Legendaddy: An album filled with memories from the past, present and future

The sound of announcers blaring through the speakers ring through my ears. The current action of the game, whether it be a soccer game, a race or a boxing match, flashes before my eyes. It was a frequent cycle that took place every weekend. All of that comes rushing back into my mind when I hear the opening track of “Legendaddy”, Daddy Yankee’s final album, which was blaring through the speakers of my mother’s truck. 

The album comes after a video that was posted on his Youtube account where he announced his retirement. Having stayed consistent all throughout three decades, constantly adapting his style to fit in with the changing times, he was quickly called the “King of Reggaeton” by people from all around the world.

In his farewell album, Daddy Yankee, whose real name is Ramon Alaya, combines the different sounds he has experimented with throughout his career. In the nineteen track album, he combines the sounds of trap, salsa, cumbia, bachata and more with the common topics sung in the genre while also including current big name artists in the songs.

The opening track titled “Legendaddy” goes on to summarize his accomplishments with the classic announcer voice of Michael Buffer. The track goes on to say “…this is the last round…with an undefeated record of 32 years…he is the founder and creator of reggaeton,” and the following eighteen tracks prove just that.

“X Ultima Vez” featuring, Bad Bunny, whose real name is Benito Antonio Martinez Ocasio, whose presence in the reggaeton community has been huge, but despite its popularity, ’ve never fully listened to the song. After listening to the song in its entirety there’s no doubt that the song is popular for all the right reasons. The combination of old-school reggaeton with the new urban sounds are upbeat and present with how the track includes Alaya’s 2004 track “Donde Hubo Fuego” in the second verse. On the verse Ocasio goes on to sing “,se que me deseas, donde hubo fuego, cenizas quedan,” highlighting Alaya’s past work. 

Along with the song, the bittersweet lyrics serve a double purpose. The song includes lyrics surrounding having to say goodbye to a relationship, but they don’t only refer to a romantic relationship, but also about how this song will be the last time these two artists ever collaborate with each other. 

Yo solo quiero darte las gracia’ por última ve’”

— Daddy Yankee & Bad Bunny, X Última Vez

The track right after “X Ultima Vez,” titled “Para Siempre,” brought back different memories that were all held together in one way. After hearing the track, its range of beats and small hints of R&B scattered throughout the track, one particular image kept popping up. The glow of multiple colorful LED lights shining, the DJ in the corner playing a Spanish slow to mid beat range, and the presence of a fifteen year old girl dancing with whichever family member it may be while smoke drowns the dance floor. Hearing the overall sound, the image of a quinceanera pops up, but the inclusion of lines like, “Me pongo de rodilla’ ya me cansé de hablar y vine a demostrar que ere’ mi maravilla, como este anillo brilla’, ” quickly changes the image to one of a wedding. A song where the beat quickly captures everyone’s attention and inspires people there to have a dance that beautiful in their wedding. 

Heading towards the beginning of the second half of the album, a transition is taken from from the skit titled “Truquito” which is a voice note from late salsa singer Frankie Ruiz, to the tenth track,” El Abusador Del Abusador,” will never cease to amaze me. The fusion between reggaeton and salsa along with the strong headed lyrics about knowing one’s worth while staying humble cannot be described with words. The hints of trumpets throughout the track add a little extra flair while creating the image of this song blasting around multiple trucks being parked at a flea market on a Sunday afternoon. If I would have to choose a favorite off the album then this would be a strong contender for first place.

If the shock wasn’t enough from “El Abusador Del Abusador,” the shock I had from “Enchuletiao” was. Once I heard the classic incorporation of a trap song, I immediately fell in love with it. Although the overall sound of the song was different, the placement of the song was fitted well into the album in order for it to blend together. The overall energy of the song reminded me of songs that would play in my brother’s car when he was picking me up from elementary school, but this track also became one of my top contenders for my favorite song off the album.

Heading towards the end of the album the change of pace with “El Rey De Lo Imperfecto” was instantly a relief. The reggaeton track infused with the classic sounds of cumbia help balance down the upbeat songs that were listed before this song. The standout part to this song for me was definitely the vocals that were perfectly blended with the drums. The lyrics of the chorus singing about loving your partner even through all the drama and struggles vaguely reminds me of 9pm telenovelas that moms gossip about, adding even more love to the song.

Between the fusion of reggaeton with other types of Latin sounds, the album perfectly encapsulates everything that Alaya has accomplished within his three decade long career. Not only does Alaya help remember old memories tied to his music and career, but also personal memories of the listener, helping create an unforgettable album. Although with all these great tracks and features there are a couple of things that I don’t favor, leaving my review at an eight out of ten.