Before they solidified their status as the OGs of reggaeton, Don Omar, Tego Calderón, and Daddy Yankee were simply out here trying to find their footing in their newfound mainstream fame. With the support of established hip-hop artists like Fat Joe and N.O.R.E., who centered their Latinidad in their songs during the mid-2000s, these reggaetoneros found themselves in the spotlight as the genre had its commercial explosion. Although the movement slowed in the late 2000s, with releases feeling less and less vibrant as time passed, reggaeton continues to evolve into hybrid sounds and find success with new audiences. With Daddy Yankee slated to perform “Despacito” alongside Luis Fonsi at the Grammys this Sunday, we find the genre once again at the forefront of the mainstream music conversation.
To mark the occasion, we’re revisiting another award show milestone from reggaeton’s first mainstream explosion. Cut to the 2005 MTV Video Music Awards in Miami, when summoned upon the stage is none other than BX legend Fat Joe, ready to flex his Puerto Rican roots and put on for his people. Introducing these three artists as “the face of reggaeton music,” Fat Joe prefaces this performance with all the right energy.
Like Moses splitting the sea, Don Omar emerges from the crowd and sets the stage by performing a verse from “Reggaeton Latino,” making sure everybody in the building knows the strength of the Latinx contingent at the show. Real recognize real. Shout outs to the Puerto Rican Flag tall tee – truly a look.
Following Don with the same confidence but a more laid-back sound is Tego Calderón, who pulls up in true OG fashion spitting some bars from “Abayarde” in a tan three-button suit and accompanying off-white hat that makes your padrino look underdressed. Can’t forget the signature Tego shades; never look him in the eyes.
This iconic performance is capped off by Daddy Yankee performing “Gasolina.” Peep Paul Wall – who would go on to hop on the remix to Yankee’s “Machete” – rapping along. Then there’s Usher, six years away from his Romeo Santos collab, vibing at the 3:36 mark. Even Beyoncé bops along to the beat before the video comes to a close.
Check out the comments on the YouTube video to see fans rep for PR heavy and recall the moment they saw their favorite reggaetoneros on mainstream television for the first time (plus some dude who’s salty ’cause according to him, Don Omar used to date his shorty).
Watch the full video below: