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Artist Spotlight

Woke Up A Rebel Newsletter


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Artist Spotlight


March, 28th, 2022



If you’re a regular consumer of Latin urban content, chances are you’ve heard the news that Daddy Yankee is retiring. What does this mean? It means that we most likely won’t be hearing new music from El Cangri after 2022. Daddy Yankee has been in the game for 32 years. He is only 45 years old, right now. That’s an impressive career if you ask me.

I remember the first time I heard a song by DY. It was 2004 and I was about 35,000 feet off the ground. I was in an airplane. I was on my way to Colombia and they had a Spanish language music station that you could plug into using the airline provided earphones.

I tuned in while looking at the night sky through the plane’s window. The song was Seguroski which was produced by Reggaeton pioneer producer DJ Blass. I couldn’t believe what I was listening to. It was something I had never heard before. I was dumbfounded that someone could rap like that in Spanish. I also had no idea what kind of Spanish that was because I had never listened closely to Puerto Rican slang. Words like seguroski, cabroski, gatas and meloskis. It was interesting to say the least.

His debut album was El in 2002 with major hits that still slap, today. It was followed by Los Homerun-es in 2003. Another classic. Those albums contain songs like Latigazo, Gata Gangster and more.

Daddy Yankee was introduced to the global stage in 2004 with his album ‘Barrio Fino.’
It was heavily produced by Lunytunes but also had productions by Ecko and Eliel (El que habla con las manos.) The album contained classics like ‘Lo Que Paso,Paso, Gasolina, Sabor a melao and Corazones.’
If you’re a fan of his, you’ll probably agree that there are no skips on that album. Every song is a gem.

On the weekend of March 19-20th, he announced via an Instagram video that he was retiring and he will be releasing one last album on March 25th, 2022 called ‘Legendaddy’ followed by a world tour with a stop in Toronto, Canada September 11th, 2022. The album artwork has a goat on the cover. In this case, The ‘Goat’ is a term that’s become popular in the last few years meaning ‘The greatest of all time.’
I believe the originator of this term was LL Cool J with his album THE G.O.A.T. released in the year 2000. Amazing how this slang term caught the ear of the youth nearly 20 years later.

Now, let’s talk about the important topic regarding DY’s retirement. Who will be crowned the new king of Reggaeton? Let’s look at a few important key elements that made Daddy Yankee the legend he is in my humble opinion.

As far as I know, DY has not been involved in any scandals that could have tainted his brand. He’s been a voice for the people with many songs about revolution, examining the hearts of people and self-reflection. He’s able to make songs to get you dancing, songs to make you think critically and songs your mama can sing along to. He has also been very transparent about his Christian faith throughout his career.

‘Corazones’ is one of the songs that has always stood out to me as one of his most conscious songs. One of the most notable things I can say about him… He hasn’t had to use gimmicks or do things for “shock value” to stay relevant. I can’t say the same about many of the current Reggaeton artists topping the charts.
Daddy Yankee’s versatility and ability to crossover to other genres including Hindi music elements with songs like ‘Mirame’ ft Deevani has been unmatched in my opinion.

Now, with all of that said. Who is actually worthy of carrying the torch? If we’re simply talking about numbers (which we know doesn’t necessarily mean the music is good), we can undisputedly say that Bad Bunny should be the next one up. Bad Bunny (Benito) has countless hits and features that have been successful. Would Bad Bunny be at the level he is at simply due to his music though?

He’s done things that have kept his name in people’s mouths. Things such as dressing in a skirt and wig while awkwardly grinding on himself in the video for ‘Yo perreo sola.’ That was and still is an interesting music video. He’s been very vocal about his stance in solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community specifically the Trans community due to the murder of ‘Alexa Negron Luciano’ who was killed in an unfortunate homophobic attack. He wore a t-shirt saying “Mataron a Alexa, No a un hombre con falda” which translates to ‘They killed Alexa, not a man in a skirt’ during a performance on The Jimmy Fallon show. Bad Bunny stands for equality and acceptance for all and I think that’s greatly commendable.

He’s had many celebrities do cameos in his music videos. We can’t deny that Benito has bars for days. He’s also been a voice for the people of his home nation of Puerto Rico when he stopped his tour in 2019 to join the protests to remove the island’s governor ‘Ricardo Rosello’ due to corruption claims. Read about it here. I believe that’s when he solidified his place in the hearts of Puerto Ricans.
I think it’s safe to say that Bad Bunny might be the most qualified artist to carry the genre forward.

We could talk about ‘Anuel AA’ but in this case, I’ll choose not to in much detail because I’m not a fan of his music catalogue. This is just my opinion. He has a few good songs but he is definitely not someone people should be looking to as “next up.” His lyrical content is nowhere near the level of Bad Bunny or Daddy Yankee. He promotes a lot of darkness in his music and let’s face it, he’s mainly relevant due to his luxurious lifestyle he displays on social media. He’s also known for having dated Colombian superstar ‘Karol G.’ That kept the blogs talking about him for years.

Currently, he’s relevant for what seems to be the most random marriage in Reggaeton culture by marrying Dominican social media personality ‘Yailin.’ I’m also not a fan of how much this man glorifies his allegiance to the “illuminati” and seems to openly praise the devil in a few of his songs. If that’s just a gimmick for clicks, that ain’t right, chief. Check out the ‘Illuminati ft Lil Pump’ music video . Also watch ‘Los Illuminaty ft Rochy RD.’

On the weekend of March 19th,2022, Anuel was in a nightclub in Orlando, Florida. The DJ played a few songs of Anuel’s back-to-back and then played the new song by Karol G and Becky G called ‘Mamiii.’ The song apparently has Karol G dissing Anuel.
Anuel got upset and allegedly threw ice at the DJ for playing the song. If you ask me, that isn’t legendary behaviour or of one who deserves to carry the torch after DY. Read about the incident here.

There are other artists who are considered superstars of the genre, but none have that thing that Daddy yankee has. Many have tried to imitate him but none have come close to matching his GOAT status. Let’s see who the fans and the media crown as the successor of “El Cangri.”

Written by: MARIO FUNES 3/28/2022


The snow is crazy this week in ‘Toronto’ where we call home. Perfect time to just kick back and enjoy a warm drink from one of our signature mugs that you can purchase at our Merch Store or Click Here.

This week’s ‘Woke Up A Rebel Weekly Playlist’ includes music from:
Toronto artist ‘CRUIZE’ with productions from TOnX Bros. Also,  Gunna ft Drake, Favourite songs from ‘Cordae’s new album. Remix by ‘Swedish House Mafia’ for ‘The Weeknd’s’ song ‘Sacrifice.’ Farina dropped new music, Don Omar+ more! Check out the cool Afrobeat music and House music we have in there, too.
 This Is Us
Woke Up A Rebel are 2 Producers/DJ’s from Toronto, Canada. Bringing you classic and new Reggae, Reggaeton, Dancehall, Afrobeat, Hip Hop, House +more.

Prioritizing talent from Toronto is what we do,make sure you listen to all of the music we share.

We come from a very multicultural city, so there’s music in English, Spanish and more! Fresh new playlist every Sunday. Make sure you save the songs you liked before they disappear from it!

Click  here for the Playlist. Make sure you hit the ‘Like’ button on Spotify.Artist SpotlightCRUIZE-BORN2WIN

(Click Here)

This week’s ‘Artist Spotlight’ features Toronto, Canada artist ‘CRUIZE.’
This man has been dropping music and content on a consistent basis for years. You can hear it in his music. ‘BORN2WIN’ is his recent musical effort that dropped on January,14,2022. 

I had the privilege to catch up with ‘CRUIZE‘ over the phone the Sunday after the EP dropped. Asked him a few questions regarding the project.
Asked him how he would describe the vibe of this EP? I personally think it has some chill Hooka lounge vibes. He said he wasn’t mad at that idea. Lounge vibes. He best described it as “Music to just chill to and show my friends in a small intimate setting. “

He worked with production duo ‘TOnX Bros‘ on most of this project. He explained that they (TOnX) are great guys to work with. He sent them some vocals and they created the beats according to his vision. I also asked ‘CRUIZE‘ how involved he was in the overall process of the EP. He said he was heavily involved especially in the ‘Mastering’ end of production.

Tracking for vocals were co-engineered with his girlfriend/business partner ‘Mehz K.’ This young boss lady also provided vocals on some tracks in the EP. Adding to that, she is the Creative Director of his music videos that he will be dropping over the next few weeks. 4 music videos in total! Definitely looking forward to that.
He dropped the music video for his track ‘CRUIZE- In My Zone
(Watch it on YouTube.)

CRUIZE said that when he’s in the booth, he’s a perfectionist which I’m sure all of us who are in the arts can relate to in some degree. He described that sometimes, he’ll record the same take 8x to catch the perfect version of the vocal. That doesn’t seem too crazy, bro! You can get away with that. The effort is evident in this project. 

Finally, I asked him what advice he’d give an “indy” artist working their way up to turn their dream/business into a reality:
“Make the best use of your time. Be productive with your time. You could chill and watch a show or you can spend that time trying to gain 4 new (loyal) followers on social media.” 

3. UNDERSTAND ME ft Gawddante
4. HOT ft Mehz K
5. PENTHOUSE PARTY ft Soares & Mehz
Songs 1-5 Prod TOnX 

IG: @Cruize.x

Here at ‘Woke Up A Rebel Newsletter, we’re doing things a bit differently. Not only did we catch up with the artist of the project, we spoke to Josh of ‘TOnX Bros.’
We were able to get the producer’s perspective on working on this project. Josh and his brother/co-producer Matthew, produced 5 of 6 tracks.

Here’s what Josh had to say:
“Our process around making beats, specifically CRUIZE’s EP was strongly led and guided by CRUIZE himself.” 
“We made the beats based around his vocals and some ideas he gave us with references. There were no disagreements with all parties involved because this was his (CRUIZE) project. Our main focus was to give him the TOnX experience of helping his vision come to life.
Any changes that needed to be made were communicated via Zoom or TWITCH due to the fact that we are in the middle of a pandemic. We tweaked the beat according to his taste. We have a great working relationship with CRUIZE because he not only trusts us, be we also trust him with his ideas and input as well.”

“We were thrilled to work with CRUIZE on the EP after he he told us the concept. I’ll admit, the sounds and genres he wanted to focus on were a bit out of our comfort zone. It was more of that new wave ‘NBA Youngboy‘ sound but with a TOnX twist. We learned a lot along the way.”

Q: Do you start with Drums or Melodies when working on beats? 
A: “Since there’s 2 of us at TOnX Bros, we split the work between melodies and drums. For this particular EP with CRUIZE, we did the work separately then joined the projects in ‘Ableton.'(DAW) 
Once we did this, it was easy to polish any necessary steps. We like doing it this way because we each took our time in the sound design process when shaping our 808’s and synths.”

IG: @TOnX.bros

Written By: Mario Funes 

Find all the songs we think have some serious replay value in our Spotify Playlist. We update it every Sunday with fresh new songs. Add the ones you like to your personal Playlists before then.