Daddy Yankee

Daddy Yankee’s “Que Tire Pa’ ‘Lante” Reaches 1 Billion Views Amid Steely & Clevie Copyright Lawsuit

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Daddy Yankee‘s “Que Tire Pa’ ‘Lante“, one of over 1,800 songs included in a copyright lawsuit by Steely & Clevie against him and more than 160 other Reggaetón artists, producers, and record labels, has surpassed one billion views on YouTube.

Released in 2019 by El Cartel Records and Warner Chappell Music, the song is among 41 tracks by Daddy Yankee accused of using elements from Steely & Clevie’s Fish Market riddim without permission. It also samples Cutty Ranks’ “A Who Seh Me Dun (Wait Deh Man),” which is based on Sly & Robbie’s Bam Bam riddim.

The music video, directed by Marlon Peña, features a neon-lit urban desert setting and global street-dance talent, with cameos from Latin stars like Anuel AA, Bad Bunny, Darell, Natti Natasha, Wisin, and Lennox.

“Que Tire Pa’ ‘Lante” is the eighth time Daddy Yankee has reached a billion YouTube views as a lead singer or collaborator. The lawsuit also includes his songs “Dura” (1.9 billion views), “Shaky Shaky” (1.7 billion), “Con Calma” with Snow (2.8 billion), and his collaboration with Luis Fonsi, “Despacito” (8.4 billion). Other songs like “Limbo,” “Andas En Mi Cabeza” with Chino y Nacho, and “China” featuring Anuel AA, Karol G, Ozuna, and Balvin have also surpassed one billion views but are not included in the lawsuit.

Daddy Yankee has sold over 30 million records throughout his career. His 2004 hit “Gasolina“, another song named in the lawsuit, is credited with popularizing Reggaetón worldwide.

Steely & Clevie Productions filed the lawsuit in 2021 in a California court, claiming Dennis The Menace’s Pounder riddim and Pounder Dub Mix II were early recreations of their 1989 Fish Market riddim, which were later widely copied by Reggaetón artists. Last June, Daddy Yankee’s attorneys sought to dismiss the lawsuit, arguing that Steely & Clevie were trying to monopolize fundamental Reggaetón musical elements and citing technical issues, including a lack of valid copyright registrations for the Pounder Riddim and the Pounder Dub Mix II.

On Tuesday, Judge André Birotte Jr. denied Daddy Yankee’s motion to dismiss the case. He ruled that Steely & Clevie had sufficiently claimed protectability for Fish Market’s drum pattern and compositional interplay, and stated that a jury should decide if the copied portions were significant. Judge Birotte also upheld Steely & Clevie’s standing to sue over derivative Fish Market instrumentals.

In December last year, during his final concert in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Daddy Yankee, whose real name is Ramón Luis Ayala Rodríguez, announced his retirement from the music industry to focus on his Christian faith. He told the audience that he realized “living a successful life is not the same as living a purposeful life.”