500 Albums Podcast: Daddy Yankee's 'Barrio Fino' and Reggaeton's Rise - Rolling Stone
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500 Greatest Albums Podcast: Daddy Yankee’s ‘Barrio Fino’ and the Rise of Reggaeton

In the newest episode of our Amazon Music series, we look at the Puerto Rican superstar’s 2004 album – and how it helped turn an underground urban movement from Puerto Rico into a worldwide phenomenon

Reggaeton star Daddy Yankee performs at Madison Square Garden in New York Saturday, Aug. 27, 2005. (AP Photo/Chad Rachman)

Reggaeton star Daddy Yankee performs at Madison Square Garden in New York Saturday, Aug. 27, 2005.

Chad Rachman/AP

In the mid-2000s, Daddy Yankee was a married father of three living in the Villa Kennedy public housing projects in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He was about to change the world, though, with an album that did perhaps more than any other to turn reggaetonan underground urban movement out of Puerto Rico that drew on influences like Jamaican dancehall, Panamanian reggae en español and hip-hop — into a global force that today fuels the careers of superstars like Bad Bunny and Ozuna.  

In the latest episode of Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums, our podcast on Amazon Music, Daddy Yankee talks with Nuria Net, journalist and co-founder of podcast studio La Coctelera Music, about that game-changing album, 2004’s Barrio Fino. He breaks down his vision for the album (and for reggaeton itself), going in-depth about the struggles to get the establishment to take reggaeton seriously. Along the way we hear from producers like Echo and Luny Tunes (the massively important hit “Gasolina” was birthed in Luny’s mom’s house, where she would cook Dominican food for the artists) and from artists like De La Ghetto and Bad Bunny, who talks about first hearing Barrio Fino as a 10-year-old kid in Puerto Rico and testifies to the album’s influence.  

Later in the episode, Nuria Net, Los Angeles Times music reporter Suzy Exposito, and De La Ghetto join host Brittany Spanos to discuss the album’s impact and legacy.

In September, Rolling Stone unveiled the new version of the 500 Greatest Albums poll. It’s a completely updated version of our most read, most argued-over list ever, made with help from a group of voters that included Beyonce, Taylor Swift, Stevie Nicks, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and members of U2, as well as writers, critics, and figures from across the music industry.

Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums goes inside the making and the meaning of 10 albums from the list, featuring fresh stories from the artists who recorded them and insights from the Rolling Stone staff.

The podcast appears exclusively on Amazon Music, with new episodes each week. Listen the full Barrio Fino episode — and every episode of Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums — right here.

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