On Thursday, March 28, Daddy Yankee — the king of reggaeton — dropped his farewell studio album “LEGENDADDY.” A week prior, the Puerto Rican artist, born Raymond Ayala, announced his retirement from the music industry after an impressive 32-year career run.
The collection of 19 brand-new songs has been a long time coming since his last album “King Daddy,” was released nearly ten years ago. This latest project features new-school artists Bad Bunny, Myke Towers and Rauw Alejandro alongside some familiar colleagues, such as Lil Jon, Natti Natasha and Pitbull. The legend fuses classic reggaeton beats with salsa, trap and dembow rhythms, all while remaining true to his roots.
The “collector’s item,” as Daddy Yankee coined the album in a video uploaded to Instagram where he announced his retirement plans, starts with the title track “LEGENDADDY,” an intro similar to one that you would hear at a boxing match. It’s narrated by announcer Michael Buffer, who refers to the artist as “the founder and creator of reggaetón,” a statement that could be considered controversial as it erases the genre’s African roots.
“RUMBATÓN” pays tribute to Puerto Rican reggaeton group Trebol Clan’s “Bailame” while incorporating some references to Daddy Yankee’s “Ella Me Levantó” theme of dusting yourself off and getting back up when life knocks you down. The hint of salsa provides listeners with a taste of island life, especially since the song’s accompanying music video was filmed entirely in Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico.
“X ÚLTIMA VEZ” quickly became one of the project’s most highly anticipated tracks when Daddy Yankee revealed the tracklist via Instagram. Many considered the song to symbolize Daddy Yankee’s passing of the torch to Bad Bunny and were excited to hear what the artists would bring to the table for their last collaboration ever.
Unfortunately, the song’s slower perreo vibe, a style of music associated with reggaeton and grinding, was not able to compete with “La Santa,” their previous collaboration turned anthem featured on Bad Bunny’s “YHLQMDLG” album. Nonetheless, the sentiment of Daddy Yankee including Bad Bunny on this album was appreciated.
One song that was not able to live up to the hype was “AGUA” featuring Rauw Alejandro and Nile Rodgers. The dancehall mixed with pop vibe was reminiscent of Rauw Alejandro’s “Cosa Guapa” and “Todo De Ti,” making it feel somewhat redundant.
A possible song of the summer contender is Daddy Yankee and Pitbull’s collaboration on the “HOT” track. This song resembles the electronic vibe that Farruko’s “Pepas” brought to 2021. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself listening to this song at your next Miami pool party.
Overall, songs like “UNO QUITAO Y OTRO PUESTO” leave things confusingly open-ended. “Soy Jordan, les hago un three-peat, me retiro, vuelvo y gano tres más” translates to “I’m Jordan, I’ll do a three-peat, I retire, I come back and win three more,” suggesting this may not be the last that we see of the Latin legend.
The album closes out with “BLOKE,” a song that has absolutely nothing to do with Daddy Yankee’s retirement at all, leaving listeners feeling like there is no way that this will be it from the big boss. Hopefully, this is the case.
To close out this chapter of his life with a bang, Daddy Yankee will be bringing his farewell “LEGENDADDY” tour to the FTX Arena on Aug. 27 at 8 p.m. For more information on purchasing tickets, visit www.daddyyankee.com.