Reggaeton ( /ˌrɛɡeɪˈtoʊn/ /rɛɡeɪˈtɒn/) is an urban form of music which has its roots in Latin and Caribbean music. Its sound derives from the Reggae en Español from Panama. The genre was shaped and made known in Puerto Rico where it got its name; most of its current artists are also from Puerto Rico. After its mainstream exposure in 2004, it spread to North American, European, Asian and African audiences.
Reggaeton blends Jamaican musical influences of dancehall, with those of Latin America, such as salsa, Latin hip hop, and electronica. Vocals include rapping and singing, typically in Spanish. Lyrics tend to be derived from hip hop rather than from dancehall. Like hip hop, reggaeton has caused some controversy, albeit less, due to alleged exploitation of women, and to a lesser extent, explicit and violent lyrics.
While it takes influences from hip hop and Jamaican dancehall, reggaeton is not precisely the Hispanic or Latin American version of either of these genres; reggaeton has its own specific beat and rhythm, whereas Latin hip hop is simply hip hop recorded by artists of Latino descent. The specific "riddim" that characterizes reggaeton is referred to as "Dem Bow". The name is taken from the dancehall song by Shabba Ranks that first popularized the beat in the early 1990s and that appears in his album Just Reality.
Controversy surrounds perreo, a dance with explicit sexual overtones which is performed to reggaeton music. Perreo was the subject of a national controversy in Puerto Rico as reggaeton music, and the predominantly lower class culture it derived from, became more popular and widely available.