Daddy Yankee

This Puerto Rican makes hits on the charts instead of on the diamond

Sixteen-year-old Raymond Ayala’s dreams of baseball stardom were cut short when a stray bullet plunged into his leg. But the native of San Juan, Puerto Rico, would ultimately find fame spitting out rhymes instead of chewing tobacco as Daddy Yankee. The “King of Reggaeton” — that blending of reggae, dancehall, hip-hop and Latin American rhythms — has just released El Cartel: The Big Boss. Singles “Ella Me Levantó” and “Impacto” (his collaboration with Fergie) are burning up radio charts and club dance floors. It’s also more hip-hop flava’d than much of his previous work, even if the Tony Montana/drug running imagery is a bit dated. But if any artist of the genre is big enough to play the Toyota Center, it’s the creator of “Gasolina.” Just don’t let Don Omar know that.
Sun., Sept. 23, 7 p.m., 2007

 
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