It’s fitting that Goldenvoice’s new reggaeton-heavy festival headed to the Queen Mary Events Park in Long Beach this weekend is called Dale Fuego, which translates to light it up. The musical genre that originated in Puerto Rico back in the 1990s that mixes hip-hop, Latin beats and reggae with lyrics usually in Spanish, seems to be hotter than ever in the mainstream.
J Balvin went on to become the first reggaeton artist to appear on “Saturday Night Live” while artists in the genre have collaborated on some chart-topping and genre-crossing hits, including Cardi B’s “I Like It” with J Balvin and Bad Bunny. “It’s still going. It’s crossing boundaries now with other genres … the reggaeton movement just keeps going and going,” said Leo Hernandez, a DJ for radio station Mega 96.3 FM, which plays reggaeton and Latin trap, an offshoot of the genre. Hernandez already has his tickets to Dale Fuego on Saturday, Aug. 10, which is headlined by rising Puerto Rican star Ozuna, with Brazilian singer Anitta, who blends reggaeton with dance and R&B music, Rauw Alejandro, another rising Puerto Rican artist who mixes reggaeton with R&B, trap, and pop, trap and reggaeton artist Khea, among others.
“This is a really great lineup,” Hernandez said. “It shows the expansion of reggaeton,” Hernandez added.
Born in the clubs of Puerto Rico in the early 1990s, reggaeton became hugely popular in the United States thanks to artists such as Daddy Yankee, Ivy Queen and Don Omar.
“It’s a style of music that really connects with people, with us through the lyrics and what we go through,” Hernandez said.
Club owner and music promoter Bobby Drieslein, who runs Bobby Dee Presents, has worked with reggaeton artists including Daddy Yankee, Don Omar and Pitbull when the music was just blowing up, and he’s not surprised it’s had such staying power. “The music has definitely transcended from when I first started doing shows,” said Drieslein, who is also producing a show on Sept. 14 with Daddy Yankee and Becky G at the Toyota Arena in Ontario. “The music has become much more commercial then when I started doing it when it was more of an underground thing with a strong cult following…it’s just going to keep growing,” he added.