Celebrate Brooklyn keeps the world music flowing after last week's Souad Masi show with an act a little closer to the US -- and a lot closer to NYC. This Friday, Calle 13 will bring some highly-acclaimed Latin American reggaeton/hip-hop straight from Puerto Rico. You've seen the triangle-encased, one-starred flag. You've heard reggaeton's characteristic (some might say annoyingly repetitive) "Dem bow" beat spewing from the MOST AWESOME cars in Brooklyn. These guys have won a record 19 Latin American Grammy awards, and New York is ready for them.
Calle 13, thankfully, expands on that sound, drawing on musical influences from across Latin America and beyond. In their more recent discs, you'll hear Mexican horns, Egyptian and Western strings, and West African music. Off of their 2010's album, "Entren Los Que Quieran," the single "La Perla" highlights the expanded Latin American influences, featuring Panamanian "sonero" singer Ruben Blade:
Their third album, "Los de Atras Vienen Conmigo," earned hardware for 2008's Latin Grammy album of the year, blending Dixieland and Slavic brass into the reggaeton. Check out that disc's top single, "Pa'l Norte:"
If your Spanish is good enough, too, the lyrics are worth catching. While beat-maker Eduardo Jose Cabra Martinez, aka Visitante, weaves the soundscapes, lyricist Rene Perez Joglar, aka Residente, mixes raunch with social commentary. The duo first gained fame for the song "Querido FBI" about the killing of a Puerto Rican revolutionary group by the FBI, and has commented on Puerto Rican Independence, poverty, and education.
Calle 13 is playing at the Bandshell in Prospect Park this Friday, 7/13. Doors are at 6PM, and a $3 donation is suggested. The show's openers are Chilean rapper Ana Tijoux and Ritmo Machine, which includes Cypress Hill's percussionist.