The Music of Reggaeton The birthplace of Reggaeton is a debate between it starting in Panama or Puerto Rico. The first recording was made in Panama in the 70’s. In the early 20th century, when Jamaicans went to Panama to help build the Panama Canal, the Jamaican reggae that they brought with them strongly influenced on Panamanian music. El General, Chicho Man, Nando Boom, Renato, and Black Apache are considered the first raggamuffin deejays. El General is identified as one of the fathers of Reggaeton. Vico C, a Puerto Rican rapper released Spanish-language hip-hop records in his native country, during the 80’s. The production of cassettes throughout the 80’s helped spread the early Reggaeton sound. In the 90’s reggae production took off big in Panama and Puerto Rico. It was common to translate the lyrics of a Jamaican Reggae song into Spanish then sing it over the original music. By the mid 90’s Puerto Ricans produced their own “riddims” with clear influences from hip-hop and other styles. Underground cassettes featured early performances by some now famous artists like Daddy Yankee. Through the years this genre has morphed at various points. Before Reggaeton got its name, it was also called Melaza, Musica underground, and Reggae de Puerto Rico. Jamaican artists Shabba Ranks made a breakthrough when he released his track ‘Dembow’ in the early 90’s. The beat and rhythm of this song eventually became the background music for the developing genre. The genre gained the name Reggaeton in the mid 90’s. The genre was characterized with dembow. In contrast to more reggae, dancehall, and hip-hop tracks previously recorded. Reggaeton was created Puerto Rico to signify hybrid sounds created from the years of mixing different genres.