After hinting of retirement at the 2021 Billboard Latin Music Week and officially announcing the news on Sunday, March 20, Daddy Yankee has released what will be his final studio album Legendaddy.
The 19-track set is his first album in nearly 10 years, following King Daddy in 2013. The new album features Bad Bunny, Rauw Alejandro, Myke Towers, El Alfa, Lil Jon and Pitbull, plus an epic intro by renowned boxing ring announcer Michael Buffer. As for its influences, the legend offers a blend of pure reggaeton, heavy trap and experimental tracks, all while staying true to his essence — one that has endured over three decades. As he previously stated in a press release: “I’m going to give you all the styles that have defined me, in one single album.”
Though this is his first album in nine years, the Puerto Rican artist (born Raymond Ayala) opted to only include brand new music, not including previously-released bangers that arrived between 2014-2021, such as “Shaky Shaky,” “Dura,” “Problema,” and the Snow-assisted “Con Calma,” which peaked at No. 1 on the Hot Latin Songs chart in 2019 and spent 14 weeks at the top.
To celebrate the release of Legendaddy, and bid farewell to the music industry, the King of Reggaeton will kick off his “La Ultima Vuelta” tour in the fall.
As for what the future holds post-retirement from music? Yankee told Billboard last year he is executive producing a reggaeton documentary, saying, “That’s where I see me growing – an executive producer of movies, documentaries.”
Unit then, check out the Billboard Latin editors eight essential Legendaddy tracks.
“X Ultima Vez” featuring Bad Bunny
This song unites the two musical styles of Bad Bunny and Yankee: old-school reggaeton beats with edgy urban sounds. The track starts off with “bubbly-feeling” piano notes that continue throughout the song and unite two of reggaeton’s favorite voices. Plus, Yankee makes sure to include his memorable phrase: “Dónde hubo fuego, cenizas quedan” (Where there were fire ashes remain).
“Zona del Perreo” featuring Natti Natasha & Becky G
Repeating a formula that’s worked with him in the past, DY taps Natti Natasha and Becky G once again for a collab. The pair had previously joined him for the chart-topping 2018 “Dura” remix. Their new song, “Zona del Perreo,” is equally as catchy with an irresistible reggaeton beat.
“Para Siempre” featuring Sech
With previous collabs such as “Sal y Perrea (Remix),” “Confia,” “Relacion (Remix)” and “Definitivamente,” Sech is already family, which is why it only made sense for him to feature on Yankee’s final album. “Para Siempre” is a romantic mid-tempo reggaeton that unites Sech’s smooth vocals with Yankee’s melodious rap verses for a love song that confesses to that special person: “I want you to be mine forever.”
“El Abusador del Abusador”
“El abusador, del abusador” is one of the more uplifting tracks on the album, combining trumpets and piano notes for a perfect salsa fusion with thumping beats. The lyrics tell the story of someone in charge, and how you can always be humble but to still know your worth.
“Agua” featuring Rauw Alejandro, Nile Rodgers
Without a doubt, “Agua” is one of the most surprising tracks on Legendaddy, taking Daddy Yankee completely out of his comfort zone. Reeling in Latin hitmaker Rauw Alejandro and renowned musician and artist Nile Rodgers, the track is an 80s-inspired dance hit featuring Rodgers’ emblematic funk riffs and Rauw’s sultry vocals. Towards the middle of the track, Yankee steps in over a catchy hip-hop beat. “Baby, you dancing in the water, it’s impossible to forget you,” they chant.
This is the ultimate song for his mic drop for Yankee’s retirement. It may not be the quintessential DY reggaeton party track but in “Campeon,” he leaves the humility that’s characterized him for years behind and categorically says, “I’m the champion.” “I came from a place where there isn’t much and I became a machine,” he raps. “I promised no one would stop me. Undefeated until the end.”
Like most tracks on the album, “La Ola” takes us back to old-school Daddy Yankee during his “Cangri” and “Gasolina” days. “La Ola” attests to that: an infectious perreo with hard-hitting lyrics made to take you to a marquesina party in Puerto Rico. Its flirtatious lyrics and repetitive “montate en la ola, ola, ola, ola, ola / que te veo sola, sola, sola, sola, sola” is an invitation to join the fun — especially if you’re alone.
“El Rey de lo Imperfecto”
“El Rey de lo Imperfecto” is a catchy urban-infused cumbia song and one of Yankee’s most rhythmic tunes on the album — think “Llamado de Emergencia, think “Lovumba.” “El Rey de lo Imperfecto” (King of the imperfect) tells the story of a man who’s not perfect and is promising to unconditionally love a person through her own insecurities and drama. He sings: “I want you to value everything for you / You are perfect for me.”