N.O.R.E. — Y la Familia…Ya Tú Sabe (2006)

This band is part of a noticeable trend that has been occurring in the past couple years known as “Spanglish.” Bands like N.O.R.E. (pronounced NOR-EE or Ene-O-Ere-Eh), Daddy Yankee and Shakira have been throwing both Spanish and English into their songs, making their potential audience larger.

Dedicated to Puerto Rico, the album features Fat Joe, Diddy, Ja Rule and many others. For the genre lovers this album is known to be reggaeton, rap, and hip-hop. The album title translates to something like, “[N.O.R.E.] and the family…Now you know.” What they are trying to relate by this is that they are going to talk about how things are in Puerto Rico. Then, in the end, you will understand.

Many of the songs have definite references to Puerto Rican culture and history. In the song “Y Voy,” they speak of a Jibaro, a specific reference to the working-class man on the island. There are also references like “Boriqua,” slang for a Puerto Rican male or female.

It is surprising that this album was not more popular. It is a great compilation of genres, cultures and artists. Though the lyrics may not be the best, it is a good album. The artists put thought into what they were making and made conscious efforts to make this album very specific to Puerto Rico.

–jc

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