June 16, 2008

Daddy Yankee: de calle? Well...

Daddy Yankee has had quite a lucrative career so far. He basically introduced reggaetón to North America and, consequently, the world with his collaboration in "Oye Mi Canto" and, of course, "Gasolina". And then there's this...

It's been really interesting to watch him grope for the solution to the reggaetón vacuum. He's already in a tough position, seeing as reggaetón, especially outside the island, has lost most of its muster. Now he's trying to make a movie ("Talento de Barrio": Talent from the Barrio/Hood) intended to draw viewers precisely because of the fast-fading genre.

But his answer to this is even more problematic. He's effectively moving on from reggaetón into hip hop, with lack-luster results.

I'm not sure it's occurred to him that he is the face of reggaetón and no matter how he says he's revolutionizing the genre, his face will always be associated with the repetitive beats that garnered him the title "king of reggaetón". After all, look at "Rompe". The lyrics were horrible but because of the reggaetón it did incredibly well. Meanwhile, his latest CD, El Cartel: The Big Boss, did not do nearly as well as was expected because it was practically entirely hip hop over-polished production that lost its Puerto Rican audience without attracting many Americans to what was essentially bland hip hop.

Despite that fiasco (and ignoring the only truly successful single "Ella Me Levantó"), Daddy Yankee returns to hip hop in order to advertise a movie about his reggaetón roots. Sound strange yet?

The video then follows up with him and his "posse" of actors, him in a golf cart, him with a nice car, all while rapping about how great he is. It's as if he stole it from a checklist of what to put in an American hip hop video. Or maybe it's just a watered-down "8 Mile". There is nothing original at all.

The song is just not catchy, either. Probably the most disappointing part.

I feel sorry for him, really. I do think he'll have some success with the movie just because his name's on it, but I can imagine it flopping quite easily. He's basically crossing genres without much of an audience waiting for him and then risking it on a film he's been working on for years. I can't see this helping him.

¡Bendito! Get it together, man!


Renee said...


Speaking Boricua said...

Haha, I'm sorry if that scared you.

I didn't know you had a blog, by the way. Really cute, I've enjoyed what I've read so far.