“Gasolina” by Daddy Yankee (ft. Glory)
For whatever reason, a number of conspiracy theories evolved and gained traction concerning the meaning of Daddy Yankee’s “Gasolina”. But there doesn’t really seem to be anything subliminal about it, with Daddy Yankee himself describing this as “the most innocent song (he’s) ever written”.
The various interpretations offered revolve largely around the song’s title, which literally translates from Spanish to “gasoline”. So when we convert the lyrics to English for instance, the main line of the hook translates to ‘she likes gasoline’.
Now the term gasoline of course, as generally understood, refers to the fuel we use to power our cars. But those in the know, i.e. residents of Daddy Yankee’s native Puerto Rico, would also recognize it, when used in the context it is in this song, as pointing to the idea of going out and partying.
So how the aforementioned line would rather be interpreted by a native Puerto Rican, instead of literally ‘she likes gasoline’, is as ‘she likes to go out and party’.
“Gasoline” is a love song
So with that in mind, what we have here is a case of a classic love song. The primary sentiment being relayed is really that the vocalist is smitten by the addressee. And he seems to mention other aspects of her personality that he also appreciates, such as her high level of authority/confidence and by all means, this being a reggaeton track, her exceptional beauty.
But her primary characteristic is that she loves being out in public and enjoying herself, never missing an ample opportunity to do so. Indeed she is so dedicated to this cause that even if the subject were walking over to the next street, she would dress nicely before doing so.
When was “Gasolina” released?
This reggaeton song was released in 2004 as the lead single of the Puerto Rican’s third studio album, “Barrio Fino”. The album was released in July of the same year.
Apart from “Gasolina”, three other singles, namely:
- “No Me Dejes Solo”
- “Lo Que Pasó, Pasó”
- “Like You”
With international sales of over 5 million copies, the album helped catapult Daddy onto international limelight.
“Barrio Fino” won many accolades including an award for “Best Urban Music Album” at the Latin Grammy Awards in 2005. It was also awarded “Latin Album of the Year” at the Billboard Music Awards in December of 2005.
The song was written by Yankee and fellow Puerto Rican hip hop artist, Eddie Ávila. The “Señor Official” hit maker is regarded as one of the most successful reggaeton artists. The pair had earlier in the year worked together on “12 Discípulos”. “12 Discípulos” is an album which will later on be considered as one of the most successful reggaeton albums of all time. It featured ten other reggaeton artists.
“Gasolina” was produced by Luny Tunes, a duo, Francisco Saldaña and Víctor Cabrera known in the showbiz circles as Luny and Tunes respectively. The duo has been credited with the production of some of the most successful reggaeton songs. One such song is “Rakata” by Wisin & Yandel.
“Gasolina” earned a nomination for “Record of the Year” at the Latin Grammy Awards in 2005. On the awards night, “Tu No Tienes Alma” by Alejandro Sanz emerged winner. Other contenders for the said award included:
- “Malo” by Bebe
- “Amor del Bueno” by Reyli
- “Duele el Amor” by Aleks Syntek ft. Ana Torroja
The song got the number nine spot on Billboard’s 2015 list of “50 Greatest Latin Songs of All Time”. Rolling Stone further placed it at an impressive number 50 of its 2021 list of “500 Greatest Songs of All Time”.
“Gasolina” also appeared in Rolling Stone‘s list of the greatest songs of the century.
Chart-wise, “Gasolina” made performed very well in many countries around the world. It peaked at number 9 in Australia. In Italy, it reached number 2. On Norway’s official singles chart, it hit number 4. Below is how it fared in a few other countries:
- US – 32
- UK – 5
- Switzerland – 5
- Ireland – 5
- Greece – 2
- Germany – 7
- Denmark – 2
Popular Covers of “Gasolina”
Quite a number of artists have their own renditions of the song. Notable amongst them are:
- Papa A.P. (2005)
- La Fabrica (2005)
- Danny Ray (Saifam) (2005)
- C4bal (2006)
- La Banda Del Diablo (2005)
Dennis Dugan’s sports comedy film, “The Benchwarmers” of 2006 featured this song. It was also featured in “Sivaji: The Boss”. This is an Indian-Tamil action film released in 2007.