Music at the Crossroads: Daddy Yankee's Corpus Christi concert this September should be a gas
July 14, 2010 at 2:14 a.m.
Updated July 15, 2010 at 2:15 a.m.
BY JJ VELASQUEZ
Say what you will about him, but it's hard to deny reggaeton star Daddy Yankee's influence on the world.
The raunchy Latin rapper has spent the last 15 years in the music business, helping to shepherd reggaeton into the mainstream.
Yankee, whose real name is Ramon Ayala, performs Sept. 25 at the American Bank Center Arena in Corpus Christi.
The release of the single "Gasolina" began the genre's ascension from the Panamanian and Puerto Rican ghettos where it originated.
It was then that this urban blend of Latin music and hip-hop permeated the world. Not only were Latino artists crafting songs with reggaeton beats, but so was just about every other hip-hop artist.
Reggaeton beats were the Auto-Tune of the mid-2000s. The music trend found its way into an eclectic mish-mash of songs from that era.
The influence Kanye West's Auto-Tune (He didn't invent the audio processor, just popularized it) had on the music world catapulted the already popular, but polarizing hip-hop star into heights of either fame or notoriety he had not reached. Remember when the president called him a synonym for donkey because of the stunt he pulled on Taylor Swift at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards?
Similarly, Yankee's impact on the music world pushed him into the role of public figure and later, endorser of John McCain in the 2008 presidential election.
McCain cited his most famous song, the aforementioned "Gasolina," before introducing the Puerto Rico native onto the stage.
The song is bound tightly by a sexually-charged conceit, but, of course, Yankee never told reporters that.
In a 2008 Christian Science Monitor article, he said the song was about energy independence.