Chili – daddy yankee He is firm in his farewell. Without detracting from the emotion of the goodbye that began last July with the tour “The last return”, his mind is fixed on the day she wakes up and has no plans. “I want to give myself the opportunity to live”, He says. He has dedicated nearly three decades to urban music with gratitude, with the satisfaction of fulfilling his own desire to become a reggaeton benchmark from his homeland, which he assures he will not leave when he embraces retirement. “I stay in pe erre”assured.
It is almost noon on September 27, shortly after Spotify executives removed the black mantle from a statue that immortalizes the artist in the Chilean capital, the city in the world where his music is most listened to, according to data from that digital platform. .
In one of the corridors backstage at the Julio Martínez Prádanos National Stadium, his closest work nucleus set up the set for this 15-minute interview. Around everything is a coming and going of the production staff and talents that would accompany him in the series of three concerts that he would offer to a full house (66 thousand people per day) in that arena.
He approaches relaxed. Dressed in black from the glasses to the sneakers. He greets with the familiarity of someone meeting a countryman in a distant land, but also very aware that the clock is ticking.
The announcement of his retirement in March of this year has a very personal root. It doesn’t mean he’s going to give up music for the rest of his life. “That natural instinct is there,” he said, and he’s not going to bury it. What she is not in a rush to find out how he will address her after January 6, 7 and 8, 2023, when she officially says goodbye from Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan.
“(I want to give myself) the opportunity to experience uncertainties in life. I feel like it was work all the time and when you work, obviously, you sacrifice a lot of things about yourself to give yourself the opportunity to live and that’s what I want now, to relax,” he reiterated.
At the age of 46, Raymond Ayala Rodríguez leaves the rhythm of work that began in adolescence, when what he does today was marked with the stamp of underground. He leaves “in vigor, in peace and in health”. Some time ago he managed to overcome the demons of sugar – “it governed me a lot” -, he began to work with his nutrition and physical conditioning, which is reflected in greater agility on stage.
“I didn’t give myself a bad life, I was always working.”
Bad Bunny, the best artist in the world
This last lap of Daddy Yankee is not a relay race in which at some point he will hand over the baton to another figure in the urban arena. That belongs to the public, he considered. Bad Bunny, however, is separated as the artist who is planting a global flag with his musical proposal.
“I think he is the best artist the world has and they are enjoying it. There is a difference between being the best pound for pound and being the best of all time and I think Benito is doing a job that people like.”, stated about Benito Martínez, with whom he recorded the songs “Vuelve”, “X Última vez” and “La Santa”. Artists like Karol G, J Balvin, Ozuna, Rauw Alejandro, Myke Towers and Sech, were others that he mentioned as those who are “doing exceptional work” to extend the life of the musical style they promote.
– Watching the tiraera From a distance, is it currently for or against the genre?
– The tiraera it is part of the genre, it is part of what distinguishes us, it is part of the competitive area, whoever does not believe in tiraera has to sing another genre, from the heart. This is war too and you have to give it forward. When someone is in front of you, you have to give him pa’l front all time.
– Do you have any pending?
– I feel that no, there is no one. I feel great and I have never been one to express myself publicly about anyone, but I was always waiting. They always talked, they said, but I was always shut upbut always ready.
– Do you leave enemies?
– There will always be in life, that’s normal. I may have them, but something very important, to the point where I am, none could do me any harm.
“The last lap” was outlined when Raphy Pina, manager and producer of Daddy Yankee, had not yet been imprisoned at the federal level for illegal possession of weapons, a legal process in which Daddy Yankee openly supported him.
Physically disassociating himself from that professional relationship, he said, was difficult.
“But now it is being much more difficult for him. When we talk, the few times, he’s super cool, a steady mindset; Raphy is a strong guy, mentally speaking and despite everything, the circumstances, he’s fine. Obviously it’s the brotherit is strange, but I have to give it forwardand he knows that I’m a guy that I go on drivewho has always taken care of everything for me”.
“I hope it’s a woman who stays with everyone”
Daddy Yankee expects “another big hit in urban music.” His bet on that virtual promise goes to women, who currently have many voices in the genre and are the ones who have turned the sexist discourse that marked the beginning of rap, reggaeton and trap.
“Karol (G), Natti (Natasha), Beckie (G), I think the three of them made a change, reached a key point in music and raised a new wave of singers and people expect, ‘hey, who will that be? another great figure’, and I say, ‘what if it’s a woman? And if the one you are waiting for is a woman and she stays with all. For me it would be unexpected”.
Committed to Puerto Rico, but not obligated
More and more personalities from sports, the arts and the third sector are taking leadership in the causes that affect the country, from humanitarian causes to political/government control. It is a citizen commitment with which the artist is committed, even warning that it is not his obligation.
“I live in Puerto Rico and I do it because I was born to do it, but it is not an obligation either, you have to be very clear about it. You can’t say to an artist, ‘you have to do this’, because that’s not an obligation, that comes from the heart. The government has to do it. We do it out of vocation and out of love”, he pointed out.
– After your retirement, do you consider moving from Puerto Rico?
– I stay in pe erre. The most beautiful thing I have is that I stay in pe erre on the beach, quiet, calm. If I’ve never done it before pe erre no one takes me out. I have always been in Puerto Rico firmly and it was something of my personal and I share it at this point. I always wanted to be an artist who would stand out from Puerto Rico for the worldmaking that difference was very important to me, staying in pe erre, stay fixed at the root. In Puerto Rico there are so many people who inspire me, from good people, people who don’t wish me well too, who inspire me to continue giving forward.
– Has Puerto Rico been generous to you?
– Of course. You always have to see the glass as half full, so sometimes we give so much emphasis to negativity and forget how good there is. In Puerto Rico there are many good people, too many good people, proactive people who love the Country, there are more good people than bad. What happens is that we have that habit of giving so much emphasis to the negative, but in Puerto Rico there are very good people.
The concert that he will present at the Hiram Bithorn stadium will be designed for the occasion, it will not be the show that keeps him on tour in South America.
“In Puerto Rico we are working to bring something else, something new, another new idea”, commented without abounding details. He preferred not to state whether or not he feels ready for the farewell to the parent audience, because since he started the concerts in July, he is confronting his own emotions.
“Sometimes I am speechless, I am paused, because I am singing and for some reason the memories of my entire career come to me, of how I started, of the villages, of when we had the fight against the Government, when we did not we were being accepted on the stations, that we had to break those gaps, in the media, on television, and that is what I am reliving, it had never happened to me. It’s the first time I’m on stage and my mind is on those flashbacks”.
The so-called “Big Boss” does not want to have plans, even so he projects himself to be very active in sports, particularly in baseball, from the executive level. “The sports area calls me a lot, supporting athletes from Puerto Rico and other countries,” he shared.
Before landing on the island, some 35 concerts await him on a tour that is among the three highest grossing in the world, according to the publication Pollstar. It is a route without return, because he decided so.
“I leave very satisfied. calm and peaceful, which is the most important thing, and in good harmony with everyone. Recognizing that my work is done”.
(Editor’s note: Days after this interview, Don Omar made some expressions against Daddy Yankee regarding the tour they did together in 2015. As has been his custom, Daddy Yankee declined to react to them when this medium requested them. . In the same way, Don Omar did not want to dwell on the matter either.).