What is Urban Latin Music?

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


Urban Latin music is a term used to describe a wide range of music styles from Latin America that have been influenced by hip hop, R&B, and pop.


Urban Latin music is a genre of popular music that originated in the Spanish-speaking countries of Latin America. It is characterized by a heavy use of electronic instruments and danceable rhythms.


Urban Latin music is a term used to describe various styles of Latin music that have been influenced by African American and Jamaican music. These genres include salsa, reggaeton, merengue, and Bachata, among others. Cuba is one of the primary origins of urban Latin music, with its capital city of Havana being a hotbed of musical activity. Cuban musicians have been innovators in the world of Latin music for decades, and their influence can be heard in the sounds of today’s urban hits.

Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico is an unincorporated territory of the United States, located in the northeastern Caribbean, east of the Dominican Republic and west of both the United States Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands.

Of all the Latin American countries, Puerto Rico has had by far the strongest influence on urban Latin music in the United States. This is due to a number of factors: Puerto Rico’s close proximity to the US, its large population (especially in New York City), and its long history of immigration to the US.

Puerto Rican music has typically been upbeat and lively, with a strong focus on rhythm. This was evident in early forms of Puerto Rican music such as bomba y plena, which are still popular today. Puerto Rican music has also been influenced by various other genres, including African music, European classical music, and salsa.

Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic is home to a wide variety of music genres, including merengue, bachata, and salsa. Dominican music is a blend of African and European influences. Merengue is the nationally recognized genre of the Dominican Republic. This style of music is a mixture of African rhythms and melodies with Spanish influences. Bachata, another popular genre in the Dominican Republic, is also a blend of African and European influences. It emerged in the 1960s as a slower form of merengue. Salsa is also popular in the Dominican Republic. This style emerged in the 1970s and is a mix of Cuban rhythms and Puerto Rican musical influences.



Reggaeton is a urban Latin music genre that originated in Puerto Rico in the early 1990s. It is a mix of Latin American and Caribbean music styles such as bomba, plena, salsa, merengue, and reggae. The music is characterized by simple melodies and beats with sexually explicit lyrics.


Bachata is a style of music that originated in the Dominican Republic in the early 1960s. It is a slower, more sensual form of music than other Latin genres such as salsa and merengue, and often has themes of love and heartbreak. The typical instrumentation for bachata includes guitars, percussion, and string instruments such as the violin or viola.


Salsa is a widely known form of urban Latin music that originated in New York City during the 1960s. It is a fusion of Cuban son, Afro-Cuban percussion, and other Latin American styles. Salsa is typically danced to music with a 4/4 time signature and includes complex moves such as spins, turns, and dips.

Notable Artists

Daddy Yankee

Daddy Yankee is a reggaeton singer, songwriter, rapper, and record producer. He helped pioneer the genre of reggaeton, and is often credited as being the “King of Reggaeton”. He is considered one of the greatest artists in the Latin music genre. He has released numerous albums and singles throughout his career, many of which have topped the charts in various countries.


San Juan, Puerto Rico-born Ozuna is one of urban Latin music’s biggest success stories in recent memory. After a string of well-received mixtapes, the 27-year-old singer released his debut album Odisea in 2017. The record was an instant hit, quickly becoming the best-selling Latin album of the year and earning him a spot on TIME’s Most Influential People list. Ozuna’s follow-up, Aura, arrived in 2018 and was another critical and commercial success. He has collaborated with some of urban Latin music’s biggest names, including Bad Bunny, J Balvin, and Daddy Yankee.

Jennifer Lopez

Jennifer Lopez, also known as J.Lo, is an American singer, actress, dancer and fashion designer. Born in the Bronx, New York, she started her career as a fly girl on the television show In Living Color. She then went on to star in hit films such as Selena, Out of Sight and The Wedding Planner. In addition to her successful acting career, Lopez has released several albums that have topped the Billboard charts, including On the 6, J.Lo and This Is Me… Then. She is also known for her signature style, which often includes flashy clothing and jewelry.


Latin music has exploded in popularity in recent years. It seems like everywhere you go, you can hear some form of urban Latin music playing. Whether it’s reggaeton, Latin trap, or just plain old salsa, the genre has taken the world by storm. But what is urban Latin music, and what is its impact?

On Latin music

Latin music is one of the most popular genres in the world, and its influence can be felt in many different genres of music. Urban Latin music is a term that is used to describe a wide range of different styles of music that have their roots in Latin America, Spain, and Portugal. These styles of music include salsa, merengue, cumbia, bachata, reggaeton, and many others.

Latin music has always been popular in the United States, but in recent years it has become even more mainstream. This is due in part to the increasing popularity of reggaeton and other urban Latin styles of music. In addition, the success of Latin artists such as Shakira and Ricky Martin has helped to bring Latin music to a wider audience.

urban Latin music is typically very danceable and often features infectious rhythms and catchy melodies. It is often heard in nightclubs, on the radio, and at parties. If you’re looking for something new to listen to, or if you want to find some good dancing music, urban Latin music is a great option.

On mainstream music

Since the 1990s, urban Latin music has had a profound impact on mainstream music. This largely Hispanic genre has helped to shape the sound and style of popular music in the United States and beyond.

Urban Latin music is a genre that blends various Hispanic musical styles with elements of hip hop, R&B, and sometimes reggae. The result is a unique and dynamic sound that has captivated listeners around the world.

This genre has its roots in the Hispanic communities of New York City, Los Angeles, and Miami. In these cities, young Hispanics were exposed to a variety of musical styles, including traditional Latin music, hip hop, and R&B. These influences would eventually come together to form the basis for urban Latin music.

In the early 1990s, groups like Cypress Hill and Kid Frost began to fuse hip hop with traditional Latin sounds. This new hybrid style quickly gained popularity among Hispanic youth in the United States. Soon, other artists began to experiment with this sound, resulting in a proliferation of urban Latin music.

By the mid-1990s, urban Latin music had become one of the most popular genres in the United States. Artists like Pitbull, Selena Gomez, and Shakira helped to bring this style of music to a wider audience. Today, urban Latin music continues to be one of the most popular genres in both the United States and Latin America.

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