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Those motherfuckers can’t have the Bugalú

sarukunsarukun RIESLINGOCEANRegistered User regular
edited June 2020 in Social Entropy++
Bugalú, or boogaloo, as it is typically written in English, doesn’t belong to white Americans. It is the name of a few things, all of which have their roots in blackness, but I would like to write about the one with which I am the most familiar; el Bugalú.

El Bugalú was popular dance music, and originated as a fusion of multiple genres in Spanish Harlem, drawing heavily from more traditional Afrocuban musical styles such a son montuno and guaguanco, which themselves have roots in Western Africa. Contemporary American R&B music also contributed heavily, and there was a great deal of artist crossover, with lyrics in Spanish as often as they were in English.

It is a loud sound, with a lot of bombast. It is simple, lighthearted, and fun. It is slower than a lot of modern salsa, but as the rhythms and beats are essentially the same, a simple 8 count you can dance the same steps to it.

If you watch the video, you’ll hear salseros, especially the ones at Fania Records, THE name in Cuban dance music for a VERY long time, speak somewhat derisively of it because of its musical simplicity, but personally I think that is what makes it great. It is less intimidating and, I think, decidedly more American, and that brings people in. Boogaloo made musicians like Pete Rodriguez and Joe Cuba household names in the late 60s.

As I said, boogaloo is more than one thing, but when I hear it, this is what it means to me: Cuban American dance music, with a foot in the African past that crossed over to put the plant the other foot firmly onto the face of the American mainstream. It would not exist without traditional or contemporary black culture, and emblematic in many ways of the great amalgam that is Latino.

sarukun on
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  • sarukunsarukun RIESLING OCEANRegistered User regular
    Joe Cuba’s classic jam, Bang Bang.

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  • Magic PinkMagic Pink Tur-Boner-Fed Registered User regular

    i too enjoy the sounds of the bugaloo

  • 3cl1ps33cl1ps3 I will build a labyrinth to house the cheese Registered User regular
    I did not know any of this. Thanks for educating us, sarukun!

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  • Magic PinkMagic Pink Tur-Boner-Fed Registered User regular
    all of the singers in boogaloo songs always sound so damn happy and i love it

  • sarukunsarukun RIESLING OCEANRegistered User regular
    French Boogaloo, George Guzman

  • sarukunsarukun RIESLING OCEANRegistered User regular
    I Like it Like That, Pete Rodriguez

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  • TheStigTheStig Registered User regular
    I love a shitty white bread, cheese, and boogaloo sandwich.

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  • astrobstrdastrobstrd So full of mercy... Registered User regular
    I think this was the only boogaloo I knew.


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  • sarukunsarukun RIESLING OCEANRegistered User regular
    Push Push Push, Joe Cuba

    You can really hear the 60s R&B in this one.

  • sarukunsarukun RIESLING OCEANRegistered User regular
    It’s the weekend, which means it’s time for boogaloo jams.

    Boogaloo con Soul Ray Barretto

    Ray Barretto is a guy you should know if you want to know anything about Latin music in America.

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  • RingoRingo He/Him a distinct lack of substanceRegistered User regular
    I really appreciate this thread, sarukun :heartbeat:

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  • sarukunsarukun RIESLING OCEANRegistered User regular
    I really appreciate your appreciation! There's not a lot of easy opportunities to do things in Spanish out here in Taiwan (there are some, but they are not easy to find or get out to), and Music like this that is Latino Americano keeps me feeling grounded. I'm happy to share and hopefully help people learn a little about American history that might be a little obscure. With respect to Boogaloo in particular, it's important to know just how much of Latino Americano culture is explicitly and tightly bound up with Black/African American culture.

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