27/08/2019: “El Pare” by El General

The evolution of Jamaican dancehall into the pan-Latin Reggaeton was filtered through several countries, styles, and eras.

At the beginning, it was centred around Panama and other Spanish Caribbean countries. It was simply called “Reggae en Espanol”, because it was really just reggae in Spanish. Reggaeton itself is from Puerto Rico and tends to use just one riddim.

El General was one of the godfathers of Spanish Dancehall, singing over popular Jamaican riddims in Spanish even in the 1980s.

“El Pare” essentially translates as “The Stopper”; especially noteworthy because the song is a Spanish version of Cutty Rank’s 1991 song of the same name. As far as I can tell, it deals with the same subject matter of girls, fame and superior mic skills.

Spanish has a natural flow to it that works brilliantly with dancehall, so it’s interesting that there has been some interaction between the Spanish world and Dancehall.

The song was released in 1991, as a single and on Estas Buenos.  

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