The Despacito Leads the Second Prime of Latin Pop
The Despacito Leads the Second Prime of Latin Pop
  • Reporter Kim Do-young
  • 승인 2017.09.20 07:15
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‘Despacito’ is overwhelming Billboard. It has been 32 weeks since the remixed version of Despacito (Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee, featuring Justin Bieber) was at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart. A music video from the original song that Justin Bieber didn’t feature recorded the top view on YouTube. People are starting to notice Latin Pop, the musical basis of Despacito.
Latin Pop simply means pop songs from Latin America or the Iberian Peninsula. Therefore, Latin Pop usually consists of Spanish or Portuguese. Even though the language is not Spanish or Portuguese, the language does not matter as long as the song follows Latin Pop’s musical forms or mood. Basically, Latin Pop started with its unique rhythm that was different from Pop. In the mid 1960s, Latin Pop became popular through Herb Alpert Presents Sergio Mendes and Brasil '66 (Sergio Mendes). As Hispanic immigrants in America were getting larger in number, radio and television channels that dealt with Latin Pop appeared. Consequently, the class that enjoys Latin Pop grew bigger. This phenomenon led to some Latin singers’ success. For example, Julio Iglesias, a Spanish Singer, became successful with his Spanish Songs worldwide during this period. After the 1990s, many singers from Latin America entered the U.S record market. In this period, many famous singers such as Selena, Ricky Martin, Shakira, Marc Anthony and Jennifer Lopez ruled the Billboard charts. For example, Livin' la Vida Loca (Ricky Martin) occupied #1 on Billboard charts, and was on the chart for 20 weeks. Songs during this period this period usually were composed in English, not Spanish or Portuguese because English lyrics appealed to listeners in international markets. Thanks to these singers’ musical activities, the popularity of Latin Pop was at the top in the early 2000s. Until 2017, however, most of high ranking songs were usually rhythm & blues, rock, or hip hop. And now, Despacito is #1 with Spanish lyrics. It is the second time that a song with Spanish lyrics was #1 on Billboard.
Despacito is Latin Pop, but its musical style is slightly different from the 1990s Latin Pop including language. First of all, Despacito adopted the musical forms of Pop. Also, the song is combined with rap, which is based on African-American music. Consequently, American listeners were exposed to a different genre of rap and felt twist. Verse 2 is entirely composed with rap, and makes harmony with a hook in the chorus after the bridge. Mixed with Latin Pop’s unique rhythm, Daddy Yankee’s rap arouses excitement to the listeners. Also, the repetition of an addictive hook contributed to its success. This hook is usually found on Pop songs. Furthermore, based on instruments of Latin America, the song uses electronic sound such as the bass drum. The electronic sounds added freshness to the song.
Despacito is still maintaining its place for more than half of a year. Many listeners wonder whether this song can be the starting point for trending Latin Pop. Popularity toward Latin Pop might not easily decrease because of its unique rhythm and tone.

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