Magazine AM:PM
Articles Wampi. Frame from the Firulay video clip. Wampi. Frame from the Firulay video clip.

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).

Each new wave has its standard-bearer, and whenever it comes out into the public arena, the change is felt because a new voice arrives, new hierarchical conflicts in the movement, as well as new featurings and hits.

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

Since May 2019 I have heard his name, when he premiered with Kimiko the single fighting. He is still unknown to many ―and I do not intend to legitimize him at the top of the urban movement on the Island―, but I think it pertinent to put the magnifying glass on this young man who, beginning the year, released his new album mom huh and that has alternative proposals to the paths already trodden in these two decades of reggaeton in 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.

The nobility of his childlike image reminds me of when El Kamel ―only a few months before― produced songs like you can have mil2 with Manu Manu, or the window next to the Taiger. 

Wampi and El Kamel have known success in the genre when they are barely reaching 20 years of age. It is difficult for the public to distinguish them from each other, since they tend to imagine that being a repartero means being part of a homogeneous mass of young singers and dancers from the kanilleo, the guachineo and so many other incomprehensible words.

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.

Last October Wampi premiered the video Fire with your picket along with a diverse group: Gnio, Dayroni, Kimiko and Yordy. Of them, Gnio and Dayroni are recognized as the authors of the iconic Cuban reggaeton dance known as the 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 Musicologist and specialist in topics such as Cuban reggaeton. Graduated from the University of the Arts (Isa). Member of the Latin American Branch of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music and of MyGLA Musics and gender. Latin American Studies Group. New technologies are the home of their research projects. More posts

Leave a comment

No comments yet. make one!

We also suggest