Ñejo y Dálmata

Mold-breaking reggaeton duo Ñejo y Dálmata placed themselves on urban tropical music's cutting edge early on in their careers. While maintaining healthy solo careers in reggaeton's capitol city of Ponce, Puerto Rico, the pair used their collaborations as a stylistic laboratory, the fruit of which would break every rule of the genre. As guest artists, both Ñejo and Dálmata appeared on popular releases like MVP and Ground Zero. Their contributions to landmark records earned the duo enough label attention to venture out on their own. Ñejo y Dálmata's debut disc, Broke and Famous, offered the pair a platform to make significant statements about music and the state of the industry. Their choice of the title and the content of their lyrics boldly stated that talent is the currency of music, rather than cars and gold. Similarly, the duo included stylistic influences that flowed against reggaeton's mainstream. Incorporating vallenato, salsa, and rock, Ñejo y Dálmata garnered both praise for their daring choices and denunciations from urban music purists. All arguments notwithstanding, the record's leading single, "Algo Musical," landed in the Top 40 on Billboard's Latin Tropical Airplay chart in 2007, and their Hot Latin Tracks chart in 2008. An aggressive touring schedule fell hot on the heels of the release of Broke and Famous, taking the duo to stages throughout Latin America. The duo's quick rise in popularity, paired with their experimental ethic, have caused many journalists and critics to predict both their longevity and their influence on reggaeton bands to come. ~ Evan C. Gutierrez

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