Reggaeton pioneers DJ Nelson and DJ Luny are making Verzuz history as the first Latin artists to perform on the webcast series.
The episode, dubbed “a salute to Latin music producers,” took place at the luxurious MLB’s All-Star House on Sunday to celebrate Tuesday’s baseball midsummer classic game. The DJs, both sporting Dodgers jerseys, greeted the in-person audience and reveled in the moment to represent Puerto Rico, the cradle of reggaeton, as host Danna Hernandez noted.
The legendary producers spun 40 reggaeton hits from their respective turntables with DJ Luny, who is half of the production duo Luny Tunes with DJ Tunes, starting the battle with Héctor y Tito’s “Baila Morena.” Nelson responded with Héctor y Tito’s “Pegate” while asking the crowd “Where are the Latinos?” Luny followed with “Metele Con Candela” by Daddy Yankee, the King of Reggaeton.
Luny took a moment to dedicate the evening to Daddy Yankee, saying he was “an artist who recently announced his retirement but is important in my history.” He spun a few DY tracks he produced, including “Limbo,” “Lo Que Paso, Paso,” “Machucando” and a surprise for watchers: a rare unreleased version of “Mirame” featuring Wisin y Yandel.
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Nelson honored the late producer Flow La Movie, who was killed in a 2021 plane crash, noting “he left us this banger for the rest of our life,” and began to play chart-topping track “Te Boté.”
“DJ Nelson and Luny have the best trajectory in reggaeton,” Luny said during the battle, which wrapped up after 22 rounds.
Luny performed Wisin y Yandel’s “Rakata,” Tego Calderon’s “Wasa Wasa,” Plan B’s “Candy” and Héctor el Father’s “Dame Calor.” Nelson repped his recent work with Rosalía and Travis Scott’s 2020 “TKN,” Jay Wheeler and Myke Towers’ 2020 “La Curiosidad” and teased upcoming music from his album “De Camino a Palomino.”
Luny closed the battle with Wisin y Yandel’s “Mayor Que Yo” and Héctor el Father’s “Noche de Travesuras” — “two of reggaeton’s international anthems,” he said.
“Listen, the majority of people think Nelson and I are enemies. The truth is what the diss track was a long time ago, and that’s it. We moved on,” Luny said in a taped recording before the event, referencing the remix of Tego Calderon’s “No Quiero Novio.”
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“The important thing is that we’re both still here,” Luny continued. “Nelson deserves this recognition because he’s one of the ones who grinded to start this genre. Luny Tunes, thanks to him, we got our start and created a new sound and take over. The important thing is that 22 years have passed and we’re still here.”
Verzuz was created by legendary producers Timbaland and Swizz Beatz at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. The series originated as virtual DJ battles but have since featured a wide range of musical styles, including R&B, hip-hop, gospel and dancehall. Some battles include Jeezy and Gucci Mane, R&B queens Ashanti and Keyshia Cole, old-school soul groups Earth, Wind and Fire and The Isley Brothers, 2000s rappers Bow Wow and Soulja Boy and ’90s R&B legends Keith Sweat and Bobby Brown.
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Contributing: Sara Moniuszko