Dancehall and reggaeton made foreplay a sport on the dance floor at the turn of the century. The boom in wine-up-on-it tunes during the 2000s were thanks to MVPs like Daddy Yankee, Ivy Queen, Beenie Man and Sean Paul, to name just a few.
Whether you repped the islands or South America — or have been to your fair share of Caribbean and Latino celebrations, the refrains of these crowd-pleasers were just as fun (and naughty!) to sing aloud as they were to gyrate to.
Get down with the best dancehall and reggaeton hooks of the 21st century below. Sim simma!
12. Pitbull feat. Lil Jon, “Culo”
Before Mr. 305 turned into Mr. Worldwide, the yet-to-crossover star Pitbull teamed with fellow hitmaker Lil Jon for the booty-shaking track, whose title simply means “a–” in Spanish. The simple refrain — comprised of “Culo” chants, thunderous hand claps and this mouthful for the non-Spanish-speaking crowd “Esa hevita esta enterita tiene tremendo” — could flip a block party into a South Beach bash.
11. Ce’Cile, “Rude Bwoy Thug Life”
The second-best uh-oh, uh-ohhh dancehall hook of the mid-’00s, and the only one sung over a riddim based on The Cure’s mid-’80s alt-rock classic “Close to Me.” “Man, it’s so nice,” Ce’Cile caps her chorus, and nobody could possibly disagree. — ANDREW UNTERBERGER
10. Ivy Queen, “Yo Quiero Bailar”
The hook to the Puerto Rican diva’s reggaeton banger is exactly what every party girl utters to put creepers in the club on notice: “Yo quiero bailar /Tu quieres sudar/ Y pegarte a mi / El cuerpo rozar/Y o te digo si tu me puedes provocar/ Eso no quiere decir que pa la cama voy,” which translates in English to “I want to dance/ You want to sweat/ Bodies touch/ I’ll tell you if you can provoke me/ That does not mean we’re going to bed.”
9. Vybz Kartel feat. Spice, “Romping Shop”
Vybz Kartel and Spice’s distinctly R-rated tango on the verses to their “Miss Independent” flip (sample in-tandem lyric: “I can’t stop f–king youu-oouuu!!!“) explodes into a explicit chorus sing-along: “Me will bruk yuh back/ When you come inna me romping shop.” Too raw for primetime, of course, but over those Stargate synths it’s one of the sweetest after-dark club bangers you could ever ask for. — A.U.
8. Daddy Yankee, “Gasolina”
No need to carry a license or even be that fluent in espanol to know the message Daddy Yankee was trying to drive home with his breakthrough hit. With the back-and-forth hook between Yankee’s “A ella le gusta la gasolina” and Glory’s “Dame mas gasolina,” the “she wants more gasoline” ignited an automatic turn-up.
7. Beenie Man feat. Mya, “Girls Dem Sugar”
Almost impossible to choose just one female-sung Beenie Man hook from the ’00s — Janet Jackson on “Feel It Boy” and Ms. Thing on the remix to “Dude” were also pure summer bliss — but Mya, a chorus maven in her own right, gets top honors here. “If I could be your giiiiirl,” she rhapsodizes over one of the Neptunes’ most twinkling, elated beats, and all Beenie can do is offer a zagga zow in response. — A.U.
6. Gyptian, “Hold Yuh”
A chorus that bounced around New York radio for what felt like half a decade, even though the song only ever peaked at No. 77 on the Hot 100. Gyptian‘s “Hold Yuh” slow-burned like a fireplace in the height of winter its piano plinking and syrupy crooning eventually reaching its arms around you and giving you the tightest hold you eva get inna ya life. — A.U.
5. Rupee “Tempted to Touch”
“Before the end of the night, I wanna hold you so tight,” sings the Barbadian star on the late-night friendly jam. Like nearly every entry on this list, the refrain for “Tempted to Touch” is rooted in the thirst for a more intimate body party. However, this soca staple also landed a reggaeton remix thanks to another act on this list, Daddy Yankee.
4. Serani, “No Games”
Serani is a straight shooter on this classic 2010 reggae love song. “Love you girl, do you feel the same?/ I don’t wanna play, games, no game,” the Jamaican dancehall star pines on the chest-clutching hook. It’s mandatory that every listener nail his signature riff to punctuate each line in the refrain as well.
3. Sean Paul, “Gimme the Light”
Dance floors were burning up each time “Just gimme the light” rang off at any bashment. Sean Paul set off a winning streak wit hthe lead single off his Dutty Rock LP, which included “Get Busy,” “Like Glue” and “I’m Still In Love With You.” His “Gimme The Light” hook had the bottles of Moet flowing and the lighters flickering — and perhaps foreigners trying to speak patois (like Drake), while emulating every move in the video.
2. N.O.R.E. feat. Nina Sky, Tego Calderon and Daddy Yankee, “Oye Mi Canto”
Sisters Natalie and Nicole Albino were responsible to two of the most iconic choruses of the era: Their own breakout hit “Move Ya Body,” and a guest appearance on N.O.R.E.’s reggaeton world-slayer “Oye Mi Canto.” Gotta give the edge here to the genre-breaking “Oye Mi Canto” hook, gorgeously harmonized and rallying and righteous enough to be an international anthem: “Boriqua/ Morena/ Dominicano/Colombiano...”
1. Kevin Lyttle, “Turn Me On”
Perhaps no other hook on this list could turn a club into Carnival faster than this reggae/soca smash. With Lyttle’s high-pitched vocals serenading sweetly on the must-repeat refrain “Let me hold you, girl caress my body/ You got me going crazy, you turn me on” on top of a pulsating beat made for whining into the wee hours of the night.