What’s it called when it sounds like Raggaeton, has a merengue riddim but is from Jamaica and in English?

Hello people of the universe :vulcan_salute:

Caused by a series of…, anyway, came across tracks by Spice (yes, now I know queen of dancehall etc.) sounded to my ears much like Raggaeton, merengue riddim and all - but it’s from Jamaica and English. How is that style normally called - also simply Dancehall?

Thanks for thoughts! :partying_face::partying_face::star_struck::partying_face::woman_in_lotus_position:

(Sort of what people would call explicit lyrics)



Dancehall or
Ragga dancehall.


Thanks! That’s confusing. So dancehall with typical Raggae off beat cords and laid back attitude and that merengue based push forward stuff is one genre? In the sense like Trance and Detroit-style techno would be considered EDM by many?

(I know it’s not from the Caribbean but it’s one of my all-time favorites. Thank you Robyn for these great 3 albums.)


And this is Raggaeton (sorry for posting commercially successful stuff, I think it’s easier to sort it out with known examples):


Yes. Maybe ? I dunno. Im no expert.
Just like R’n’B. Which can be ya know cool shit like Winnonie Harris, or fucking awful, like Craig David. Which is a completely different thing.

And a massive chasm of stuff inbetween.

At one point, all electronic dance music (EDM) was just called… Techno.

I kind of traced it back. The Merengue rhythm is “from”the Dominicans, appeared in Jamaican Dancehall via “Dem Bow” in 1990 (Shabba Ranks/Bobby digital), much influence, reimported to Dominican Rep as dembow and exported to the world, including Puerto Rico, where it merged (again?) with Latin American music, twerk craze and all. Raggaeton. Guess it is a back and forth and Spice’s video also contain much twerk dance style (?).

However, that dembow based music has a complete different vibe to me, much as 808-based electro (Antony Rother) vs 909-based techno (Jeff Mills).

So I thought there might be a name for it :smiley::thinking:

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… By the laymen and uninformed public :wink: “We” (locally, 1990s) always opposed to that (with or without proper cause). To “us” techno was only UR, Axis, Metroplex, Tresor. Everything else was anything else (like Trance).

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I was going to press play on that Jugglerz video above, but feel like I should get her permission first.

Don’t want to be rude.


that spice track has the dancehall beat (3+3+2) rather than the dem bow, which is the four on the floor with snares on 4, 7,12,15 (which is also common in soca and UK funky and a whole load of other global music.)

i’m actually not sure either of them is the same as merengue, but I’m not much of an expert there tbh!


How to program dancehall drum patterns | MusicRadar.



i’d also say the difference between “dancehall with typical Raggae off beat cords and laid back attitude”


“that merengue based push forward stuff is one genre?”

is about forty years. Dancehall started as an offshoot of reggae that just removed the original vocals and had someone chatting over it, then became it’s own thing, then mutated around the 1990s to become it’s own distinct sound, pretty much losing the offbeat chords from reggae (though not always!).

It’s since borrowed a lot from a lot of places including Indian music, US hip hop and basically anything a JA producer found useful. That 3+3+2 beat was pretty central through the 90s and 00s, with Dembow as the other flavour (mostly) but I’d say in the 2010s and 2020s Dancehall has if anything become even more global looking such that it’s borrowing stuff from all over, probably including taking sounds back from reggaeton, which essentially started from doing the same to dancehall in the first place.


incidentally Shabba Ranks - Dem Bow was actually taken from:

so if Merengue is the root, it was Steely and Cleevie that took it.


That kick is fierce.

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I call it dancehall
Can’t hear merengue in here

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Yeah, that Jugglerz tune is straight dancehall.

Where’s the merengue? Also no reggaeton either. I would say this is straight up dancehall

This is champeta, right?

What do you guys think merengue is? :joy::joy::joy:

I said I didn’t think it was merengue earlier
(And also I wasnt any expert on merengue!)

Poco Man Jam is the riddim that the Dem Bow riddim references and that is what the entire of reggaeton is built on (and quite often sampled off directly tbh)

the Dem Bow beat is pretty much Soca’s main beat pattern too, and I think exists in various forms of Latin and African music and beyond, so would not be surprised if it is Champeta too tbh.

it’s the basis for most of UK Funky too…


How dare you slander Craig David.

You may be overthinking it. This is pretty standard “Modern Dancehall.” The sound is more global now and has all kinds of influences, but Dancehall it is.