Vital Reggaetón Comp’s Inevitable Sophomore Slump


Reggaetón compilations by superstar producers like Luny Tunes abound, but 2004’s Chosen Few stood out from the pack. Produced by Long Island’s Boy Wonder, it lined up the top players from Puerto Rico’s burgeoning reggaetón scene with their Latin hip-hop counterparts in New York City, even siring a crossover hit with the deliciously contagious Spanglish of “Reggaetón Latino.” So what’s new for this unavoidable sequel? Unfortunately not very much. The dembow beats are still tight, but with 29 tracks and more than 50 featured artists vying for your attention, the collection feels a little disjointed and bloated. There are some gems to be found, though: “Real Latina,” by Bronx reggaetón poet La Bruja and famed Spaniard rapper La Mala Rodriguez, glides by with jagged beats and taunting lyrics that mimic the harsh realities of a life spent lost in the barrio. And Miami’s Pitbull brings the fun back to the party by innovatively mixing reggaetón with Southern crunk in the bouncefest “Una Mano Lava la Otra.” However, “No Es lo Mismo” by Spain’s top pop balladeer, Alejandro Sanz, sounds completely out of place in a collection devoted to reggaetón, and you can’t help but sense that this time around Boy Wonder is just trying a little too hard to get back to Crossover Land.