Remixing Reggaetón: The Cultural Politics of Race in Puerto Rico
Enter the Hurbans
This chapter details the marketing of reggaetón as “Hurban” (a combination of “Hispanic” and “urban”) once it entered the United States. Through a close reading of newspaper and magazine coverage of reggaetón, this chapter shows how the Hurban classification reinforced dominant distinctions between blackness and Latinidad in the United States. At the same time, media coverage frequently compared reggaetón to hip-hop, thus linking Latinos and African Americans via problematic stereotypes of urban communities. The chapter explores the representations of Daddy Yankee and N.O.R.E., two of the artists credited with bringing reggaetón to mainstream U.S. audiences, to further demonstrate how this marketing strategy separated blackness and Latinidad. In contrast, the chapter ends with a discussion of artist Notch, whose work shows how reggaetón continues be a space to articulate an Afro-Latino identity in the United States.