One last lap, “El Rey del Reggaeton” Daddy Yankee crowns legendary career with best work during farewell world tour
BY INDIRA ZALDIVAR
Daddy Yankee lit Toyota Center with the gasolina that is his incredible energy and charisma as part of his farewell world tour “La Ultima Vuelta” (the last lap).
For many of his Houston-based fans, that Sept. 15 night was the last chance to see the 45-year-old artist perform live before he retires from music after a legendary 32-year career.
The two-hour concert was a dynamic expression of the Latin icon’s profound influence on local and international fans. He delivered the promise of hosting “un rumbaton” from start to finish. “La Ultima Vuelta” encompasses his best work in one night.
The Houston tour was a long-awaited opportunity that UHD alumna and native Houstonian Saida Rios could not miss. Rios watched the Puerto Rican rapper from floor-level. All the videos and photos she took of the unbelievable experience are now treasured memories.
“Daddy Yankee’s concert was phenomenal [and] a dream come true,” Rios said. “If I could relive the moment, I would.”
“El Big Boss” arrived on stage via airplane (LED-screen displayed) singing hits from “Legendaddy,” his newest album titled in honor of his pioneering contributions to the genre. His first attire from four was a gold and black suit appropriate for the introduction song “Campeon.” As the champion of the genre, the multiplatinum-recording artist is credited for coining the term reggaeton in 1994 and for paving the way to artists such as Bad Bunny, J Balvin, Ozuna, Karol G, etc.
The set list then turned to “la vieja escuela” (old school) with hits from “Barrio Fino,” the best-selling album of the 2000s decade, including Rios’s and other fan favorites, “Rompe,” “Machucando,” “Lo Que Paso, Paso,” and “Yo Voy.” The crowd’s appreciation of the “rumba” before them was evident on screen through smiles, dancing, flag-waving, and singing along.
Reggaeton veterans such as Wisin y Yandel and Zion y Lenox to rising stars such as Lunay participated in the concert via a video recording, highlighting how reggaeton artists succeed at any experience level.
The union of Latin American and Hispanic countries were also loud that night, paying a beautiful tribute to Hispanic Heritage Month. Flags from various Latin American countries such as Puerto Rico, Honduras, Mexico, El Salvador, and Colombia waved proudly in the venue and on screen.
“When it comes to Latinos, it’s all about love,” Daddy Yankee said and eventually called out various countries by name many times throughout the concert.
Marie Zaldivar, music student at Sam Houston State University, felt seen because Daddy Yankee recognized her native country of Honduras even though it is “not popular” among Latin countries.
“Honduras isn’t typically recognized, so seeing someone so legendary and important for Latinos, recognize [Honduras] feels special,” Zaldivar said.
With the LED powered Puerto Rican flag waving on screen, Daddy Yankee also took time to recognize his love for his native “isla del encanto” during “Despacito.” “Born from the heart” of Puerto Rico but proliferated worldwide, “Despacito” holds second place as the most-viewed YouTube video of all time, (first from August 2017 to November 2020), and one of the most recognized Spanish-language songs of all time.
Two of his most recognizable songs, “Con Calma” and “Dura” made way for the “infinite” song. “Gasolina,” the song that started the worldwide sensation culminated the concert leaving fire on stage and an infinite flame in our hearts. The charismatic singer did not leave the stage before thanking fans for his incredible trajectory.
The King of Reggaeton will crown his legendary career following the culmination of the world tour in Miami, Florida on Dec. 22 after touring 15 countries in a five-month span.
“I say goodbye, but my music stays in your hearts,” he rightfully said in Spanish about the infinite flame that is his legacy. “Ha sido increible esta trajectoria; les debo mucho familia.”
The humble Daddy Yankee sets an example of discipline in the music industry. While reigning charts, “El Maximo Lider” remained unproblematic and down-to-earth. He crosses the finish line producing his best world tour and musical work.
Nothing makes fans happier than seeing Daddy Yankee get to enjoy years of blissful downtime with his family after three decades of legendary work.
“Daddy Yankee inspired everyone throughout his music and by being such a humble and kind man despite the success and fame,” Rios added. “He worked very hard and was very dedicated to his passion. After all, I’m glad he gets to enjoy the fruits of his labors.”