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Reggaeton is almost as famous for its dodgy lyrics as its dancehall rhythm. But in Argentina, one female is busting sexual taboo and outswaggering the men
The founding fathers of the testosterone-fuelled Latin pop genre reggaeton would probably be surprised to hear their penis described as dispensable. But this is the message from Chocolate Remix, a tiny Argentinian female in a big cap taking aim at the supermachos in her single, Lo Que Las Mujeres Quieren. Hey macho reggaeton man, listen to what I say/ You dont is familiar with females/ A girl opts two well-placed fingers.
This is lesbian reggaeton, and Choco, its swaggering innovator, is one of a rising number of female reggaetoneras changing the male-dominated genre from within. An established talent in Buenos Aires alternative scene, Choco maintains reggaetons defining dembow rhythmand perreo ( the doggy-style grinding dance culture) but uses the lyrics to satirise machismo and bust the taboo of female pleasure and lesbian sexuality. She also revisits reggaetons homophobic roots and rewrites the anthems for a fag audience.
Choco might be a badass on stage but at home she is Romina Bernardo, a softly spoken 31 -year-old former IT programmer from Argentinas small north-eastern province of Tucumn. She now lives in Buenos Aires with her two cats. Between careful sips of mat( a green tea beloved in the southern cone ), Choco explains how she loved reggaeton when it arrived in the clubs in the 00 s, a decade after it came out of the barrios of Puerto Rico where underground artists first fused Jamaican dancehall rhythms with Spanish lyrics. Yet she disliked the lyrics. In reggaeton, a lot of songs talk about sexuality. I thought it would be great to use it to talk about other kinds of sex, she says, adding: Lesbian reggaeton was a kind of joke.