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Check This Artist Out! posted on September 18th, 2009

If you’re listening to urban or top 40 these days, chances are you’ve had that Pitbull song, “Calle Ocho” stuck in your head at least once. You know which one I mean: “one, two, three, four, uno, dos, tres, cuatro!” I can actually remember the first time I heard the song. I was listening to Ryan Seacrest’s Top 40 through an internet stream and after hearing him preface the track by saying how quickly it’d grown in popularity on the West Coast prior to its radio debut, I started paying attention. Back then, I assumed the song would take some time to filter through from both coasts to the midwest. Now, I hear it everywhere. While I’m shopping, while I’m at the gym, even while I’m trying to sleep at night and some kids are cruising by with their radio blasting and the windows down.

Since the debut of that song I’ve moved from the Midwest to the West Coast and have discovered some great Hispanic/Latino artists. One worth mentioning is Notch, an artist who I believe could be a significant contender to Pitbull if only he could get that shot at some syndicated radio play. Notch (“Normal Howell”) is an American born artist of Jamaican and Afro-Cuban descent. In the nineties, he was helping introduce reggae to North American while performing in the duo Born Jamaican. In 2007, he released a solo album “Raised By The People” – which happens to be the latest album that found its way onto my iPod. It’s a mix of hip-hop, R&B, dancehall and reggaeton with both English and Spanish lyrics. There are some truly solid tracks on the album. One of my favorites is the 200 mile per hour “Que Te Pica” which I’m certain I’ve heard before in my zumba dance class at the gym. The human body is not capable of sitting still while that song is playing. Other tracks of note include the rhythmically interesting “Layaway Love” which I think would make a uniquely exotic addition to a mainstream hip/hop or urban station. Or, for a station that’s playing to a primarily hispanic or afro-latino audience looking for something to blast from their car stereo while driving past my apartment at night, I’d recommend checking out “Dale Pa’Tra” or “Bailar Reggae.” I’ve got to say, while Pitbull is busy co-writing that new fight song for the Miami Dolphins, his worthy contender could make good use out of a shot in the spotlight. For more, give the album a test drive on iTunes or visit Notch’s official site here.

To accept my “Listen To Que Te Pica Without Dancing Foolishly” challenge, check out the YouTube link below. And seriously, if you know someone who takes Zumba, ask them about this song!