Trouble understand Reggaeton & Spanish Music? Do This!

DON'T UNDERSTAND REGGAETON & Music in Spanish? Do This!

(Paulisima listening to a reggaeton song that’s easy at the beginning, but then it gets really fast and she can’t sing alone anymore.)

Se trepa en la mesa y que se jodan
(She climbs on the table and doesn’t give a f*ck about anyone)

En el perreo no se quita
(When she twerks she doesn’t stop)


Fuma y se pone bella… bella ¿qué?
(She smokes and gets “bella”… “bella” what?)

Don’t worry, you’re not the only one that doesn’t understand reggaetón. De hecho, es muy difícil de entender para nosotros los hablantes nativos del español. (In fact, it is very difficult for us native Spanish speakers to understand.)

I’m Paulísima from Spring Spanish, and in this video, you’ll learn how to figure out what on earth reggaetoneros are saying!

1. Escucha (Listen)

Reggaeton is the reigning form of music in Latin America. It evolved from the rhythms that Jamaicans brought to Panama, and then expanded to Puerto Rico. Ahora es un fenómeno mundial, así que, estoy segura de que has escuchado por lo menos un par de canciones de reggaeton. Now it’s a worldwide phenomenon, so, I’m sure you’ve heard at least a couple of reggaeton songs.) Lo que tienes que hacer es seleccionar una canción. (What you have to do is select a song.) Let’s take a super popular one: Bad Bunny’s Titi me preguntó (Aunty asked me).

Actor 1: Escuchando la de Titi me preguntó

We’re going to listen to it a few times… trying to understand as much as possible. Puede que no sea mucho pero es una buena práctica para empezar. (It might not be much but it’s good as practice to get started.)

2. Estudia la letra (Study the lyrics)

Then you have to Google the lyrics. La googleamos y la leemos en voz alta por lo menos tres veces. (We google it and we read it at loud at least 3 times.)

You’ll discover a few things: a bunch of apostrophes, slang, and a lot of words in English. Since Puerto Rico is a Spanish-speaking state of the USA, it follows that their lyrics would be pretty much in Spanish but with a heavy American English influence.

Me la’ vo’a llevar a to’a
(I’m gonna take’em all)

Pa’ un VIP, un VIP, ey
(To a VIP room, a VIP room, hey)

Saluden a Tití
(Say hello to “auntie”)

Vamo’ a tirarno’ un selfie
(Let’s take a selfie)

Say “Cheese”, ey
(Say Cheese, hey)

Que sonrían las que ya les metí
(Those I already let in, smile)

En un VIP, un VIP, ey
(In a VIP room, a VIP room, hey)

Saluden a Tití
(Say hello to “auntie”)

Vamo’ a tirarno’ un selfie
(Let’s take a selfie)

Say “Cheese”, ey
(Say Cheese, hey)

Que sonrían las que ya se olvidaron de mí
(Those that forgot about me already, smile)

Titi means aunty. I haven’t heard people using this word in Mexico, but I guess it’s common in other palaces in Latin America. Most of the apostrophes are used in replacement of the letter S. It’s a characteristic of the way Spanish is spoken in Puerto Rico and other places. Let’s examine:

Me la’ vo’a llevar a to’a
(I’m gonna take’ em all)

Pa’ un VIP, un VIP, ey
(To a VIP room, a VIP room, hey)

This would be: Me laS voy a llevar a toDAS PARA un VIP. (I’,m goign to take them all to a VIP.) But instead of saying Me las Bad Bunny says: Me Me la’ Instead of saying voy a (I’m going to), he uses the very common contraction voa.  Hey! Have you subscribed to the channel? If you haven’t done it yet, do it right now.

3. Escucha con mucha atención (Listen carefully)

Después de leer la letra tres veces, ya estamos listos para el siguiente paso. (After reading the lyrics 3 times, we’re ready for the next step.) Next step is to read it silently as we listen to the song. You might notice is that the soft R, either at the middles or at the end of words tends to be pronounced as L. In the same song Tití Me Preguntó but in a different verse.

Escucha cómo en vez de decir amoR dice amoL. (Listen how instead of saying “amoR” he says “amoL”.)

Mi primera novia en kinder, María.
(My first girlfriend in kinder, Maria.)

Y mi primer amor se llamaba Thalía.
(And my first love was named Thalía.)

Now you’re ready to try to sing along. To do this find the song with lyrics on Youtube or Spotify.

4. Familiarízate con palabras comunes (Familiarize yourself with common words)

Reggaeton is considered an urban genre, and as such, it has its own vocabulary. Many of its characteristics words have become part of the vocabulary of young people. Here are some words that will keep popping up when listening to reggaeton. Do stay until the end to learn a couple words that if mixed up can put you in an embarrassing situation.

Perreo

Perreo is the dance style that is perfect for reggaeton. Think “Latino twerking”. The verb is perrear. So, yo perreo, tú perreas. I’m going to recreate and actual conversation I had with my nice Paulina who loves reggaeton and perrear.  

Tía Peque, ¡hay que salir! Tengo ganas de perreo intense.
(Aunt Peque, let’s go out! I want to twerk intensely.)

¡Ay! Pero es que tú sabes perrear, yo no.
(Oh! But you know how to twerk, I don’t.)

¡Ay, tía! Después de dos tequilas cualquiera perrea hasta el suelo.
(Come on, aunt! After 2 tequilas, anyone twerks down to the floor.)

The word “perreo” “perrear” and all its variants is always present in reggaeton songs. Check out this bit form Anitta’s Envolver, where she is looking to have a “little perreo”:

Y no te voy a envolver
(But don’t get wrapped up)

Sé que lo hacemo’ y tú vas a volver
(I know we do it and you’ll come back)

Un perreíto en la pared
(One twerking against the wall)

Yo soy un caso que hay que resolver
(I’m a case to be solved)

Pero no te voy a envolver
(But don’t get wrapped up)

Sé que lo hacеmo’ y tú vas a volver (volver)
(I know we do it and you’ll come back)

Un perreíto pa bеllaquear
(One twerk to get horny)

What is bellaquear? Bellac@/ Bellaquear. If you are bellaco you are… horny. Bellaco o Bellaca is the adjective and Bellaquear would be the verb. Engaging in foreplay. Reggaeton is sexually charged, quite explicit at times, this is one the main reasons a lot of people, hate it. Let me know in the comments if you love or hate reggaeton.

Yo perrero sola de Bad Bunny

Se trepa en la mesa y que se jodan
(She gets on the table, screw them)

En el perreo no se quita
(At twerking she doesn’t move away)

Fuma y se pone bellaquita
(She smokes and she gets horny)

Pichear

Like pitch, in a baseball game. “Pichear” means to reject the advances of someone who’s interest in you. Bad Bunny once again, in his hit “Yo Perreo Sola”.

Ante’ tú me pichaba’
(Before you used to reject me)

Ahora yo picheo (ja, ja)
(Now I reject you, ha ha)

Antes tú no quería’ (ey)
(Before you didn’t want me, hey)

Ahora yo no quiero, no, tranquil
(Now I don’t want you, no, easy)

Yo perreo sola
(I twerk by myself)

Yo perreo sola
(I twerk by myself)

Jangear

Jangear comes from the English hang out. Actually Juan made a whole video about Spanglish with many Spanglish words like this one. Check it out here.

Let’s have a look at “Me Porto Bonito” by Bad Bunny:

Me paso jangueando
(I spend my time hanging out)

A ver si coincide
(To see if I can coincide)

Y por fin doy contigo
(And I finally can find you)

Mai, nuestra’ bellaquera’
(”Mai” our “horniness”)

Nunca la’ olvido
(I ever forget)

Me la paso jangueando”. We took the English verb hang out, and we we gave it a Spanish treatment. In English the progressive form is made by adding ING at the end of the word, in Spanish we add ANDO o ENDO. JANgueANDO. Hanging out.

Gat@

Gata for females and gato for males. It literally means cat. But It’s a word that means “girlfriend” or “boyfriend”, someone’s romantic partner.

Me portó Bonito de Bad Bunny

Ella sabe que está buenota
(She knows she’s really hot)

Y no la presumed
(And she doesn’t get showed off)

Si yo fuera tu gato
(If I was your man)

Subiera una foto los vierne’ y los lune’ (so)
(I would put up your picture every Friday and Monday)

Pa’ que to’ el mundo vea
(For the whole world to see)

Lo rica que tú está’
(How yummy you are)

Remember that shortening words is common. In this case “Pa que to’” means Para que todo.

Bichot@, Bicho

Lovely Colombian singer Karol G popularized the word “bichota” to describe an empowered, beautiful, sexy, confident woman

Salgo acicala’ de pie’ a tope
(I go out all dressed up from head to toe)

Porque puede ser que con el culo mío te tope’, tope’
(Because my butt might run, run into you)

Me siento bichota sin salir del bloque
(I feel like a “boss bitch” without leaving the hood)

A bichote, is a boss, a big shot.

Ser Bichote de Bad Bunny

Yo siempre quise ser bichote
(I always wanted to be a “big shot”)

Yo siempre quise ser bichote
(I always wanted to be a “big shot”)

Y ahora somos bichotes
(And now we are “big shots”)

Careful here, because bichota and bichote are people but bicho is well… the male sexual organ. Don’t make that mistake!

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