Will Maria Isa be St. Paul's reggaeton breakout?
Twin Cities Celebration of Hip Hop this summer (larger photo here), St. Paul teenager Maria Isa (myspace) has been doing some dream-like social climbing. "Her manager has strong connections to some of the most popular reggaeton artists in Puerto Rico," reports Tom Horgen in the Star Tribune, "most notably Tego Calderon, the genre's most outspoken political figure... In August, Isa hung out with Calderon while he was in Minneapolis to meet with executives from his new label, Atlantic Records, and with Target Corp. She got the chance to perform for her idol and get feedback from someone whom many consider the genre's best." Shoot, color me scooped. (That beautiful photo linking the story, by the way, is by Marlin Levison.) The story goes on to say that Felipe Cuauhtli of Los Nativos and Rhymesayers is preparing Isa for a big push in 2006, including a debut album. (Read more about reggaeton here in City Pages and here in the Village Voice, check out the Wednesday reggaeton night at Euphoria, and look for more Minneapolis shows at El Nuevo Rodeo.)