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Articles Wampi. Fotograma del videoclip de Firulay. Wampi. Fotograma del videoclip de Firulay.

The new cat of reparto

Reggaeton, more than a genre ruled by musical generations, seems like a game of dynasties. In 2018, the fight for the reign of the reparto between Chocolate MC and El Kamel was marked by songs like Bajanda and El Chu chu chú (Kamel's response to the supposed capture of the crown).

Cada nueva oleada tiene su abanderado, y siempre que este sale a la palestra pública se siente el cambio porque llega una nueva voz, nuevos conflictos jerárquicos en el movimiento, además de nuevos featurings and hits.

A year ago a new exponent of reparto emerged: Wampi. 

Desde mayo de 2019 escucho su nombre, cuando estrenó junto al Kimiko el single Peleando. Aún él es desconocido para muchos ―y no pretendo legitimarlo en la cima del movimiento urbano en la Isla―, pero creo pertinente poner la lupa sobre este joven que comenzando el año lanzó su nuevo álbum Mama Eh y que tiene propuestas alternativas a los caminos ya trillados en estas dos décadas de reguetón en Cuba. 

Cover of tWampi's new album. Photo: Taken from the artist's Facebook page.

Cover of tWampi's new album. Photo: Taken from the artist's Facebook page.

La nobleza de su imagen infantil me recuerda cuando El Kamel ―solos unos meses antes― producía temas como Tú puedes tener mil2 con Manu Manu, o La Window junto al Taiger. 

Wampi y El Kamel han conocido el éxito en el género cuando apenas están arribando a los 20 años de edad. El público difícilmente los distingue entre sí, pues suelen imaginar que ser repartero es formar parte de una masa homogénea de jóvenes cantantes y bailadores del kanilleo, the guachineo y de tantas otras palabras incomprensibles.

For the uninitiated: reparto is one of the subgenres of Cuban reggaeton, the most violent and transgressive for its musical, textual and audiovisual language. Being a repartero is a bodily attitude, is the constant willingness to challenge your fellow and obtain "the glory." The glory understood as the access to money, women and many other pleasures of the physical world to which they refer in their songs without any blemish. Wampi applies perfectly to this concept.

Wampi Photo: Taken from the artist's Facebook page.

Wampi Photo: Taken from the artist's Facebook page.

That said, although they legitimize similar fashion brands and almost identical dress styles, one of the features to differentiate the reparteros are the phrases that identify them in the credits. The Kamel says “Fuego con el gato (Fire with the cat)”, El Chulo calls himself “Lo más duro de to’ el reparto (The hardest of all reparto)”, while Wampi uses the basic but effective resource of using his name as his own logo: “Wampi ya, Wampi eh". His name speaks of his repartera attitude, it is something “fresa (strawberry)”, as they say, although in social networks the artist declared that the nickname occurred to his brother and a friend, when he still did not dream of being a singer.

En octubre pasado Wampi estrenó el video Fuego con tu pikete junto a un variopinto grupo: Gnio, Dayroni, Kimiko y Yordy. De ellos, Gnio y Dayroni son reconocidos como los autores del icónico baile del reguetón cubano conocido como el kanilleo.

Although Chocolate MC remains (and apparently will continue to be) one of the most controversial figures of reparto, these new names add to the search and capture of the throne of the urban movement. 

Will Wampi be the new member of the successful and controversial staff that represents the reparto guys of Havana? Why couldn't it be like that? Who would have said in the early 2000s that Baby Lores, Insurrecto, El Chacal, Jorge Jr. and so many others would be the founders of a genre with as much power as reggaeton?

I consider that we are witnessing the emergence of a new style of reparto that is diversified in themes: the bonche taken to the video clip with a pop and a more fashion style, the dances that arise from time to time (and of course, the always recurring mention of the sexual organs). Wampi is one of the faces of this wave of reparteros, some with more reach than others and with different consumption spaces but that are always in the street, that is, in the speakers. 

Lalau Yllarramendiz Alfonso Musicóloga y especialista en temas como el reguetón cubano. Egresada de la Universidad de las Artes (Isa). Miembro de la Rama Latinoamericana de la Asociación Internacional para el Estudio de la Música Popular y de MyGLA Músicas y género. Grupo de estudios latinoamericanos. Las nuevas tecnologías son la casa de sus proyectos investigativos. More posts

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