Greatest Latin Urban Songs

Background: The term urban was initially used commercially by the music industry since the mid 2000's (in the United States created the term "Hurban"), but artists and audiences have accepted the term to give it a pan-Latino context that turns on the grassroots of hip hop in Latin America and does not deny the influences that have been embraced since the mid 80's, as the connection of reggae in Panama or the Latin Alternative movement in South America. All this has resulted in heterogeneous cultures that claims their own features.

Latin rap has evolved over disjointed scenes by different countries. Scenes such as Mexico and Chile have been more influenced by bands from the U.S. scene (such as Cypress Hill), while countries as Colombia and Cuba have been more influenced by the scene of Latin alternative music. On the other hand, Puerto Rico -the first country which rap was introduced- and Panama have had a symbiotic coexistence with the movement of "reggae en español" (especially ragga and dancehall) which evolution gave birth to reggaeton, a genre that have had a commercial boom over all the Americas. Very few artists have had international recognition and credibility at a time, but some of his songs have been become anthems of the Latin urban movement, among hip hop, latin alternative rap and raggaeton songs.

Criteria: Songs and Artists are ranked based on their international popularity, impact, credibility and historical regional importance.

1. Vico C
La recta final (1989)
2. Control Machete
Comprendes Mendez (1996)
3. Calle 13
Se vale to-to (2005)
4. Illya Kuryaki & The Valderramas
Abarajame (1995)
5. El General
Muévelo (1991)
6. Orishas
A lo cubano (1999)
7. Tego Calderón
Pa' que retozen (2002)
8. Ruben DJ
La escuela (1985)
9. Tiro de Gracia
El juego verdadero (1997)
10. Tempo
Ven y vuela (1999)
11. Daddy Yankee
Gasolina (2004)
12. Mala Rodriguez
Tengo un trato (2000)
13. Don Omar
Dale Don Dale (2003)
14. Control Machete
Sí señor (1999)
15. Wisin & Yandel
Rakata (2005)
16. Vico C
Tony Presidio (1990)
17. Akwid - No hay manera (2003)
18. Calle 13
Atrevete-te-te (2005)
19. Los Tetas
Corazón de sandía (1995)
20. Ana Tijoux
1977 (2009)
21. Don Omar
Reggaetón latino (2005)
22. Los Aldeanos
Aveces sueño (2003)
23. El General
Te ves buena (1990)
24. Cartel de Santa
Perros (2002)
25. Nando Boom
Enfermo de amor (1990)
26. Makiza
La rosa de los vientos (1999)
27. Vico C
Bomba para afincar (1991)
28. Wisin & Yandel feat Daddy Yankee, Tony Tun Tun, Baby Ranks & Hector El Father
Mayor que yo (2005)
29. Tres Coronas
Falsedades (2001)
30. Illya Kuryaki & The Valderramas
Coolo (1999)
31. Big Boy
Mis ojos lloran por ti (1996)
32. Calle 13
Querido FBI (2005)
33. Tego Calderón
Punto y aparte (2004)
34. Wiso G
Me levanto los domingos (1994)
35. Daddy Yankee
Rompe (2005)
36. Orishas
Represent (1999)
37. Julio Voltio
Mambo (2004)
38. Choc Quib Town
De donde vengo yo (2009)
39. Mala Rodriguez
Por la noche (2007)
40. Tempo
Amén (2001)
41. Eddie Dee feat. Gallego, Vico C, Tego Calderón, Julio Voltio, Zion & Lennox, Daddy Yankee, Ivy Queen, Johnny Prez, Nicky Jam and Wiso G
Quitate tú pa ponerme yo (2004)
42. Vico C
Explosión (1993)
43. Cypress Hill
No entiendes la onda (1999)
44. Kinto Sol
El capitan (2001)
45. Eddie Dee
Señor Oficial (1996)
46. Control Machete
Así son mis días (1996)
47. Renato
El D.E.N.I. (1985)
48. Ivy Queen feat Wyclef Jean
In the zone (1998)
49. El General
Tu pum pum (1988)
50. Tego Calderón
Abayarde (2002)
51. Don Chezina
Chezidón (1998)
52. Lisa M
Trampa (1991)
53. Calle 13
Que lloren (2008)
54. Actitud Maria Marta
Hijo mío (2002)
55. Orishas
El kilo (2005)
56. Dyablo
El juego de la vida (2002)
57. Lito y Polaco
Mundo frío (2002)
58. Akwid
Jamás imaginé (2004)
59. Latin Fresh
Tranquilo (1996)
60. Luny Tunes feat. Daddy Yankee, Wisin & Yandel, Hector El Father, Tony Tun Tun and Zion
Noche de entierro (2006)
Greatest Songs of US Latin Rap / Latinos in Hip Hop Music
1. Cypress Hill
Latin lingo (1991)
2. Kid Frost
La raza (1990)
3. Mellow Man Ace
Mentirosa (1989)
4. Big Pun feat. Fat Joe
Twins (1998)
5. The Mean Machine
Disco dream (1981)
6. The Beatnuts
Watch out now (1999)
7. Funkdoobiest
Bow wow wow (1993)
8. A Lighter Shade of Pale
On a Sunday afternoon (1995)
9. Fat Joe
Flow Joe (1993)
10. Spanish Fly & the Terrible Two
Spanglish (1981)
11. Immortal Technique
Dance with the devil (2001)
12. Cypress Hill
Insane in the brain (1993)
13. Delinquent Habits
Tres delincuentes (1996)
14. The Mexakinz
Phonkie melodia (1993)
15. Funky Aztecs feat. 2Pac
Slippin' into darkness (1996)
16. Big Pun
Still not a player (1998)
17. N.O.R.E. feat. Daddy Yankee and Nina Sky
Oye mi canto (2004)
18. Kid Frost
No sunshine (1992)
19. Chino XL
Nunca (2001)
20. The Psycho Realm
Scandalous (1994)
21. Funkdoobiest
Rock on (1995)
22. Latin Alliance
Low rider (1991)
23. Cypress Hill
How I could just kill a man (1991)
24. The Beatnuts feat Big Pun and Cuban Link
Off the book (1997)
25. South Park Mexican
High so high (1999)
26. Cuban Link feat D'Mingo
Flowers to the dead (2000)
27. Johnny J
Get away from me (1994)
28. Lil Rob
Summer night (2005)
29. The Real Roxanne
Roxanne on a roll (1988)
30. Tony Touch feat Nina Sky and B-Real
Play that song (2005)
TOP 20 - LATIN RAP ARTISTS
1. Vico C
2. Control Machete
3. Orishas
4. Tego Calderón
5. Illya Kuryaki & The Valderramas
6. Tempo
7. Calle 13
8. Akwid
9. Tiro de Gracia
10. Ruben DJ
11. Cartel de Santa
12. Makiza
13. Tres Coronas
14. Kinto Sol
15. Dyablo
16. Los Aldeanos
17. La Etnnia
18. Crooked Stilo
19. Sindicato Argentino del Hip Hop
20. Boca Floja
TOP 20 - US LATIN RAP ARTISTS
1. Cypress Hill
2. Big Pun
3. Kid Frost
4. Mellow Man Ace
5. The Beatnuts
6. A Lighter Shade of Pale
7. Fat Joe
8. Immortal Technique
9. Funkdoobiest
10. Pyscho Realm
11. N.O.R.E.
12. Tony Touch
13. Delinquent Habits
14. Chino XL
15. A.L.T
16. Johnny J.
17. The Real Roxanne
18. South Park Mexican
19. Cuban Linx
20. Lil' Rob
TOP 10 - REGGAETON ARTISTS
1. Daddy Yankee
2. Don Omar
3. Tego Calderón
4. Wisin & Yandel
5. Ivy Queen
6. Hector & Tito
7. Zion & Lennox
8. Baby Rasta & Gringo
9. Don Chezina
10. Big Boy
TOP 10 - PANAMANIAN "SPANISH REGGAE" ARTISTS
1. El General
2. Nando Boom
3. Renato
4. Aldo Ranks
5. Kufu Banton
6. La Factoría
7. Eddy Lover
8. El Roockie
9. Nigga (DJ Flex)
10. Latin Fresh
TOP 10 - CHICANO RAP ARTISTS
1. Kid Frost
2. Lil Rob
3. Lighter Shade of Pale
4. Brownside
5. B-Real
6. Pyscho Realm
7. Akwid
8. Mr. Capone-E
9. Delinquent Habits
10. Mr. Shadow
TOP 10 - SPANISH RAP ARTISTS
1. SFDK
2. Violadores del Verso
3. Mala Rodriguez
4. CPV
5. 7 Notas 7 Colores
6. Nach
7. Solo los Solo
8. Frank T
9. Tote King
10. La Excepción 
TOP 10 - BRAZILIAN RAP ARTISTS
1. Mc Racionais
2. Gabriel, O Pensador
3. MV Bill
4. Facção Central
5. Marcelo D2
6. Thaíde & DJ Hum 
7. Face da Morte
8. Sabotage
9. Consciência Humana
10. GOG
TOP 10 - LATIN URBAN POP ARTISTS
Artists that combine different latin amercan styles -especially caribbean (bachata, merengue, etc)- with R&B or pop rap music and their lyrics are more oriented to popular love songs and party anthems getting success into the commercial radio stations.


1. Aventura
2. Pitbull
3. Proyecto Uno
4. RKM & Kenn-Y
5. Ilegales
6. Don Omar
7. Tito El Bambino
8. Chino y Nacho
9. Arcangel
10. Nigga (DJ Flex)
TRIVIA
Vico C and El General are considered as "The Fathers of Reggaeton" but his influences have been different during their music careers. Vico C was inspired by The Old School American Rap and El General initially took as music reference the Jamaican dancehall.

Although Vico C was the first act to get into the US Latin Billboard charts, the first album that achieves more than half a million copies were Control Machete's "Mucho Barato" (1996) which obtained many gold records in several Latin American countries. 

MTV has been important in the broadcast of latin urban music. In 1995, the videoclip "Abarajame" of Illya Kuryaki & The Valderramas had a heavy rotation on MTV Latin America. El General's "Muévelo" won 1991 Video Music Awards for MTV Internacional category and in last years Daddy Yankee and Wisin & Yandel have been nominated in major categories on the VMA's. 

During 2008 and 2010 there was a Latin Urban Album category at the Grammy Awards. The only winners were Calle 13 and Wisin & Yandel. Another acts like Vico C, Akwid or Ana Tijoux have been nominated for Best Latin Rock or Alternative Album in other years.

Mala Rodriguez was the first artist to make the crossover from Spain to the Americas and has collaborated with artists like Vico C, Tego Calderon and Calle 13. 

While reggaeton is a genre widely throughout Latin America, some acts -especially outside the Caribbean area-, reject it for its banality and promote promiscuity. However, the most popular reggaeton artists have put aside those lyrics to get into commercial radio stations. 

Toy Selectah, ex-member of Control Machete, says that Machete Music (an urban music label owned by Universal Music Group that signed acts like Wisin & Yandel and Don Omar) took the name of the band because of an idea of its president Gustavo Lopez, while he was working on it as an A&R.

Cypress Hill was the only band to record rap albums in both English and Spanish and entering the Billboard charts with all its records. Collaborations are so diverse that include artists such as Fermin IV (ex-Control Machete), Psycho Realm, Tego Calderón or Pitbull.