BAD BUNNY: The Living Legend

Stillz photo of Bad Bunny- Via Billboard

Bad Bunny: 1 diamond album ( X 100pre), 2 Platinum albums (Oasis, YHLQMDLG), 11 Latin Billboard Awards, 7 Lo Nuestro Awards, 4 Billboard music awards, 2 Latin Grammy awards, 1 Grammy and Spotify Artist of the year (2020).

In 2020 alone, Bad Bunny’s second album YHLQMDLG (abbreviation of “Yo hago lo que me da la gana,” Spanish for “I Do Whatever I Want.”) debuted at number two on the US Billboard 200 chart. The album went on to earn about 201.4 million on-demand streams in one week, becoming the biggest streaming week ever for a Latin album.

YHLQMDLG also placed 11 album tracks simultaneously on the US Billboard Hot 100; the most for any Latin artist performing only in Spanish.

This was only the first of three albums he dropped in 2020. Two in a half months later, he dropped Las Que No Iban a Salir (Spanish for “The Ones That Were Not Coming Out.”) Bad Bunny marketed the unreleased tracks as tracks that didn’t make the final cut of his first studio album X 100pre and YHLQMDLG.

The album was his third top 10 album on the US Billboard 200 chart in less than a year while simultaneously debuting at number one on the Billboard Top Latin Albums. Las Que No Iban a Salir debuted at number 7 on the US Billboard 200, moving 42,000 equivalent album units, including 46.2 million streams and 8,000 pure album sales.

In that same week, Bad Bunny held the №1, №2, and №3 (With YHLQMDLG and X 100pre) slots of Top Latin Albums. It was the first time that this happened since the passing of the legendary Juan Gabriel.

To top 2020 off, he surprise-released El Último Tour del Mundo (in English, The Last World Tour). His third solo studio album and it became the first LP entirely in Spanish to top the Billboard 200 album chart in the 64-year history of the chart.

In a billboard article by Leila Cobo, she explained how huge an achievement this was for Bad Bunny and the Latin music industry in general.

Cobo wrote, “The bow is a huge win for Bad Bunny, but more so for a Latin music industry that for decades has seen its artists systematically undermined by the mainstream media, and by the industry overall unless they either sing in English or collaborate with a mainstream act who does. The global star, who in the past 24 months has been tearing barriers down one by one — most recently he was crowned Spotify’s most-streamed artist of 2020, the first Latin act to bear that distinction — has shattered one of the final glass ceilings: the misconception that an album only in Spanish couldn’t become №1 on the U.S.-based Billboard 200.”

Bad Bunny’s official YouTube channel has surpassed 15 BILLION views. He’s the 7th Latin artist to reach this milestone. Via @badbunnycharts on twitter.

Now, these accolades show how successful of an artist Bad Bunny is but the main thing that makes him a living legend, in my opinion, is the music.

His greatest attribute as a musician is his ability to have the musical range to reach any emotion in a song. Whether you want music about romance, going through a breakup, partying with your friends, or just looking for some inspiration, Bad Bunny has multiple songs that fit these molds.

For example, these four songs Caro, Si Veo A Tu Mama, Ronca Freestyle, and Haciendo Que Me Amas; each of these four songs come from one of his four solo albums.

“Caro” (“Expensive” when translated in English) is a song from the x 100pre album about being comfortable in your skin and knowing one’s worth as an individual. Realizing that your value isn’t something given to you by society but more so by the work you put into to be where you want to be.

For the second album YHLQMDLG “Si Veo A Tu Mamá” (‘If I See Your Mom’ in English), which at first, as a non-spanish speaker it felt like a happy go lucky song because of its upbeat instrumental and the high vocals Bad Bunny put on it. But when I read the lyrics in English, it’s genuinely about still being in love with someone after the breakup and trying to get over that feeling.

Now the breakup songs bag showcases Bad Bunny at his best, but many people use that against him. Putting him in the box that he by applying that he could only make good music about relationships.

Then in comes my number one example of Bad Bunny the Latin Trap Globe superstar, with his song “Ronca Freestyle” off Las Qua No Iban A Salir. It’s one of those tracks that he jumps out of his humble attitude and spits rhymes about how he’s living a Latin Trap superstar lifestyle. And the instrumental also goes super hard!

The last song I wanted to mention was “HACIENDO QUE ME AMAS” (“Making You Love Me” in English) from EL ULTIMO TOUR DEL MUNDO. I enjoyed this song’s meaning and how his perspective is from a vulnerable state that many don’t speak privately or publicly about when their relationship ends.

The message is that in a healthy break up the connection is gone, but the love will always there. Remembering the happy moments you had with each other is all a part of the breakup process.

These songs are just a glimpse into the artistry of Bad Bunny. The emotions and care he puts into his music is the same passion other musical icons put into their works that gravitated them to legendary status.
That passion flows into the music and the actions an artist takes when not on the mic.

One thing for sure is Bad Bunny loves his island Puerto Rico. When Hurricane Maria devastated that island, he helped out by not only sending aid to those in need but also was very critical towards the lack of humanitarian assistance Puerto Rico received.

Going on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon saying “After one year of the hurricane, there are still people without electricity in their homes. More than 3,000 people died, and Trump’s still in denial.”

In the summer of 2019, he marched with half a million Puerto Ricans in a days-long protests against government corruption and demanding Ricardo Rosselló’s resignation.

Rapper Bad Bunny (holding flag), singer Ricky Martin (black hat) and rapper Residente (blue hat) join demonstrators protesting against Ricardo Rosselló. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)- Via NPR

His activism is also something he expresses in his music as well; A prime example of this would be the song ‘Yo Perreo Sola.’

The song is a blunt message against harassment many women face at parties where they just want to dance alone and safely. Then in the music video Bad Bunny also dresses in drag while showing his support for the Latin American grassroots feminist movement with the phrases “Las Mujeres Mandan” (Women Rule) and “Ni Una Menos” (Not One [Woman] Less) throughout the video.

Those two aspects of the video are critical because it showcases how Bad Bunny understands the power of his status as a global superstar artist and the power of his music.

With this song, Bad Bunny as a cis man challenged the traditional “machismo” Latin trap music scene that, just like Hip-Hop at times, can glorify misogynistic and homophobic actions. Bad Bunny used ‘Yo Perreo Sola’ as a way to call out those actions without a care of the backlash of what people would say about him. Because… Hace lo que quiere (He does what he wants)!

And next year Bad Bunny will finally go on the El Último Tour del Mundo
to celebrate his incredible 2020 run and give those albums their proper touring run. Tickets go on sale today!

aka Scuba Steve. Here to write about everything shifting Hip-Hop culture and BEYOND!

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