Reggaetón royalty past and present will go head-to-head in a beat battle that will be live streamed on Instagram on Friday. Luny of Luny Tunes will face-off against the duo’s apprentice Tainy who has become a star in his own right. The folks at Rapetón are putting on what’s sure to be a perreo intenso coming our way.
After reggae en español was created in Panama in the late ’80s, the sound became reggaetón as it moved through Puerto Rico in the ’90s. Rappers in the genre like Daddy Yankee and Ivy Queen were trying to get their careers off that ground that decade. For Yankee, his breakthrough came with 2004’s Barrio Fino album when he got Dominican producers Francisco Saldaña and Víctor Cabrera, who are better known as Luny (Saldaña) Tunes (Cabrera), on board. They were behind the switchboard on his global hit “Gasolina” that was the spark that lit the fuse for reggaetón movement in the mid-2000s.
Luny Tunes proved to be no one-trick ponies as they churned out hits for all the power players in reggaetón at the time like Yankee, Ivy Queen, Wisin y Yandel and Don Omar. They were the kings of reggaetón puro when the genre sounded more raw and rough-around-the-edges. Luny Tunes later assembled the talent they were working with for the Mas Flow album series where they took Marco “Tainy” Masís under their wings. The duo and Tainy would go on to co-produce a few hits together. Eventually reggaetón became so commercialized that Luny Tunes were remixing songs by pop stars like Janet Jackson, Ricky Martin, Shakira and Paris Hilton.
Tainy flew the coop alone into this past decade where he has become a go-to producer for today’s reggaetón hits. His recent credits include work with J Balvin, Cardi B, Ozuna and Karol G. He was the executive producer of Bad Bunny’s debut album, 2018’s X 100PRE. The edge Tainy has having worked through both of reggaetón’s golden eras could be interesting. In honor of his upcoming beat battle with Luny, we’re going to revisit 10 of their best productions.
Luny Tunes : "Dale Don Dale" (2003)
Reggaetón icon Don Omar got some extra pep in his step with “Dale Don Dale” from his debut album, 2003’s The Last Don. The don energy he serves on the swaggering cut is backed up by Luny Tunes and Cheka’s hard-hitting beats. Gun shots, ambulance sirens and Glory’s sensual voice gave the “Dale Don Dale” an edge that brought the streets into the club. The perreo still pops off with this one.
Tainy: "Ahora" (2018)
After rising to fame with fellow Colombian Alejandro “Sky Rompiendo El Bajo” Ramírez’s synth-filled take on reggaetón, J Balvin decided to go back to basics with the genre on 2018’s Vibras album. To get back to reggaetón’s Puerto Rican roots, he enlisted Tainy as a co-producer. Sky and Tainy’s styles blended beautifully on the hypnotic “Ahora” where Balvin was able to shine as a smooth operator.
Luny Tunes: "Llamé Pa' Verte (Bailando Sexy)" (2005
Wisin y Yandel’s breakthrough album, 2005’s Pa’l Mundo, was loaded with perreo-ready bangers produced by Luny Tunes and a standout that still knocks is “Llamé Pa’ Verte (Bailando Sexy).” The Dominican duo and Nely “El Arma Secreta” accentuated the sensual touch that the Puerto Rican duo was bringing to reggaetón’s hard edge. They gave us dembow and them some on this one.
Tainy: "Ya No Tiene Novio" (2018)
Tainy and Sky came together again later that year for Latinx heartthrobs Sebastián Yatra and Mau y Ricky’s collaboration “Ya No Tiene Novio.” The two producers mixed reggaetón with a bit of cumbia that gave the guys’ flirty performances some extra kick. In Tainy’s deep discography, this remains one of his most playful and off-the-wall productions. Yatra and the Montaner brothers have an absolute blast on it.
Luny Tunes: "Gasolina" (2004)
There’s no way a list of Luny Tunes’ best productions could be made without including Daddy Yankee’s breakthrough hit “Gasolina.” Reggaetón was able to run thanks to this frenetic blast of perreo on Yankee’s Barrio Fino album. The genre took a victory lap around the world in Luny Tunes’ vehicle with Yankee behind the wheel and Glory at the passenger side. The song fueled the urbano movement.
Tainy: "Callaíta" (2019)
After serving as executive producer of Bad Bunny’s debut album, Tainy collaborated with him again on “Callaíta” where they shared artist billing. The carnival-esque production added another dimension to El Conejo Malo’s moody performance. In a nod to his past with Luny Tunes, Tainy included a brief sample of their Mas Flow: Los Benjamins track “Alócate” by Zion at the end of the summery reggaetón stunner.
Luny Tunes: "Royal Rumble (Se Van)" (2005)
For the Mas Flow: Los Benjamins album, Luny Tunes and Nely rounded up the greats like Daddy Yankee, Don Omar, Hector “El Father,” Wisin, Arcángel and more into the ring for “Royal Rumble (Se Van).” The producers du jour gave the rappers a glock-and-loaded soundtrack where they put the lyrical smackdown on each other. This no-holds-barred freestyle was a moment in reggaetón history.
Tainy: "Lento" (2020)
Tainy is helping former Fifth Harmony member Lauren Jauregui find a space in the Latin music scene with their collaborations this year. Aside from working with the Cuban-American singer on “Nada” with Spanish rapper C. Tangana, it’s just Tainy and Lauren on their latest release “Lento.” Jauregui proves to be a seductive force in Spanish and English and Tainy accentuates that with his alluring production.
Luny Tunes: "Mayor Que Yo" (2005)
Luny Tunes dropped their magnum opus “Mayor Que Yo” on Mas Flow 2. Like they did on Ivy Queen’s “Te He Querido, Te He Llorado” from that same album, the duo blended bachata and reggaetón on their collaboration with Daddy Yankee, Hector “El Father,” Wisin y Yandel, Tony Tun Tun and Baby Ranks. A Luny Tunes storm touched down in tropical music. Luny recently played the original demo of “Mayor” on Instagram with Don Omar in the lineup.
Tainy: "Yo Perreo Sola" (2020)
Tainy worked with Bad Bunny on most of his second solo album, YHLQMDLG, where the rapper was able to bask in his Puerto Rico roots. There’s really no skips on this album, but “Yo Perreo Sola” is El Conejo Malo’s perreo de résistance. Tainy enlisted up-and-coming duo Subelo NEO to recapture that reggaetón puro sound for the new decade. Benito and Nesi come through with an anthem for the quarantine era.