Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Trippy Reggaeton??? Calle 13, Voltio

Calle 13, are two half-brothers from Puerto Rico, who go by Residente and Visitante. Graduates of art-school and computer science respectively, these guys laid down some of the most inventive hip-hop ever done in Spanish with clever rhymes and intriguing musical back beats. It is pretty trippy stuff, close in spirit to A Tribe Called Quest, with a nod to Beck. Definitively not your average cookie-cutter stuff, this sets the bar high for current reggeaton and spanish hip-hop. Videos are not your standard issue bling-blineo and hot mami's.....Well actually, lets just say there is no bling. LOL

They first hit it big with Se Vale To-to.. and then their current hit. Atrevete-te, where Residente beeseches, his rather “intellectual” love interest to "levantate ponte hyper" even if...“te guste Green Day..... que importa que te guste Coldplay”. Latest is La Jirafa, which is even more out there. Good stuff.

Residente,also mixes it up with another highly inventive MC Julio Voltio on Chulin Culin Cunflay , with its absurdist lyrics and wacky video - product of repeated watchings of Kung Fu movies and Starsky and Hutch reruns.
Voltio, who got his nickname after being electrocuted on his job as an electrician's assistant, on his debut solo album, had another off-the-hook track, Se Van, with the multi-talented Abayarde himself, Tego Calderon. Love the agressive energy and pounding back-beat of this number. cool video too, kind of a noir in the tropics deal.

On his last album, Voltio rounded up Miami's Cubano MC, Pitbull, So-Cal Chicano Rapper Lil Rob, re-mixed his track, Bumper .. This example of Latino unity...is ultimately an ode to...the female booty......regardless one of 05's hottest tracks, and a kick-ass production by Luny Tunes, who masterfully combined Voltio's boricua stylings, with Pit's manic crunked-up Miami sound, and Rob's laid-back, cholo-cool flow.

Props to Mundo Reggaeton for up to date videos.