One Crunk Nation Under a Reggae Ton of Grooves


By fusing Atlanta crunk, Jamaican dancehall, and Afro-Latino “reggaeton” beats, Lil Jon & the East Side Boyz’ “Get Low (Remix)” has become the most pan-ethnic hit on today’s party-rap circuit. Popularized by a carnivalesque video wherein Lil Jon’s core crew is joined by Busta Rhymes and Elephant Man toasting alongside the featured Ying Yang Twins, this renovated single shows just how easily regional styles combine in the ever broadening hip-hop imagination. America’s Southeastern corridor, which—ever since Miami’s Luther Campbell ruled as the entrepreneurial kingpin of raw party rap—has linked Florida, Atlanta, D.C., New York, and all the historically black colleges in between into a huge commercial proving ground for records like this, now brings one multiculti nation with multiple grooves under a Dirty South flag.

Part II combines the “Get Low” remixes with previously unreleased tracks on a CD/DVD set that gleefully unites Midwest, Deep South, and Left Coast homeboys with Latino MCs like Fat Joe and Pitbull. Although Busta, Ja Rule, and other mainstream rappers openly flirt with Diwali and Clappas riddims, the more than decade-old Hispanic reggae scene rarely gets similar attention from black Yankee brethren. Reggaeton, which floats bilingual rhymes over hybridized Cuban, Dominican, and Puerto Rican rhythms, already sports stars like Ivy Queen, Vico C., and Tego Caldaron. The “Get Low” remix can’t help but boost their crossover appeal.