Beginner’s Guide to Cuban Music features 43 tracks from artists making waves in Cuban music today.
The compilation is a snap-shot of what’s popular in Cuba in 2009; from the dancehall vibes of reggaeton and Cuban hip-hop loved by Cuba’s youth to the salsa & timba Cubana that brings Havana’s clubs to life at the weekend, via the sophisticated sounds of son made famous by the Buena Vista Social Club. The previous Beginner’s Guide to Cuba is one of the most popular in the series, having sold just under 50,000 units since 2004.
Whilst the popular view of Cuban music might be the laidback Buena Vista Social Club style of son the reality in Cuba today is very different as the cafes, cars and clubs all reverberate to the sounds of Cuban reggaeton and hip-hop. However, Cubans never discard the past and even today’s youth are knowledgeable about the history of Cuban music. As hip-hop artists take influence from funk, many reggaeton artists base their tracks around samples from son.