Girls love him for his rugged good looks and catchy tunes. Guys dismiss him as too pretty or too studio-manufactured. Whether he evolves into a Latino P Diddy or a brown Vanilla Ice remains to be seen.Studio musician Raymond Ayala is now multiplatinum seller Daddy Yankee and he just wrapped up a tour of the Southwest with a show on October 5th in the Bay Area. Hopeful and I braved cold temps and Friday evening 101 traffic to dance to reggaeton’s crossover star.
After sitting through a dozen showings of a hilarious Spanish language Orbit gum commercial(sure to make you a fan of merengue music), the show opened with the requisite military themed video on the big screen(yes, another shoot me now moment, courtesy of brown boys in camo). Then Daddy emerged, looking resplendent in black and white Coogi sweater, metallic wash jeans, bright white sneaks, and diamond jewelry. He was joined by a portly rapper, a DJ, and a coed sextet of dancers. The night was a danceathon and singalong as Yankee performed his past hits(apparently I really can belly dance to “Mirame”) and current tracks(my favorite number was when the dancers changed into Battlestar Galactica Cylon costumes for the futuristic “Impacto”). He rapped and sang live, sounding very much like El General, and even improvised to dancehall. He also gave props to every Latino nation and shared anecdotes about songwriting. Despite his critics, Daddy puts on a great show and keeps the fans on their feet. I’m proud he’s representing us.