The reggaeton artist Ramón Luis Ayala Rodríguez, better known as Daddy Yankee, has recently announced his retirement from music with a final tour and album. His last album, “Legendaddy,” was released on March 24 with mixed reactions from fans and music critics alike.
Daddy Yankee is without a doubt one of the most important artists in Latin American history. He paved the way for Latin urban artists to sell out stadiums and venues around the world with the sounds of reggaeton, a genre that wasn’t accepted for many years until the world fell in love with dembow, a style of dance music.
His “Legendaddy” starts with a song of the same name where American boxing ring announcer Michael Buffer introduces him.
“Presenting the heavyweight champion in music / With an undefeated record of 32 years / He is the founder and creator of reggaeton,” Buffer says.
This introduction is considered true by many, as Yankee made the genre popular worldwide with the song “Gasolina.” I find this an appropriate start for an album of this magnitude considering the 32 years of music that exists with Yankee.
Then we hear a song similar to Yankee’s “Campeón” called “Uno Quitao y Otro Puesto,” where Yankee says he’s the best of the best. We also start hearing the style that has been dominating his latest hits like “Problema” and “Qué Tire Pa’ ‘Lante” with the songs “Remix,” “Rumbatón” and “Enchuletiao.”
Furthermore, we begin to listen to collaborations with Latin artists like Myke Towers (“Pasatiempo”), Bad Bunny (“X Última Vez”), Sech (“Para Siempre”), Pitbull (“Hot”), Natti Natasha and Becky G (“Zona del Perreo”), El Alfa and Lil Jon (“Bombón”), Rauw Alejandro (“Agua”) and many others. In these features, we not only see the artist shine, but his colleagues as well, with their voice and rhymes.
Many Latin American Student Organization (LASO) members, or “miembros,” praised how Daddy Yankee included these artists.
Alexa Quito, a junior marketing major, said featuring these artists helped them.
“I love how he passed the torch to artists like Bad Bunny and Sech,” Quito said. “Sech is so underrated, and this album gave him that push.”
However, many LASO members were waiting for something bigger.
Shantal Proano, a junior medical humanities major, was not expecting the album to turn out the way it did.
“I thought this album was going to be better,” Proano said. “I think he should’ve brought [original] artists like Cosculluela, Nicky Jam especially, [and] Don Omar. I know he tried to include the new generation, but there’s not one song with a reggaetonero from back then. He only made a homage to Trébol Clan and didn’t even include them in the song.”
Brikeissy Mancebo, a junior business administration major, felt similarly.
“The fact that Nicky Jam was not in [the album] blows my mind,” Mancebo said. “It was supposed to be all of his styles, yet he did not include one ‘playero.‘”
“Legendaddy” was not the best send-off for an artist like Daddy Yankee. He promised different styles, but I only heard more of the same things he has released for the past five years. I wanted to hear music similar to his early albums like “Barrio Fino” or “Talento de Barrio.” Many artists who were part of Daddy Yankee’s growth were missing as well, like duos Wisin & Yandel and Zion & Lennox and long-time collaborator Nicky Jam.
Because of this, I cannot give “Legendaddy” a stellar review. On a scale from one to five, I have to give the Big Boss a 3.5/5, despite him being one of the greatest of all time, or “G.O.A.T.,” the reason why his cover album is a goat with scars and long horns that represent his hard work to be on the top of the charts.
You can listen to Daddy Yankee’s farewell album, “Legendaddy,” on all streaming platforms.