Calderón [Rosario], Tego
- Wayne Marshall
(b Santurce, PR, Feb 1, 1972). Puerto Rican rapper. Calderón looms large in reggaeton, respected as a witty lyricist with a beguiling flow who anchors his sound and image in symbols of negritude. He was born in Santurce but raised in Río Grande and Río Piedras, and expresses a strong connection to Loíza, where he was exposed to Afro-Puerto Rican traditions. He studied percussion at the Escuela Libre de Música of Puerto Rico before moving to Miami in the late-1980s where he was introduced to hip-hop and began composing lyrics in English. He credits Vico C with providing a model for rapping in Spanish. Returning to Puerto Rico, he established himself as a force in the local hip-hop scene before trying his hand at reggaeton. His first album, El abayarde (2002), was a local smash hit, and subsequent releases have been widely distributed and critically acclaimed. Tego’s music incorporates a variety of genres, including bomba, salsa, blues, and roots reggae. As a vocalist, he is known for his gravelly baritone, unique enunciation, love of slang and puns, and sense of swing. He has become a popular guest artist for hip-hop collaborators (including Terror Squad, Cypress Hill, and Wyclef Jean)....