The King Of Reggaeton, Daddy Yankee, returns withhis new album El Cartel: The Big Boss . After international platinum success with his first 4 albums, Daddy Yankee released, El Barrio Fino , which went Platinum in the U.S alone, and solidified himself as the leading pioneer of the reggaeton movement. El Cartel: The Big Boss is the follow-up studio album everybody has been waiting 3 years for. Having enlisted super-producers such as will.i.am and Scott Storch, Daddy Yankee more than lives up to the hype and delivers his most multi-dimensional and complete album to date. This is the explicit version.
If the reggaeton revolution slowed for a second and you’re not sure why, consider the comings and goings of Daddy Yankee: Three years have passed since he lit a Latino fire under the non-Latino world with “Gasolina,” and despite the best efforts of vast clusters of tough-talking, body-rocking followers, only he, apparently, can keep it stoked. El Cartel: The Big Boss is a 21-track thrill ride destined to restore reggaeton’s lost luster. The first few minutes creak–as intros go, “Jefe” is on the longwinded side–but from there it’s a riot of bump-bumps, nemesis-bashing, and quick-tongued braggadocio. All credit to DY for again climbing atop a swirling mass of beats and remembering to swagger appealingly on the way up, but the small army of producers and friends who line up to pay the big boss respects on this disc also deserve their props: Fergie makes an impact on the Scott Storch-produced “Impacto” without forcing it in an overly mainstream direction, “Papi Lover” with Pussycat Doll Nicole Sherzinger busts out a cool bhangra-ragga vibe, and Will.i.am winds up “Plane to PR,” a slight but contagious ode to Caribbean senoritas, tight. –Tammy La Gorce