“ALet’s talk, let’s talk. I saw this woman who hurt you, who hurt you, for whom your heart suffered, and she asked me how you are doing in your new life, if you are happy. And I answered him, my friend, that you are very well since he left, that love is gone, goodbye, that now you live without pain, ”sings Don Omar.
If you are “old school”, you surely recognize these lyrics and sing along in your mind. It may even have occurred to you at some point, a party, a tusa, a time with your friends. It is “Tell him”from Tycoon and Valentino.
Like it or not, reggaeton is something that has accompanied the lives of many paisas and Medellín is now another of the epicenters of artists of the urban genre. But today’s is very different from yesterday’s.
Magnate and Valentino were among the many duos who, with their songs, told stories of love, grief, jealousy, wars, sex and power, neighborhood stories, shared stories. To name a few, Zion and Lennox, Ñejo and Dálmata, Rayo and Toby, Héctor and Tito, Yaga and Mackie, Baby Rasta and Gringo, Rakeem and Ken-Y, of course, Plan B and Wisin and Yandel stand out. Several have withdrawn, others still sing together and others separately.
Today, new duos can be counted on the fingers of one hand and most representatives bet on being soloists, making “together” a figure known as feat (with) which is essentially a collaboration. What happened to the duets? Reggaeton has been transformed and will continue to do so.
what is no longer
Relatively recently, compared to the long history of Puerto Rican duos, an alliance has been created in Medellín that dreams of being the duo that Colombia needs and that will go around the world. They are Kapla and Miky, two people from Enviga with more than 10 years of experience in music who, just three years ago, decided to join forces to, in the best style of the past , give their songs two atmospheres: melodies and rap.
Miky believes that one of the reasons why duets are less popular today is because it’s a more complicated job: “You have to understand each other and we don’t have the same musical tastes or same image problems, we don’t have the same discipline. It’s a relationship.”
But, if you know how to take advantage of it, it can be a complementary experience. DJ MixTime believes that the key to yesterday’s duos, and what made them famous and successful, is that they found similar characteristics that they shared, but also differences that made them stronger and took the opportunity to write , perform and sing.
It is common, with almost everyone, to find one who had the strongest voice and a style closer to rap and the other who, softer, gave him melodies. In Wisin y Yandel, Wisin is recognized as the most “aggressive” and Yandel the most musical, for example. Duos were essential in paving the way for what is now reggaeton, although many no longer sing together. “They are fundamental. We all grew up listening to them and I dare say that before there were more duos than soloists,” adds Miky.
Why aren’t they as popular anymore? Maybe it’s because it’s harder, as Miky says, or because the stories they sell have changed, as La Mega director Ubeymar Hernández says. “Before, we told neighborhood stories, street stories, experiences, today we sell the stories of the same artists, like Mike Bahía and Greeicy, Camilo and Evaluna, Karol G and Anuel.”
It may also be because “the industry today has been segmented differently,” says MixTime. Before, for example, the duos met to write and compose; now there is a producer, a screenwriter, a performer and a whole team behind it, “so the artists want to stand out individually”. And if it comes to working with someone else, it’s usually with another artist who has already trained independently, in collaboration or Exploits. “For me to see Kapla and Miky is strange, it’s a duo at a time when artists go alone.”
It would be a shame if, in a few years, young people didn’t know who Magnate and Valentino or Zion and Lennox were, Miky reflected. “That’s why for us, it’s an opportunity for them to see a duo as something new.”
It is clear that neither the lyrics, nor the videos, nor the melodies, nor the clothes, nor the stories are the same as yesterday. Reggaeton has been transformed, or has been transformed. “A lot of the singers before came from the streets, from the neighborhood, from the hamlets. They didn’t have an academic or economic structure, like those today can have,” says MixTime. And the very lyrics reflected that. , as well as the clothes popular in the neighborhood, the videos on the roofs of the houses of Manrique or the motorcycle rides. “The street was visible. Today they are more glamorous and of course there are some with to flow street, but most are projected differently”.
Of this Dem Bow born in the streets of Panama and Puerto Rico of reggae and rap, of Vico C, Don Omar, Daddy Yankee and Tego Calderón, only the classics, the legends remain. Fusions that were once dance hall, hip hop and Afro-Caribbean drumming are now bachata, pop, R&B and electro. “The sounds are rosier, less aggressive, with more prepared vocals,” adds Hernández.
Neither memory nor classics
Another thing that seems to be disappearing or changing, besides duets, is the classics. There are songs that marked eras, which can still be heard and generate emotion, nostalgia, that an entire past generation shares. “My eyes are crying for you”“Older than me”“Still”“Come Dance”“The neighbor”“miss”“What happened happened”; ““brunette dance”“funeral night”“Zun daddy”“Give him the seasoning”“your prince”…
Today, on the other hand, it is difficult for a recent song to be considered a classic and this is due to the industry and the culture. MixTime explains that “if you play songs from before, you realize that most of them were successful and people still like them”, now they have less relevance or duration. “I don’t know if it’s because of the platforms, because of the technological development, because of the way the music is sold, but it’s already more disposable. A song comes out today, after two months it is already old. There is no maturation process for it to become the classic of the future”.
Advances in technology and wider access today have allowed more artists to emerge and more songs to be produced on a daily basis. It’s common to see single releases every month and more than one full album per year for each artist. Better said, there are many, people can be saturated and just as easy they come, easy they go. Before, instead, a record would come out and people would go buy it, then listen to that same record on the radio. “New people have had more opportunities and there is more opportunity for exposure in the networks. Now Tik Tok and Instagram are making the industry more dynamic,” says Hernández, which can also influence the obsolescence of topics. .
Reggaeton will never be the same again. It will continue to transform and it’s interesting to think about what it will be like tomorrow
Tycoon and Valentino
They were also at the Choli in Medellín last Friday, the 27th, and they return after several periods of inactivity. They have worked together since 1998 and broke up after eight years, in 2006, but they got back together in 2008, again only until 2013. Since then, they had not released any music either together or as a group. as soloists and dedicated themselves to performing their classics on tour.