The author is Roddy Pérez, project executive in the film and music industry. PHOTOGRAPHY: DiarioLibre
The book is authored is Roddy Pérez, a project executive in the film and music industry. Photo: DiarioLibre

Dembow vs. Hip Hop in the Dominican Republic: An essay on the urban music scene

The book focuses on the background and perspectives of Dominican dembow.


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Although the world of urban music already moves millions of dollars, it has not prevented the usual academic classism from dismissing its discussion in the classroom, which remains less explored than that of other genres such as rock or folk.

Dembow versus hip hop in the Dominican Republic is an essay that fills these gaps through a research that covers Wilfrido Vargas, Eddu Herrera, Freddy y Boruga, El Alfa, Bad Bunny or Vico C, among others. It focuses on analyzing popular and recent musical expressions in the various areas of the Dominican Republic.

It also deals with dembow, born in Jamaica and Puerto Rico but which evolved in the region until the birth of Dominican dembow at the beginning of the millennium. The author delves into its short history to find the background and the most important producers.

Finally, he compares the number of listeners on major platforms such as Spotify or Youtube to show the thesis that it is the most listened to of all Dominican genres and to publicly ask where it is headed.

The author is Roddy Perez, project executive in the film and music industry, founder of Premios Latin Videoclip Awards, producer of the TV edition of Premios Oscar 2020 in Dominican Republic, producer of the film Héroes de Junio that awarded him the audience award at the Dominican Film Festival 2019.

Perez is also the first Dominican in history selected to the Berlinale Talents Campus in Germany, award for best Latin producer at the Morelia Lab of the Morelia Film Festival in Mexico and J. Armando Bermudez Regional Award for Dominican Literature.

The book is available in more than 30 countries through Amazon and Apple Books platforms.

Urban label

There are terms that are born in the sphere of advertising to later redefine themselves according to market trends. This is the case of graphic novels and urban music, two new categories focused on the market that will eventually generate their own new codes and formulas.

In the case of urban music, it functioned as an amalgam for the Anglo-Saxon market from the seventies onwards of a whole series of Afro-descendant music such as funk, soul or dancehall. Over time the term urban would also encapsulate a multitude of derivatives of traditional hip hop such as trip hop, Atlanta trap or drill music.

In recent times, after the various mutations of reggaeton, Latin and Dominican music has fallen into this generic nickname, perhaps more aware of the existence of a global market, which now brings together the new Latin hip hop singers, Latin Trap, neo perreo and mambo derivatives.


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