Daddy Yankee Makes His Claim as the G.O.A.T. of Reggaetón in Legendaddy

The Puerto Rican icon released his final album with features from Bad Bunny, Lil Jon, and more.
Daddy Yankee still hasn't run out of "Gasolina." (Photo by Issac Reyes)

After setting the reggaetón genre ablaze with “Gasolina” in 2004, Daddy Yankee is getting ready to hang up the nozzle. With news of his impending retirement from music this year, the Puerto Rican icon released his final album, Legendaddy. Across 19 tracks, Daddy Yankee reasserts his position as the King of Reggaetón while collaborating with the new generation of stars that he inspired, like Bad Bunny, Myke Towers, Sech, and Natti Natasha. He also celebrates how global the genre has become with artists like Lil Jon and Nile Rodgers.

Legendaddy is an impressive amalgamation of reggaetón’s legacy and present with Daddy Yankee at the helm. In the quirky “X Última Vez,” he’s joined by Puerto Rican superstar Bad Bunny. Backed by computerized beats courtesy of Tainy, the reggaetón dream team trade verses about wanting to rekindle old flames. “Where there was fire, ashes remain / That you can forget me, I don’t think you can,” Bad Bunny spits in Spanish.

 

 

Along with Puerto Rico, Caribbean reggaetón is rooted in Panama. In “Para Siempre,” Daddy Yankee shares the spotlight with one of the country’s stars, Sech. In the album’s most tender track, the duo is looking to take the next step with their perreo partners. “I want you to be mine forever,” they sing in soaring performances. Frankly, Sech’s soulful touch to the genre is a revelation that we should hear more of.

Daddy Yankee also joins forces with Dominican reggaetón star Natti Natasha and Mexican-American singer Becky G in “Zona Del Perreo.” After he helped co-write their megahit, “Sin Pijama,” the women return the favor in this fierce and sexy collaboration. “To make asses move, that’s my sport,” Daddy Yankee proudly proclaims with a nearly 30-year track record to prove it. The ass-shaking continues to go off the Richter scale on “Bombón,” on which Daddy Yankee highlights more Caribbean music in this explosive dembow banger featuring Dominican rapper El Alfa and the King of Crunk himself, Lil Jon.

 

 

Perhaps the album’s most exciting moments are when Daddy Yankee looks to the future of reggaetón. On the slick and alluring “Agua,” he’s joined by the genre’s latest smooth operator, Rauw Alejandro. While laying their loving lyrics on thick, the duo are backed by the funky guitar of CHIC’s Nile Rodgers. “Tell me what you want, so everything will be your way,” Rauw sings in the irresistible pop-infused romp. Then on the dancefloor delight “Pasatiempo” (featuring Myke Towers), Daddy Yankee blends reggaetón beats with a sample of ‘90s house classic “Show Me Love” by Robin S. for a seamless and magical collision of two very different musical worlds.

But Legendaddy shows that Daddy Yankee can still hold it down on his own all the same. On “Rumbatón,” he reunites with the architect behind “Gasolina,” Dominican producer Luny. Horns lead this return to bachatón (bachata-infused reggaetón) as a colorful celebration of Daddy Yankee’s roots in the genre. As a reggaetón pioneer, he’s basking in the genre’s evolution while flexing the swagger that made him a staple in Latin music history. With this epic send-off of an album, Daddy Yankee lives up to the G.O.A.T. status depicted on Legendaddy’s cover art one last time.

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