Even a phoned-in guest appearance by Fergie doesn't detract from Daddy Yankee's groove.
Even a phoned-in guest appearance by Fergie doesn't detract from Daddy Yankee's groove.

Daddy Yankee

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. — Jos Davila

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