Tego Calderon "Underdog" Atlantic Records Album Listening
6/29/06 - Reporting by Charlie "Ski" Mena, words by Dante
photos by Charlie "Ski" Mena for LatinRapper.com
On June 22, Atlantic Records artist Tego Calderon hosted the
listening party for his upcoming album "The Underdog" aka
Subestimado, and LatinRapper.com was there to get the 411 from
el Abayarde himself.
Tego introduced himself has having been born in Santurce,
Puerto Rico in 1972, growing up listening to Jazz and
especially Salsa by the greats like Ismael Rivera.
"I grew up and identified myself with Ismael Rivera's
distinctive style," Tego explained, "and soon I was old
enough to understand what course I wanted to follow in
music. El Abayarde discussed how this album was one of his
best, that he put a great deal of work into it and keep it
street by not using too many well-known producers.
Most of the production, done in Puerto Rico, still included
production powerhouse Luny Tunes. Tego explained each song
played one by one, the first track was the intro with a sample
from Papoluka, entitled "What's My Name", with a hot beat and
Calderon singing the chorus live. He followed up by playing
"Lo Mate", explaining that he came back to kill them all with
The album slows down by the third cut, "Mardi Gras", the track
has a bluesy sound which reflects Tego's interest in blues
music. He expressed how much of a blues fan he was, and that
he wanted to do something similar to the collaboration that
Nas did with his father.
After a brief skit, the fourth song cuts to a blazing beat
with Voltio making a guest appearance. Afterwards he began
playing tracks in no particular order, including "Llorara"
with Oscar de Leon. Don Omar makes a guest appearance on
the track "Chillin'", a track that is more reggae than
reggaeton. Tego breaks into "Feo Veo", his favorite song
in which he gets at people that he dislikes, before tracks
speaking on his baby mama drama. After the "Dos Alas"
interlude, he speaks on the relationship between Cubans
and Puerto Ricans while playing his salsa track featuring
Tego then played a track dedicated to his father, stating that
he believes that his father would have loved the album and
would have been very proud. Calderon explained to Ski of
LatinRapper.com that things were difficult without his father
and that he missed him, and that he's going to continue
struggling just like his father had advised him to. Tego's
motto in life is to keep struggling no matter how hard things
Changing pace, Tego played a rock and roll style track before
talking about who he'd like to collaborate with. He mentioned
a few artists such as Juan Luis Guerra, Lauryn Hill, and
expounded on how Celia Cruz was a true pioneer in Salsa.
Others that Tego has enjoyed working with include his friend
Oscar de Leon, DJ Nelson, Luny Tunes, Voltio, Don Omar, Zion y
Yandel and many others.
When asked about his genre of music, Tego explained that
he doesn't consider himself a reggaeton artist, but simply
an artist. He doesn't consider himself a lyricist either,
but points out that he doesn't like the reggaeton movement
too much because its getting too commercial, as though its
getting too pop.
Calderon finally mentioned that he generally doesn't let
his children listen to reggaeton at home unless it happens
to be on the radio.
In the spring of 2005, Tego signed with Atlantic Records via a
deal with his own Jiggiri Records label -- becoming the first
reggaeton artist to ink a global pact with a major label. His
second proper album, "THE UNDERDOG / “EL SUBESTIMADO,” is due
out from Jiggiri/Atlantic Records on August of 2006.