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Daddy Yankee

El Cartel: The Big Boss

Daddy Yankee doesn't seem to have gotten the memo that reggaetón is supposed to be over. Because on El Cartel: The Big Boss, the fiery Puerto Rican rapper acts like the party's just begun. While detractors continue to proclaim the genre's premature death, this proper follow-up to 2004's "Gasolina"-powered smash Barrio Fino is a welcome reminder of what initially made reggaetón feel so vibrant and fresh.

For one thing, The Big Boss keeps its sights firmly on the dance floor — it's a bouncy, adventurous mix of dancehall, hip-hop and salsa meant for hot summer parties and slow drives in souped-up low-riders. But thankfully, the rhythmic inventiveness never gets in the way of the fun, and it all comes together on the Scott Storch-produced "Impacto Remix." By all accounts this track shouldn't really work — it has a big, cheesy vocoder chorus; grandiose, operatic string arrangements; and a phoned-in guest appearance by Fergie. But you'll still focus on Yankee's dynamic rhyming style, fiercely holding the song's divergent elements together while breathlessly soliciting Fergie "to just grind it up" over a furious reggaetón riddim. — José Davila

 
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