Photo: Daddy Yankee - YouTube

Daddy Yankee Retires In Style With ‘Legendaddy’ Album

When Daddy Yankee formally announced his retirement from music last week, it made sense that the statement would be tied to a new, and apparently final, album release. 

The Puerto Rican superstar has fittingly titled his farewell full-length Legendaddy, in line with his self-image (with respect to Don Omar) as the King of Reggaeton. Following ring announcer Michael Buffer’s introduction on the opening track “Campeón,” Daddy Yankee (born Ramón Luis Ayala Rodríguez) describes himself as the boss and the legend; a the logical conclusion to a self-penned narrative some two decades old.

In 2004, Barrio Fino and the “Gasolina” single made Yankee the face of Reggaeton and while his tenure in this musical format goes back to the days of DJ Playero mixtapes 10 years prior, his success popularized the sound and helped pave the way to current day legitimacy. While countless others in this musical space have faded away, Yankee remains generationally peerless to this day.

The artist’s almost two-decades of success is a bi-product of Yankee’s contemporary evolution into a full-fledged pop star, crystallized in 2017 by the massively ubiquitous “Despacito,” that was well-timed with the rise of Reggaeton’s wider global pop success around the likes of J Balvin and Ozuna.

A big part of why Legendaddy proves to be his best album since Barrio Fino rests with tracks like “La Ola” and the trap banger “Enchuletiao” that sound contemporary, reminding us that he’s been part of this current Latin music movement in a material way. Also effective are “El Abusador Del Abusador” and “Rumbatón,” that add a tropical flair to the mix.

Yankee’s choice of contemporary vocal collaborations – including Rauw Alejandro, Becky G, and Natti Natasha – for his final full length further legitimate his forward-looking approach. As an early supporter of Bad Bunny, going back to their 2017 joint single “Vuelve,” El Conejo Malo returns that kindness sevenfold on “X ÚLTIMA VEZ.” Similarly, Sech brings his R&B vibes to “Papra Siempre,” continuing a momentous run of collabs that include the joint hit “Definitivamente” and the Panamanian singer’s “Sal Y Perrea” remix.

Legendaddy is not some victory lap marked by safe choices, but instead the sound of a Latin icon ending things on his own terms. 

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Author: Al Denté

Photo: Daddy Yankee – YouTube