crossed the Atlantic and has hit Senegal and Ivory Coast. This should not be surprising in that reggaeton along with other Caribbean dance music lends much to the beats and sounds of West Africa via the trans-Atlantic slave trade and later the rise of Pan-Africanism. What is striking is how the artists consciously chose to sing their lyrics in Spanish as opposed to French or even Wolof. Singing in Spanish potentially shows that artist’s commitment to authenticity within the genre. Recently, reggaeton has increasingly used English-based lyrics as well as popular North American artists in tracks. Recent tracks from top-40 chart toppers Wisin y Yandel, Daddy Yankee have infused English. However, the origins of reggaeton lie in working-class Spanish-speaking urban neighborhoods. Foundational mover and shakers to the movement such as Puerto Rican artist Tego Calderon consciously rapped only in Spanish, as opposed to English, the language of the colonizer, the United States. However, it will be interesting to see if reggaeton will remain fixed as genre connected to Spanish and English or if in West Africa, French and Wolof will be adapted brought into the genre.

-Lucy Tambara-Armas

Pitbull - International Love ft. Chris Brown (by PitbullVEVO)

“International Love:”What Pitbull and Contemporary Popular Dance Music can teach Students and the Ivory Tower about World History

“I don’t play football but I’ve touched down everywhere

Everywhere? Everywhere!

I don’t play baseball but I’ve hit a home run everywhere, everywhere

I’ve been to countries and cities I can’t pronounce

And the places on the globe I didn’t know existed”

Mr. Worldwide aka Pitbull built a career on pulsating and booty shaking beats. As a DJ, Pitbull’s tracks are always cued on my end sets from midnight onwards. After a night of drinking and general debauchery the crowds demand to dance and sing to tracks from Pit. However, his  music provides more than just off the chain rhythms with deep flow. These tracks provide a seductive introduction for students learning about World History at the universities. 

Excuse me? 

Yes, I know the Ivory Tower has the rep of being completely detached and disconnected from the real world. This is partially true. I have several colleagues who have never bumped one of Pit’s tracks.  In fact, I am often regarded as peculiar because while I sit grading papers, I blast out of my DJ bling headphones and sing, “I want your tchu, tchu, tchu…” at the local coffee shop where I hold my office hours to meet with students.

This past semester, I was given the challenge of introducing undergraduates in the mid-West to World History from 1900-1945. My goal as a historian was not to get them to memorize facts and dates but to get them to understand how the themes of the course which emerged in 1900-1945: nationalism, new imperialism, technological warfare, the rise of the U.S. as a major player in the world could help them to understand their present. 

Part of the difficulty of teaching World History to undergraduates is the material feels so distant and removed from their lived experiences. I mean, why does British colonialism in Kenya even matter when the basketball game is on the television?

My first day in the classroom I fired up the PC and loaded Pitbull’s video “International Love” featuring Chris Brown on the screen. I told my students to take notes and focus on the visuals as well as what Mr. Worldwide had to say about his experiences as a global jetsetter. 

My students all picked up on themes of technology, mass consumption (Visas), flags expressing nationalism, sexism (nearly naked women dancing around Pit), depictions of globalization as solely an urban experience (Miami, Los Angeles, etc.) and, pride in one’s city (Mr. 305) and baseball as a global sport. 

I then proceeded to put in the historical context for the video. I informed my students that people can say what they like about Mr. Worldwide but the themes globalization which emerge from his music, personal history, and rise to fame have their origins on ideas, events, and art forms emerging around the globe from 1900 to 1945.

From Pit’s ancestry linked to U.S. colonialism thanks to our nation’s invasion of Cuba in 1898, to mass consumption in the United States sold as the “American dream” to people across the globe, to gendered constructions of machismo or “peacocking” emerging in the dance halls and on the streets of the Bronx, Havana, and El Santurce, or how throughout much of the twentieth century, Pit and Chris Brown could have never flaunted their success as global jetsetters with such bravado because of racialized political practices of Jim Crow and segregation in the United States.  It was during this discussion the world opened up to my students. Many of these students at the end of the semester told me they hoped to travel to Havana, San Juan or Dakar someday. A few even want to learn languages and study history because they had no idea that the popular culture could show people so much about our past and present. 

I was raised to believe that education should be used as an engine for change. Meaning my work as a historian should not be locked away, it should be lived, felt, and used to improve society. My ambition in life is to educate people about histories and experiences that may be different from their own. Contemporary popular dance music is not just empty and void of meaning- it is part of a much broader narrative which encapsulates the history of my people and personal identity. So, next time when you are in the club and the DJ spins Pit, remember to say “dale” as you throw your hands in the air, because those actions too, are rooted in World History.

-Lucy Tambara-Armas 

Christian Reggaeton: Clifford Geertz and Lived Religion

Booty shaking beats meant to spread the Gospel of the Christ? U.S. foreign policy makers, technocrats, and academics have long argued that religion can be best understood in terms of two separate and distinct spheres: secular and sacred. However, as religion adapts secular modes of culture such as popular music forms one ponders if these binaries truly have validity.

Anthropologist Clifford Geertz argues that religion is a lived a experience. Meaning that religion is both of the world and not of it. It engages and finds its way through culture and society and how people interact with each other. He cites marriage as an example of religion interacting with the secular and vice versa. Food for thought.

My next exploration: How Christianity informs the secular Reggaeton world, whoa… Talk about Max Weber’s Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism slapping this historian in the face. Mucho flow y benadiciones de Dios.