No matter how you break it down, reggaeton is one of the most popular styles of music on the planet. The genre’s stars are some of the biggest in the industry — Bad Bunny has been the most-streamed artist in the world for two years in a row — and their hits have quickly become international supernovas, played in every country imaginable. Reggaeton is a global phenomenon and a commercial force that’s changed the Latin music business, despite naysayers, and it shows no signs of slowing down.
The genre also represents a rich cultural history, filled with stories of migration, of resistance, and of celebration. The music has deep roots in Panama, where Black communities in the Eighties and Nineties pioneered reggae en español tracks that traveled across the globe and captured people’s imaginations. Those sounds thrived in Puerto Rico, in particular, and bloomed in the island’s underground in the Nineties, cross-pollinating with hip hop scenes in New York and eventually erupting across the world. So many songs — whether they’re classic deep cuts from Playero mixtapes, or record-breaking chart-toppers from more recent years — are a reflection of the genre’s complex stories and intricate evolutions.
Narrowing down the 100 greatest reggaeton songs of all time was no easy feat. The reggaeton canon spans decades and continents, and branches into all kinds of music — bachata, EDM, hip-hop, salsa, and so much more. Some people might debate whether a few songs here belong on a reggaeton list; however, there were some reggae en español, dembow, and underground rap classics by pioneers such as Nando Boom, El General, and Latin Fresh that were so foundational, we found them impossible to keep off.
We also had input from all corners of the music business. To make our list, we put together a panel of critics, experts, and music industry veterans. Those voters included:
Kat Bouza, senior news editor, Rolling Stone
Ecleen Luzmila Caraballo, writer and editor
Jon Dolan, reviews editor, Rolling Stone
Ricardo Duran, Rolling Stone en Español
Katelina “Gata” Eccleston, reggaeton historian
Veronica Bayetti Flores, music journalist
Simon Vozick-Levinson, deputy music editor, Rolling Stone
Julyssa Lopez, senior music editor, Rolling Stone
Jennifer Mota, music historian and journalist
Moises Mendez II, culture reporter
Diego Ortiz, Rolling Stone en Español
Jorge Pabon, Molusco TV
Jerry Pullés, Latin music programmer, Apple Music
AJ Ramos, head of artist partnerships, Latin music and culture, YouTube Music/Google
Maykol Sanchez, head of artist & label partnerships, LATAM & U.S. Latin, Spotify
Gary Suarez, music journalist
Lucas Villa, music journalist
Antonio Vázquez, head of U.S. Latin editorial – Spotify
Chente Ydrach, host
The genre is complex; it continues to flourish and thrive in ways that surprise even its biggest fans. Over the years, we’re sure songs will take on new meanings, and new innovations will change the course of the genre. For now, here are Rolling Stone‘s 100 Greatest Reggaeton Songs of All Time.