In his latest video, ‘Reggaeton,’ Colombian recording artist José Álvaro Osorio Balvin (also known as J Balvin) offers an ode to Puerto Rican culture, the reggaetón genre and the artists who influenced the crossover wave in the 2000s. Released without warning, it’s his first single that’s not on his 2018 record, Vibras, which recently won a Latin Grammy for Best Urban Music Album.
Balvin cites the PR-spawned musical style’s influences throughout. In the opening verse, he name-drops Tego Calderón’s 2003 track “Métele Sazón,” which was part of the Mas Flow compilation album by legendary reggaetón producers Luny Tunes. The mixtape-style album was responsible for introducing now-famous artists like Daddy Yankee, and Don Omar to mass audiences.
While riding a traditional reggaetón beat, Balvin mentions Daddy Yankee’s influence on the song in the pre-chorus, “Yankee pa’ esta me inspiro, bajo fuerte como ron, falda con mi pantalón, bailando reggaetón.”
He also makes a reference to the sexual back-to-front dancing known as “perreo” with his line “falda con mi pantalón,” which translates to “skirt with my pants.” He continues to rattle-off influential rappers and hits in the second verse, mentioning Yaviah’s 2004 track “Wiki Wiki” alongside Wisin y Yandel.
In the video, an array of images represent Puerto Rican and reggaetón culture. Visuals of the PR flag, the island’s essential finger foods like Pastelillos and small, local businesses flow in and out. It also showcases posters and T-shirts of the reggaetón movement of the 2000s that remind viewers of such notables as Noriega, Zion y Lennox and Nicky Jam.
Watch J Balvin’s video for “Reggaeton” below.