With a blurb from Calle 13's Residente, a portfolio of works by Miguel Luciano (recently a Paris sensation), a DJ'd book party and a hyped after-party, the Reggaetón anthology is far from your average academic tome.
But beyond the multimedia bells and whistles, the book is truly a watershed moment for the musical genre, for Latino cultural criticism, and for 21st C academia (Full disclosure: I am friends with two of the editors, and have a deep admiration and occasional email convos with the third).
The fat (1" thick, 370 pp.) volume doesn't just go the standard sociological-ethnomusicological route, but includes musicians' own accounts of how the music developed -- interviews with El General and Tego Calderón were illuminating -- and a look at the genre from the perspectives of dance, visual representation, gender and politics.
You may not like reggaetón (but I bet you move just a little if it comes on when you're on the dance floor), but after this, it'll be just a little harder to dismiss it as "racketón," as Juan Flores recounts one of his friends doing.
[cover image with Miguel Luciano's Plátano Pride via wayneandwax]