Latin music lyrics are also sometimes called Latin
American music lyrics and cannot be easily separated from the unique
sound of Latin American music. Latin music lyrics are sometimes
confused with Spanish music
lyrics or Mexican music
lyrics, which are a different genres altogether.
Latin music has exploded into the music mainstream since the 1990's
after the untimely death of Tex Mex singer Selena out of Corpus
Christi, Texas. Since this time, pop artists like Ricky Martin,
Christina Aguilera, Shakira and Jennifer Lopez (J Lo) have brought
this genre of music to new heights. Salsa, Cumbia, Merengue and
Rock en espanol have offered popular variations within the genre.
Before this time, however, Latin music was more traditional in
sound and lyrics. Latin music lyrics in traditional songs often
offer the call-and-response technique common in African-American
musical traditions. Many of the traditional Latin music lyrics also
contain a religious theme such as the Nativity, Easter or Resurrection
through the eyes of a primarily Catholic culture.
More recent Latin music lyrics, however, such as those in the Reggaetón
style more resemble hip hop lyrics. Reggaetón is a blend
of reggae, bomba or plena and hip hop. Sometimes the rapping of
lyrics is also incorporated into the songs. Like hip hop, this brand
of Latin music lyrics has been criticized for being too violent,
degrading to women and too sexual in nature.
Lumping all current Latin music lyrics into this one category
for criticism is a mistake though since the majority do not have
this kind of content. Typical themes of current Latin music include
such subjects as dancing, partying, anecdotes, love
lyrics, cultural stories and life problems in general.