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Tego Calderon'

Tego Calderón

Tegui Calderón Rosario (born February 2 1972) is a Puerto Rican rapper. He is best known as Tego Calderón, or by the nickname "El Abayarde", which refers to a tiny, slow-moving species of fire ant found in Puerto Rico. The name is in reference to his behavior as a child; mischievous and troublesome. He not only records hip hop music but also mambo, salsa (e.g. "Planté bandera" on his debut album, and "Llora, Llora" and "Llámame" with Oscar D'León) in 2006, blues ("Mardi Gras", on the 2006 album) and reggaetón. In addition, he has also made songs that are pure reggae, (e.g. "Chillin'" from the 2006 album The Underdog/El Subestimado).He also believes that Jamaican dancehall reggae and hip hop along with Salsa are the roots of Reggaeton. His album El Abayarde made him a major Latin star. Calderón has received awards for his work, including a Source Award for "International Artist of the Year" and a Tu Música award. He has also received nomination in several ceremonies, including the Latin Grammy, Billboard Award, Premios Lo Nuestro and Premios La Gente.

Biography

Early life

Calderón was born in Santurce, a subsection of San Juan to Puerto Rican parents. Early in his life he moved to Miami, Florida, where he attended high school. Here he became familiar with several cultures. Calderón eventually studied percussion and worked as a drummer in a rock band. The group would perform songs produced by artists including Ozzy Osborne and Led Zeppelin.. He has noted that both of his parents were fans of Ismael Rivera, and that his father was also interested in jazz. Calderón took influence from both genres and incorporated them into his music, including songs such as Minnie the Moocher in songs. He eventually developed a music style that combined elements of salsa, plena, dancehall, and hip-hop, focusion on aspects of urban life in his lyrics.

Musical career

Calderón made several appearances as a guest artist in other albums produced by other rappers, eventually signing with White Lion. In 2002, published his first full-length album titled El Abayarde. Despite that the Reggaeton genre was still considered an underground genre, the production sold 50, 000 copies on the first day after its release and established a sales record for an urban music album. Three months after publishing El Abayarde, Calderón organized his first concert. The event took place at Roberto Clemente Coliseum in San Juan and sold-out all of the entrances available. The following day he became the first rap artist to perform at the annual Día Naciónal de la Salsa (National Day of Salsa) celebration.

In August 2003, Calderón performed at the Madison Square Garden in New York City. Based on his presentation The New York Times noted that he "made the best case for Reggaetón as music with room to grow" being a "forward-looking performer." His second appearance at the venue was in October 2004, when he served as the main artist of an event titled Megatón 2004. The concert sold out its entrances, with 20,000 in attendance, compossing a crowd that included several non Latino fans. The Village Voice noted that the crowd was enthusiastic and danced while he performed.

Calderón subsecuently traveled to Miami, which influenced him to include dancehall elements into his music style. In 2004, he produced a new album titled El Enemy de los Guasíbiri, the production focused on several urban genres. Calderón noted that he preferred these styles due to a perception that Salsa had "become too corporate and too safe". Years after its release, Calderón stated that he never approved the release of the Guasibiri album, that it was a collection of his old songs and shouldn't be considered one of his productions. Following the release of this album, reggaeton gained more influence with several hip-hop producers in New York. Calderón continued working on several mixtapes, being featured in remixes of Usher's "Yeah," Fat Joe's "Lean Back," N.O.R.E.'s "Oye Mi Canto" and Akon's "I Wanna Love You".

2005-present

Calderón participated on the 2004 and 2005 editions of New York's Puerto Rican Day parade. During this timeframe he became the first Latin American artist to be included on New York's Power-105. Calderón's influence among Latin American youth was noted in a featured published by the Village Voice. The publication claimed that he had "almost single-handedly. .. steered his country’s dominant youth culture out of the island and Latino neighborhoods, and into the American stream of pop consciousness.”

In the summer of 2005, Calderón signed a deal between Atlantic Records and his own independent label, Jiggiri Records, making him the first reggaeton artist to have a deal with a major record company.

In 2006, Calderón and both companies published The Underdog/El Subestimado. He noted that the production includes influence from several Afro-Caribbean rhythms including Reggae, Salsa, Bomba and Rumba. This production featured the guests appearances of Buju Banton, Voltio, Bataklán, Eddie Dee, Luis Cabán, Yandel, Zion, Chyno Nyno, Don Omar and Oscar D'León. Several producers were involved in the album, including Cookee, Major League, Salaam Remi, Eric Figueroa, Luny Tunes, DJ Nelson, Danny Fornaris, DJ Nesty, Naldo, DJ Joe, DJ Fat and Echo & Diesel. At the presentation party for the album, Calderón explained that he no longer considers himself as a reggaeton artist because this subgenre of music has become too commercial. Noting that reggaeton is becoming too simmilar to pop music and that he does not let his children listen to it at home unless it is on the radio. In October 2008, Calderón released a single titled“Pegadito a la pared”, in the internet.

Musical styles and themes

Although Calderón is a reggaeton artist, he claims to like "all types of music". Evidence of this is seen both in his biography (he began his career in music in a metal band and attended a school for music as a drummer) as well as in his music, which incorporates "'several musical tendencies'", including sounds and rhythms from places like Africa, Colombia, and the Caribbean. He obtains the sound for his popular reggaeton music through "fusing an experimental reggaeton style strongly rooted in the working-class Caribbean aesthetics of classic salsa with a strong dose of hip-hop". On The Underdog/El Subestimado, he collaborated with rap duo Anónimo consejo to create a song entitled "Son Dos Alas" which eventually was shortened to an interdule without Calderon.

Calderón has also been praised for his lyrics, which are much more substantive and uplifting than the misogynist materialistic words that have come to define reggaeton as well as the majority of hip-hop music. Calderón has been described as "the reggaeton champion of an Afro-Caribbean working-class aesthetic" and is known for lyrics that are equal parts poetry and politics. A consistent link between all of his albums "are the social themes and the untouchable bravado that he usually transmits through his artistic outlook." According to Tony Touch, "Tego is someone who represents struggle, an underdog... He's more of an MC, a product of late-'80s hip-hop."

Film and other career projects

Calderón made his acting debut in the film "Illegal Tender" produced by John Singleton. Calderon played the role of Choco, a Puerto Rican gangster whose character was written specifically for him by director Franc Reyes.

Calderón turned down roles in both "Feel the Noise" and "El Cantante" and instead chose to appear in Illegal Tender out of respect for its producer. After convincing John Singleton that he wanted to appear in a comedy, Calderón is slated to appear in an upcoming Singleton film which casts him as the coach of a baseball team.

Calderón traveled to Sierra Leone along with artists Raekwon and Paul Wall to film a VH1 documentary about diamond mining entitled "Bling'd: Blood, Diamonds, and Hip-Hop." The documentary focused on the role of Hip Hop in the blood diamond trade, after the filming concluded Calderón publicly announced that he would no longer wear jewelry. His experience in Africa also changed his outlook on life, which influenced the recording of the track "Alegria", encouraging fans to not complain about life and recognize that there are other people with bigger problems in their lives.

Personal life

His father Esteban Calderón Ilarraza was a government worker at the Health Department of Puerto Rico and died in May 2004. His Mother Pilar Rosario Parrilla is an Elementary School Teacher. Tego is married to Michelle Peterbauer. He has one son named Malcolm X and a daughter named Ebony Nairobi. He has also talked about the need for Black Latinos to be proud of who they are.

Discography

Filmography

Year Title Role
2007 Illegal Tender Choco
2007 Bling Tego Calderon
2009 Fast and Furious Sunny

References

External links

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