If you love reggaeton like we do, you’ll always have your favorite — whether it’s a newbie like Maluma or a vet like Don Omar. Well, we decided to hit you off with a list of the 10 greatest or as DJ Khaled would say “WE THE BEST,” to ever to do it. Don’t expect to see Voltio or Residente of Calle 13 on the list because even though they’re incredible artists, they are hip-hop MCs. Now, fire up the reggaeton por favor!
1. El General “Muevelo Muevelo”
Signature Song: “Muevelo Muevelo”
El General is reggaeton’s Kool Herc. Although his flow was more reggae than ‘ton, he is and will forever be considered the father of reggaeton. And unlike his contemporaries, his music still feels relevant.
2. Don Omar “Danza Kuduro”
Signature Song: “Danza Kuduro”
It’s apropos that in a previous life, Don Omar aka William Omar Landrón was a preacher because as a reggaetonero, anything he says is treated as gospel by his fans. With his 2003 debut, The Last Don, producing multiple classic songs (“Dale Don Dale,” “Dile”) he quickly established himself as one of the genre’s superstars. But his dreams were grander than a dem bow beat could offer. Omar went EDM before it was popular (“Virtual Diva”) and turned to Brazil for his biggest hit to date (“Danza Kuduro”). Simply put: he’s the living definition of evolution.
3. Tego Calderon “Pa’ Que Retozen”
Signature Song: “Pa’ Que Retozen”
Tego is part reggaetonero, part salsero, and all MC. Even though the Afro-Latino doesn’t consider himself a reggaetonero, his albums (El Enemy del Guasibiri, El Abayarde) helped usher in an era of urban dominance on the Latin charts. El Abayarde, in particular, was largely influenced by Fania salsa and 2Pac and automatically put Tego at the forefront of the movement.
4. Nicky Jam “El Perdon”
Signature Song: “El Perdon”
Nicky Jam is your favorite reggaeton artist’s favorite reggaetonero. Starting his career in the ‘90s on the classic mixtapes by DJ Playero, Jam was always on the cusp of something great. It would take him more than a decade and a move to Colombia to finally fully breakthrough with impressive songs like “Travesuras” and “El Perdon.”
5. J Balvin “Ay Vamos”
Signature Song: “Ay Vamos”
Is it too early to call J Balvin one of the greatest to ever touch a mic? Is it too early to do the same with Steph Curry in the NBA? We think not so we’re saying it: J Balvin is one of best ever. The Colombian artist reinvigorated a dormant genre with his culture’s rhythms and a dash of EDM. And guess what? Even Justin Bieber is a fan. ‘Nuff said.
6. Ivy Queen “Te He Querido, Te He Llorado”
Signature Song: “Te He Querido, Te He Llorado”
Ivy is the one and only queen in a genre full of male testosterone. Along with Yankee and Omar, she was responsible for making reggaeton a global phenomenon in the early aughts. She’s also effortlessly blended traditional forms of Latin music like salsa and bachata and given it a reggaeton spin. More importantly, she gave the genre a female perspective and a legion of Latina reggaeton fans a voice. Bow down when she comes to your town! The Queen!
7. Alexis y Fido “El Tiburon”
Alexis y Fido
Signature Song: “El Tiburon”
Los Reyes del Perreo certainly made sure to stick to their self-anointed monikers. The Puerto Rican duo’s brash lyrics and thumping beats made them a must at any reggaeton club, house party, etc. Dale!
8. Wisin y Yandel “Sexy Movimiento”
Wisin y Yandel
Signature Song: “Sexy Movimiento”
Perhaps the best duo to ever do it, WYY have been doing the damn thing since “Rakata.” With Wisin’s aggressive yet smooth enough for the gatas bars and Yandel’s mellifluous voice, they equated into the best combination for global success. They’ve collaborated with mainstream artists like 50 Cent, Nelly Furtado and Jennifer Lopez. They’ve both enjoyed huge success as solo artists as well but their impact as a duo is unmatched.
9. Tito El Bambino “El Amor”
Tito El Bambino
Signature Song: “El Amor”
Perhaps, Tito was born in the wrong decade. This reggaetonero is more salsero than any of his peers and he has the hits to prove it (“Por Que Les Mientes?,” “El Amor”). Yet, don’t get it twisted, El Patron can get dirty on a dem bow beat with the best of them (“Siente El Boom”).
10. Zion y Lennox “Bandida”
Zion y Lennox
Signature Song: “Bandida”
Easily one of the genre’s most popular duos, Zion y Lennox’s debut (and perhaps best) album, Motivando a la Yal, featured a who’s a who on the production credits including Luny Tunes, Noriega, Eilel, and Nelly.
11. Daddy Yankee “Gasolina”
Signature Song: “Gasolina”
El Cangri monster hit “Gasolina” was so massive even white people were perreando. If there’s one artist the mainstream associates with reggaeton it’s Daddy Yankee. And he’s continued producing hit (“Rompe") after hit (“Lo Que Paso, Paso) after hit (the incredible posse cut “Llegamos a la Disco”).