Los Angeles (California), USA – Daddy Yankee’s first studio album since 2004’s groundbreaking Barrio Fino promises to pour more gasolina on the fire that is reggaeton. The Cartel: The Big Boss (El Cartel/Interscope), released June 5, 2007, continues to expand reggaeton’s power and reach by featuring such diverse guest artists as Fergie, Jim Jones, Nicole Scherzinger from The Pussycat Dolls, Akon, and Will.i.am from Black Eyed Peas. Both Akon and Will.i.am also produce, as do Mr. ColliPark and Scott Storch (the latter producing the first single, "Impacto") along with Reggaeton producers Eli "El Musicologo", Tiny Tunes, Diesel and Menace.
For Daddy Yankee, The Cartel: The Big Boss marks the next step in a phenomenal career that has taken him from the barrios outside San Juan, Puerto Rico, to being named one of the 100 Most Influential People in the world by Time magazine."Reggaeton needs a change and I’m changing too," says Daddy Yankee. "You can’t rest on the past. This album is very different. My roots are still there but now there’s more, a side of me people haven’t seen, including hip-hop. And I know the power music has too. I’m a leader in Latin culture. The album talks about the role we’re playing in society. For people that don’t know what’s happening, we need to let them know what’s going on."
In 2006, the live CD/DVD set Barrio Fino en Directo was the biggest selling Latin album of the year according to Billboard, was named Reggaeton Album of the Year at the Billboard Latin Music Awards. Daddy Yankee was also named Artist of the Year at the Latin Billboard Awards and MTV Video Music Awards Latinoamerica, Latin Songwriter of the Year by ASCAP and Urban Artist of the Year at Univision’s Premios Lo Nuestro Awards. Along with the Time magazine honor, People en Español ranked him among the upcoming year’s 100 Most Influential People.
With his rapid-fire freestyle flow and clever lyrics, Daddy Yankee helped pioneer the sound of reggaeton. In 2004, "Gasolina" from the studio Barrio Fino became the urban music anthem that put reggaeton on the music map and made DY its first platinum-certified star.
Daddy Yankee’s influence within the genre is matched by his entrepreneurial vision. Besides being founder and CEO of his own record label and management company, he is one of Pepsi’s Hispanic spokespersons and for sportswear powerhouse Reebok has created "Daddy Yankee by Rbk," a footwear, clothing and accessory line available in stores nationwide. Talento de Barrio, his first film, as actor and executive producer, is slated for a U.S. release later this year. The reggaeton star recently celebrated his first anniversary as the host of the Daddy Yankee On Fuego Radio Show, a nationally syndicated radio show on ABC Radio Networks which airs on 29 affiliates.
Daddy Yankee has not forgotten where he has come from either. For his native Puerto Rico, he was the first reggaeton artist to offer free concerts for the children of the projects. Most recently, he partnered with the Puerto Rico Department of Education to lead a school cleaning and beautification program. He also continues to be a spokesperson for the American Red Cross in the U.S. Hispanic community and a member of the Red Cross Celebrity Cabinet that reaches out to a new generation of volunteers and encourages people of all races, ages and ethnicities to support the Red Cross in their community. In 2007, Daddy Yankee will launch his own charitable organization, Fundación Corazón Guerrero.