Words by Jason “J-Rockaz” Orford
We here at LargeUp like posts–like last week’s documentary Top 10–that look at Caribbean culture as whole, rather than just island by island. But what we like even better is to follow the exchange of rhythms and ideas back and forth across national and linguistic barriers. Case in point–El General, one of the original creators of the latin-reggae-dancehall sound. DJs are still playing his records. With big chunes like Tu Pum Pum, Rica y Apretadita, Son Bow and of course Muevelo, there’s no doubt that this Super Cat/Shabba-inspired, Panamanian pioneer studied Jamaican deejays before he became the Mosiah of what we now call reggaeton. Daddy Yankee, Tego Calderon, Don Omar and a few other top ranking Spanish speaking MC/Rapper dudes owe El General nuff (mucho?) respect for blazing a path through uncharted and otherwise under-appreciated territory at the time. In many ways, he embodies the history of the Panama-Jamaica connection, which goes way back to the building of the canal, at the least. In short his discography is a great starting point for understanding this whole Pan-Caribbean thing we keep talking about. And this vid is a great starting point for his documentary. Now throw it back and enjoy!