I lived in the Dominican Republic for a year between 2009-2010 and really enjoyed their music scene. Every year, the country celebrates Carnival for the entire month of February. It is supposed to a celebration of an upside-down world. Dancing, music and colorful costumes are a huge part of the festival and is where I first experienced the "dembow" style of music. Dembow is the Dominican take on hip hop and is how they refer to their street music. I wouldn't say that Dembow stays 100% true to hip hop; it is more of a mix of dance music, hip hop and reggaeton. It is probably the most popular form of music in the Dominican Republic and has even taken over mainstream radio. Doble T & El Crok are probably the most popular dembow duo and also my favorite. They are both young natives and their music is partially characterized by their adult themed lyrics. They speak in a very distinct dialect, one that is even difficult for some native Dominicans to understand. Their beats are great to dance to, and it's hard not to get into the music when you are completely submersed in it by the Dominican Culture. My favorite song by Doble T & El Crok is "Pepe Pepe." Dembow has slowly spread to parts of southern Florida, mainly due to the large amount of Dominicans in Miami and other southern coastal cities, but is no where near becoming a global phenomenon.
Global Hip Hop
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