meta-script"From Puerto Rico To The World": 5 Moments From Bad Bunny's Historic Yankee Stadium Show |
"From Puerto Rico To The World": 5 Moments From Bad Bunny's Historic Yankee Stadium Show
Bad Bunny performs at Yankee Stadium on Aug.28 in New York City.

Photo : Noam Galai/Getty Images for MTV/Paramount Global


"From Puerto Rico To The World": 5 Moments From Bad Bunny's Historic Yankee Stadium Show

It’s the era of the Bunny and we're all living in it. For two consecutive nights, the Puerto Rican superstar brought the "World’s Hottest Tour" to NYC, with guests Romeo Santos, Chencho Corleone, Jowell & Randy, the Marías, Arcángel, and Tony Dize.

GRAMMYs/Aug 29, 2022 - 02:13 pm

It’s bewildering when you know you’re in the presence of history in the making. That’s the kind of energy that Bad Bunny brought to Yankee Stadium during the weekend of Aug. 27 and 28.

More than 50,000 people attended the two consecutive performances, and the GRAMMY and Latin GRAMMY-winning artist testified his unmatched star power tenfold with equal parts grit and charisma. On Sunday, he even took home a MTV Video Music Award for Artist of the Year from the Bronx stage — the first Spanish-language artist to win that category in the award's 37-year existence. "Since day one, I always knew that one day I could be the biggest star in the world without having to change my culture, my language, my genre. I am Benito Antonio Martínez Ocasio, from Puerto Rico to the world," he said in Spanish.  

Although this was my fifth time seeing the star live (yes, I’m a huge fan, like nearly everyone else), it hit differently this time as Benito has skyrocketed to unfathomable heights in the last few years. With his utterly impressive hit-making, chart-topping and record-breaking streak, it’s unarguable that El Conejo Malo’s astronomical ascent is the stuff of legends. It’s the era of the Bunny and we are all living in it.

He is a modern musical shapeshifter who is fervently beloved by the masses — and that love was on full display at the historic stadium and beyond. The D train commute transported elated crowds shouting his songs, while sound systems blared his hits, and countless people sported bunny ears. It truly was a monumental occasion for anyone in attendance, especially considering that the city has the largest population of Puerto Ricans in the country outside of P.R. itself. 

Here are five times Bad Bunny’s World Hottest Tour performance at Yankee Stadium testified he is a riveting artist for the ages. 

Nearly Every Song He Performed Is A No. 1 Single

The year isn’t over yet, but Bad Bunny’s Un Verano Sin Ti is on its path to becoming the biggest album of 2022. It’s the second all-Spanish-language album to peak the Billboard Global 200 chart — the first being his own El Último Tour del Mundo from 2020. With a staggering seven No. 1 singles on his fourth solo release and counting — and loads of memorable bangers throughout his six-year career — fans were treated to an evening of non-stop thrills and chills. 

The moment Bad Bunny stepped foot on stage, and the captivating notes to "Moscow Mule" began to play, concert-goers visibly lost their minds. He was armed with an arsenal of hit after hit after hit: the whirling "Dakiti," the feelgood party-starter "Estamos Bien," the wildly viral "Me Porto Bonito," Cardi B’s salsa-trap number "I Like It," the Latin GRAMMY-nominated "Vete," and the beat goes on.

But who in the world could have imagined a sold-out Yankees Stadium mass singing in unison: "¡Shorty tiene un culo bien grande!" (Or "Shorty has a big butt!," lyrics to "Yonaguni")? 

He Invited An All-Star Lineup Of Legendary Guests 

Reggaeton trailblazer Chencho Corleone is experiencing a fruitful second wave of fame, but this time it’s on a global scale. Fresh from performing at Mexico’s Baja Beach Fest the previous weekend, the Plan B alum made his way to the East Coast to revel in Nueva Yol pride — and Corleone did not disappoint. When his high-pitched, dancehall-tinged lilt comes in on the earworm-y "Me Porto Bonito" verse, the vibe got undeniably littier, inspiring perreo moves throughout the stadium.   

Genre veterans Jowell & Randy brought serious heat too, especially when the wickedly hard-hitting beats to "Safarea" began to play. The Puerto Rican pair co-led the way to some nasty old school reggaeton, and the crowd absolutely loved it. They even played a few of their own hits from 2020’s Bad Bunny-produced Viva El Perreo, including "Se Acabó la Cuarentena." "¿Dónde están los que hacen lo que les dé la gana?," Bad Bunny shouted at some point, or "where are those who do whatever they want?," a reference to YHLQMDLG.

Arcángel also made a striking appearance during Bad Bunny’s Latin trap segment — which included the risky "La Ocasión" and "Me Acostumbré" — and provided his signature nimble vocal delivery. Then the Marías front crooner María Zardoya showed up to sing the soulful "Otro Atardecer" off Bunny’s new album. Seasoned reggaetonero Tony Dize also popped up to join the on stage party. 

Romeo Santos' Performance Was Both Epic And Humbling 

The moment that the Bachata King stepped foot on stage, the hordes of ecstatic, wholly surprised people collectively knew that this was another one for the books. Romeo Santos’ presence was a sight to behold, and he stood in awe to hear the roaring crowd. Clad in all white and a touch of lime green, the Aventura frontman shouted "Puerto Rico! Republica Dominicana!" and kicked off with the insatiable "Volví." 

Last August, Aventura featuring Bad Bunny released the sprightly banger which earned the bachata group their first No. 1 song in over a decade, and it felt timeless as two of the hottest superstars on the planet performed it side by side, followed by a hug of mutual respect. 

Santos’ return to Yankee Stadium was also noteworthy considering that the Bronx native has a large, local and fervid fanbase. (He sold out Yankee Stadium in 2014.) The Puerto Rican-Dominican artist sang his own hit, the slinky "Propuesta Indecente" a capella, but when the two icons busted out Don Omar’s "Ella Y Yo," with Bad Bunny singing Omar’s parts, all hell broke loose. "¡El rey de la bachata!," Bad Bunny shouted, as the King made his exit with guns blazing. 

His Uplifting Tropical Vibes Are Far-Reaching

Bad Bunny has influenced city dwellers around the world to bask in a summer groove — regardless of season and well beyond the tropical archipelago. That optimistic energy was alive and well this weekend as diverse crowds of Mexican, Dominican, Puerto Rican, Colombian and other New Yorkers repped their native countries on the train to Yankee Stadium. 

Many not only sported beachy attire, but they channeled a joyous attitude accompanied when one goes on vacation, and Un Verano Sin Ti captures that contagious carefree spirit — a stark contrast from his previous apocalyptic-themed El Último Tour del Mundo. It’s a feeling we so dreadfully missed during the pandemic, and Bad Bunny was a ray of sunshine beaming through, warming up our hearts and lighting up our spirits.

His Embrace Of Latinx Culture Is Transcendental 

Aside from delivering one of the most exhilarating performances I’ve had the honor of attending, Latinx pride and culture was at full throttle. New York City has a long history of nurturing the Latinx community and was one of the first major U.S. cities that embraced Bad Bunny when he emerged in 2017. He paid that respect back in multiple ways — songs by legendary New York’s salsa crew Fania All-Stars also resonated throughout the venue prior to his entrance. Ray Barretto, Héctor Lavoe, and Willie Colón tunes were a welcoming reprise, but so were the multitude of crowds waving their own flags with pridefulness. 

Bad Bunny shed a spotlight on traditional genres like Dominican dembow, Puerto Rican salsa, merengue, and other Caribbean rhythms alongside contemporary urbano beats, setting the mood for Latinx solidarity. Near the end of his concert, his backup dancers also lofted a Puerto Rican flag with the words "Está bien cabrón" (or "Is the shit") written on it, which was followed by a deafening roar from the audience. It was in fact the first time the legendary Yankee Stadium housed a reggaeton-heavy showcase of this caliber. When you consider that only a few years ago the Boricua star worked at a local grocery store, it makes his impressive feat even more magnificent.

For a borough like the Bronx, which is heavily populated by the Latinx diaspora, having a Puerto Rican performer reign over the Yankee Stadium for a weekend marked a triumphant moment. When Spanish-language music was often overlooked by mainstream American media just a decade ago, Bad Bunny’s success is our success. And his music has transcended as a way to celebrate Latinidad.

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On New Album 'Sentimiento, Elegancia y Más Maldad,' Arcángel Proves He's One Of Reggaetón’s Wittiest Innovators

Photo: Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images


On New Album 'Sentimiento, Elegancia y Más Maldad,' Arcángel Proves He's One Of Reggaetón’s Wittiest Innovators

"You become dexterous at building a reality with words," the reggaetón star says of his inventive flow. Those skills are on full display on Arcángel's brand new album, 'Sentimiento, Elegancia y Más Maldad.'

GRAMMYs/Nov 17, 2023 - 08:19 pm

Earlier this year, rapper and reggaetón star Arcángel collaborated with Bizarrap on one of the Argentine producer’s infamous sessions. A huge global hit, the track  — "Bzrp Music Sessions, Vol. 54" — reminded us all of Arcángel’s devilish sense of humor and the brilliant specificity of his flow: languid, sweetly melodic, loaded with inventive wordplay.

At 37, Austin Agustín Santos is a revered veteran of the urbano genre. Born in New York City, he eventually moved to Puerto Rico and experienced his first brush with fame as part of the reggaetón duo Arcángel & De la Ghetto. His first solo effort, 2008’s El Fenómeno, included the smash "Pa’Que La Pases Bien," heralding his affinity for cutting-edge EDM soundscapes. 

Arcángel never lost his Midas touch for generating memorable songs. Last year’s Sr. Santos included "La Jumpa," a kinetic duet with Bad Bunny, and the slick majesty of "PortoBello." Released Nov. 17, his new album, Sentimiento, Elegancia y Más Maldad, boasts high-profile collaborations with Peso Pluma (lead single "La Chamba"), Rauw Alejandro (the EDM-heavy “FP”), Grupo Frontera, Spanish rapper Quevedo, and Feid, among others.

At the 2023 Latin GRAMMYs, Arcángel's "La Jumpa" received nods in the Best Urban Fusion/Performance and Best Urban Song categories; his Bizarrap session and their collaboration, "Bottas" were submitted were submitted as part of BZRP's Producer Of The Year nomination package.

Ahead of the release of his new album, Arcángel spoke with about his sophisticated rhymes, the trappings of fame, and the occasional bouts of self-doubt.

The rhymes on your Bizarrap session reference the Tower of Pisa, the shields of the gladiators in the Roman empire, Argentine soccer and luxury cars. How do you come up with this stuff?

It’s something that I’ve been developing since I was a kid. Here in Puerto Rico, we’re big fans of what we call palabreo (non-stop talk.) It’s also my Dominican blood, because people in the Dominican Republic are always making up things. 

When I was growing up, my mother fostered a love for reading in me, so I have a lot of information in my head that I can draw from. For instance, no one had referenced the Tower of Pisa in reggaetón before. I’d say a good 80 percent of reggaetoneros may not even know what the Tower of Pisa is. My mother worked hard so that I could get a good education.

Would you say the uniqueness of your style stems from those early years?

I grew up in a highly competitive environment. In the barrio, it was normal for us to improvise and mock each other in a friendly way. If you showed up with dirty sneakers, someone would rap about it. With so many years of practicing, it became a skill. There was a time when I wouldn’t come up to the barrio if I wasn’t well dressed, because I knew what I had to face. 

You become dexterous at building a reality with words — like an architect. I like everything to make sense in my rhymes. I become obsessive about it. The words don’t necessarily have to rhyme — as long as they have flow, style, and they make sense.

On the video of the Bizarrap session, we also get to witness your hilarious sense of humor. How did that part of your artistic identity develop?

I was raised in an environment marked by poverty, but there was also a lot of joy. We had nothing except for each other. Incredibly, I was happier then. I grew up feeling comfortable in uncomfortable situations, and that’s where my sense of humor comes from. I saw my Mom working two or three jobs so that she could put some food on the table. The only recourse I had to escape that reality was to make jokes and try to have a good time. 

When fortune and fame arrived, they provided a better lifestyle. But they also took away many things that I now miss — things that will never come back.

The last two albums contain some of your best material yet. Would it be fair to say that you’re enjoying a creative high?

The process of making music has become extremely hard for me during the past couple of years. I’m experiencing great success, but it also works as a kind of emotional torture, because my mental health is not the best. My own mind is the most formidable rival. I’m overwhelmed by the fear of not fulfilling the expectations that my fans may have. I’ve felt self-doubt, something that is entirely new to me. 

With all the experience I’ve amassed, I’m now at my most vulnerable. The act of creating felt so easy to me. Now, when the muse departs, it’s difficult to bring her back. Also, I’ve always preferred quality over quantity. Some of my peers are releasing three albums per year. I need to do some living in order to write new songs.

On the new album, the track with Rauw Alejandro (“FP”) is incredibly lush, seeped in atmosphere and EDM texture.

I sing about love because I’m a romantic. And I sing about partying because I definitely did a lot of that — too much, perhaps. [Laughs.] I used to be the kind of person who couldn’t stay home more than three hours. I harbor fond memories of that time — spending days away from home, the ambiance of it all, having a great time. 

When I write songs, I can definitely convince people that I’ve enjoyed all of that. In reality, these days I’m even a bit boring when it comes to partying.

2023 Latin GRAMMYs: See The Complete Nominations List

10 Facts About Latin Music At The GRAMMYs: History-Making Wins, New Categories & More
Aida Cuevas, Natalia Lafourcade and Ángela Aguilar perform during the 2019 GRAMMYs

Photo: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic


10 Facts About Latin Music At The GRAMMYs: History-Making Wins, New Categories & More

For decades, Latin music has been an indispensable part of the GRAMMYs landscape. Ahead of the 2024 GRAMMYs nominations, here are some milestones in Latin music at Music’s Biggest Night.

GRAMMYs/Oct 18, 2023 - 03:42 pm

The 2024 GRAMMY nominations are right around the corner — and as always, inspired Latin musical offerings will lie within the heart of the list.

While the Recording Academy’s sister academy, the Latin Recording Academy, naturally honors this world most comprehensively, it plays a crucial role in the GRAMMYs landscape just as in that of the Latin GRAMMYs — and there’s been crossover time and time again!

On Nov. 10, the world will behold nominations in all categories — including several within the Latin, Global, African, Reggae & New Age, Ambient, or Chant field. Within the world of Latin music, the awards are: Best Latin Pop Album, Best Música Urbana Album, Best Latin Rock or Alternative Album, Best Música Mexicana Album (Including Tejano), and Best Tropical Latin Album. The Recording Academy also offers a GRAMMY Award for Best Latin Jazz album, though that award is a part of a different field. 

Like the Recording Academy and GRAMMYs themselves, these categories have evolved over the years. Along the way, various Latin music luminaries have forged milestones in Academy history.

Ahead of the 2024 GRAMMYs nominations, here are some key facts to know about Latin music’s history at the GRAMMYs.

The First Award For Latin Music At The GRAMMYs Was Given In 1975

The first winner for Best Latin Recording was pianist and composer Eddie Palmieri, for 1974’s The Sun of Latin Music. Now an eight-time GRAMMY winner, Palmieri took home the golden gramophone in this category at both the 1976 GRAMMYs and the following year for Unfinished Masterpiece.

At the 1980 GRAMMYs, the first group winner was the thrice nominated Afro-Cuban jazz band Irakere, for their 1978 self-titled debut.

Percussionist Mongo Santamaria holds the record for the most nominations within the Best Latin Recording category.

The Sound Of Latin Pop — And The Title Of The Award — Has Shifted Over 40 Years  

Back in 1983, this category was called Best Latin Pop Performance. The first winner was José Feliciano, who took home the golden gramophone for his album Me Enamoré at the 26th GRAMMY Awards.

Best Latin Pop Performance eventually pivoted to Best Latin Pop Album and Best Latin Pop or Urban Album, then back to Best Latin Pop Album — just another example of how the Academy continually strives for precision and inclusion in its categories.

As for most wins, it’s a tie between Feliciano and Alejandro Sanz, at four. Feliciano also holds the distinction of having two consecutive wins, at the 1990 and 1991 GRAMMYs.

The Best Latin Urban Album Category Was Introduced In 2007

The first winner in this category was the urban hip-hop outfit Calle 13, for their 2007 album Residente o Visitante.

The first female nominee was Vanessa Bañuelos, a member of the Latin rap trio La Sinfonia, who were nominated for Best Latin Urban Album for their 2008 self-titled album at the 2009 GRAMMYs.

Here’s Who Dominated The Best Norteño Album Category

The first GRAMMY winner in the Best Norteño Album category was Los Tigres Del Norte, for their 2006 album Historias Que Contar, at the 2007 GRAMMYs. To date, they have landed four consecutive wins — at the 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010 GRAMMYs.

The Intersection Between Latin, Rock & Alternative Has Shifted

Best Latin Rock Or Alternative Album; Best Latin Rock, Alternative Or Urban Album; Best Latin Rock/Alternative Performance… so on and so forth.

If that’s a mouthful, again, that shows how the Academy continually hones in on a musical sphere for inclusion and accuracy’s sake.

Within this shifting category, the first winner was Los Fabulosos Cadillacs, who won Best Latin Rock/Alternative Performance for 1997’s Fabulosos Calavera at the 1998 GRAMMYs.

At the 2016 GRAMMYs, there was a tie for the golden gramophone for Best Latin Rock, Urban Or Alternative Album, between Natalia Lafourcade and Pitbull. Overall, the most wins underneath this umbrella go to Maná, with a total of three.

These Artists Made History In Tropical Latin Categories

Over the years, this component of Latin music has been honored with GRAMMYs for Best Traditional Tropical Latin Performance, Best Traditional Tropical Latin Album, Best Tropical Latin Performance, and Best Tropical Latin Album.

The first winner of a GRAMMY for Best Tropical Latin Performance was Tito Puente & His Latin Ensemble, for "On Broadway," from the 1983 album of the same name.

Under the same category, the first female winner was Celia Cruz, for "Ritmo En El Corazón." Overall, Rubén Blades has taken home the most GRAMMYs under this umbrella, with a total of six.

This Was The First Latin Artist To Win Album Of The Year

Ten-time GRAMMY winner and 14-time nominee Carlos Santana holds this distinction for 1999’s "Supernatural," at the 2000 GRAMMYs.

This Was The First Spanish-Language Album To Be Nominated For Album Of The Year

That would be Bad Bunny’s Un Verano Sin Ti, at the 2023 GRAMMYs; Bad Bunny also performed at the ceremony, but Harry Styles ended up taking home that golden gramophone.

Ditto Música Mexicana — Formerly Known As Best Regional Mexican Music Album

Música mexicana — a broad descriptor of regional sounds, including Tejano — is having a moment in recent years, which points to the incredibly rich GRAMMYs legacy of these musical worlds.

The first winner for Best Mexican-American Performance was Los Lobos, for 1983’s "Anselma." For Best Regional Mexican or Tejano Album, that was Pepe Aguilar, for 2010’s "Bicentenario."

The Inaugural Trophy For Best Música Urbana Album Went To…

The one and only Bad Bunny, for 2020’s El Último Tour Del Mundo. He took home the golden gramophone again at the 2023 GRAMMYs for Un Verano Sin Ti

Keep checking back as more information comes out about the 2024 GRAMMYs — and how the Recording Academy will honor and elevate Latin genres once again!

What's Next For Latin Music? A Roundtable Discussion About Reggaetón, Indie Acts, Regional Sounds & More

The Sonic And Cultural Evolution Of Reggaeton In 10 Songs
Bad Bunny performs during the 65th GRAMMY Awards

Photo: Timothy Norris/FilmMagic


The Sonic And Cultural Evolution Of Reggaeton In 10 Songs

Reggaeton is now firmly in the mainstream, with stars like Bad Bunny and Karol G topping charts with consecutive hits. But the genre has had a complex history and development over decades; read on for 10 songs that track reggateon's evolution.

GRAMMYs/Oct 17, 2023 - 01:41 pm

Once a marginalized genre associated with lewdness and criminality — much like the genres from which it draws so much influence, dancehall and hip-hop —  reggaeton is now firmly in the mainstream. While dominant across Latin America in the new millennium, reggaeton has made huge inroads with English-speaking audiences in the past decade, particularly with crossover hits like "Bailando," "Despacito," and numerous Bad Bunny songs from the past three years.

Although many associate reggaeton with Puerto Rico, the roots of the genre can be found in Panama, with artists like El General and Nando Boom taking Jamaican dancehall riddims — like dembow, first introduced in the Shabba Ranks song of the same name — and rapping in Spanish over them in the early 1990s. In Puerto Rico, early reggaeton was called "underground," and gained popularity in the mid-1990s through mixtapes put out by DJs like Playero and Negro, who utilized hip-hop techniques to alter the dancehall riddims as an instrumental track for local rappers and singers like Daddy Yankee.

Reggaeton has long been a male-dominated genre (with Ivy Queen being the main exception to the rule), but in recent years female singers have become more prominent. Colombian singer Karol G, for example, is currently one of the genre’s biggest stars, and Spanish singer Rosalía pivoted to reggaeton for her 2022 album Motomami, which won a Latin GRAMMY for Album Of The Year. 

Colombian artists have also been making their way to the top of the reggaeton charts in recent years — alongside Karol G, there’s J Balvin and Maluma — although Puerto Rican artists still dominate the genre, with current stars like Rauw Alejandro and Anuel AA.

Reggaeton will only continue to evolve and develop; read on for 10 songs that represent the sonic and cultural evolution of the genre in the past three decades.

El General - "Tu Pum Pum" (1990)

Years before the term reggaeton was invented, Panamanian rapper El General (Edgardo Franco) was the first artist to gain recognition recording reggae en español. Given the history of West Indian immigration to Panama to build the Canal, it’s not surprising that the story of reggaeton begins there. This proto-reggaeton style emulated Jamaican dancehall much more closely than later styles would. El General and his friends got started by taking Jamaican riddims like the genre-defining dembow and rapping in Spanish over them; they used to board buses in Panama City and perform for fellow riders. El General was known as a skilled improvisor.

He moved to New York to study in the late 1980s, and hooked up with fellow Panamanian and producer Michael Ellis, who is said to have invented the term "reggaeton." El General’s first hit, "Tu Pun Pun" is a Spanish-language version of Jamaican dancehall artist Little Lenny’s 1990 song "Punnany Tegereg" that’s quite faithful musically to the original. 

The title of the song is slang for female genitals, and the lyrics chronicle El General’s sexual prowess in graphic detail. Its chorus chants, "Your pum pum, baby baby, won’t kill (tame) me." The song became a hit in the U.S. and El General went on to have a successful, albeit brief, career. 

Tego Calderón - "Pa’ Que Retozen" (2003)

One of the biggest tracks on Tego Calderón’s debut album, El Abayarde, "Pa’ Que Retozen" was a party anthem and one of the first reggaeton hits in the U.S. It represents the culmination of many musical shifts that took place during the 1990s in Puerto Rico. By the mid-1990s, the dembow riddim began to dominate the Puerto Rican underground scene. As the millennium approached, DJs and producers began to incorporate elements of Latin popular music genres as well.

"Pa’ Que Retozen" is a good example of this trend, as bachata-style guitar riffs play underneath Calderón’s rapping. The background track switches up several times in this song, including an incredibly catchy, high-pitched synth riff heard in the second verse. Other tracks on El Abayarde also incorporate Latin genres and instruments — like bongó drums on "Abayarde," Afro-Puerto Rican bomba percussion on "Loíza," and a full salsa orchestra and vocals on "Planté Bandera."

Ivy Queen - "Quiero Bailar" (2002)

Known as the "Queen of Reggaeton," Ivy Queen was the only prominent female reggaeton artist for nearly two decades. She released two albums in the late 1990s, but it was her third album, Diva, in 2003, that really broke through. Ivy Queen intentionally wrote from a female perspective, as she had come up in a male-dominated scene in San Juan where women were constantly being objectified.

With her deep, throaty vocal tone, Ivy Queen proclaims on "Quiero Bailar" that although she wants to dance — even in the sexualized perreo style that had become synonymous with reggaeton — that doesn’t necessarily mean she wants to have sex with her dance partner. The song is still an important anthem for women who want to feel free to bump and grind and express themselves on the dancefloor without men expecting a sexual encounter. 

Don Omar - "Dile" (2003)

Three of the genre’s most influential artists exploded on the scene at roughly the same time: Calderón, Daddy Yankee and Don Omar, with the latter two involved in a rivalry for the title of "King of Reggaeton." However, Don Omar always stood out among the three for the lyricism of his voice — he was a more gifted singer than many of his peers.

His debut album, The Last Don, is considered to be a classic, utilizing a similar approach as Calderón of injecting more melodic Latin styles, like bachata and salsa, into his music. The Dominican production team Luny Tunes, who was instrumental in expanding the sound of reggaeton and distinguishing it further from its Jamaican roots,  produced about half the album’s tracks.

Like "Pa’ Que Retozen," Don Omar’s first major single, "Dile" relies heavily on a bachata guitar line, but his vocal style is quite different from the deep, resonant rapping of Calderón. The combination of Don Omar’s tenor voice with the melodic instrumentals of "Dile" makes for a very aesthetically pleasing, yet danceable song. In addition, he interpolates a salsa song, Joe Arroyo’s "La Noche," into a bridge-like section in the middle of "Dile." 

The subject matter is also more emotional than many reggaeton songs had been up to this point, as he’s pleading with a woman to tell her boyfriend that she wants to be with someone else (Don Omar).  

 Daddy Yankee - "Gasolina" (2004)

The first reggaeton song to be nominated for Record Of The Year at the Latin GRAMMYs, "Gasolina" still stands as the genre’s most iconic and recognizable song. The song catapulted not only Daddy Yankee into the mainstream, but also the genre itself. It appeared on Daddy Yankee’s third studio album, Barrio Fino, which broke numerous records and won many awards.

Barrio Fino took a broad approach, which proved incredibly successful. Many of the album’s tracks were produced by Luny Tunes, including its two biggest hits, "Gasolina" and "Lo Que Pasó, Pasó." The album also features a salsa-reggaeton fusion and an R&B-inflected rap song that sounds like it could have been recorded by Big Pun.

As for the concept behind "Gasolina," Daddy Yankee was living in a San Juan housing project with his family, where he often heard people on the street shouting, "iComo le gusta las gasolina!" ("How she likes gasoline!"), referring to women who accept rides from men with nice cars. He took that phrase and ran with it, creating the famous hook "A mí me gusta la gasolina, dame más gasolina" ("I like gasoline, give me more gasoline"). A decade later he laughed at the idea that the term "gasolina" referred to drugs — as many people assumed — claiming that he used it literally, to refer to cars

"Oye Mi Canto" - N.O.R.E., feat. Nina Sky, Gem Star, Daddy Yankee, and Big Mato

Reggaeton exploded in popularity in the mid-aughts, which explains why there are so many classic songs from that time period. "Oye Mi Canto" was the first collaboration between an American rapper (N.O.R.E.) and reggaeton artists, and included verses in English and Spanish.

The song originally featured Tego Calderón but Daddy Yankee replaced him in the video. It also signaled an acceptance of reggaeton by New York hip hop artists — Fat Joe also appears in the video. It peaked at No. 12 on the Billboard Top 100, a first for a reggaeton song.

The song utilizes a common feature of commercial hip hop at the time, a catchy R&B hook sung by a female vocalist, Nina Sky. The hook borrows from and adapts the recognizable chorus "Boricua, morena, Boricua, morena," which was heard on Big Pun’s massive 1998 hit "Still Not A Player," but extends it to include other Latino ethnicities beyond "Boricua" (Puerto Rican).

Calle 13 -"Atrévete-te-te" (2005)

Hardly a traditional reggaeton group, Calle 13 nonetheless created one of the genre’s most popular, beloved songs in 2005 with their irreverent hit "Atrévete-te-te." Rapper Residente and instrumentalist/producer Visitante, step-brothers, founded the group in 2004, and gained fame with a song about the FBI killing of Puerto Rican independence leader Filiberto Ojeda Ríos called "Querido FBI."

Residente is the most politically outspoken rapper within reggaeton, a genre the two musicians have tended to distance themselves from, preferring not to be labeled. The group’s music has always been eclectic, using live instrumentation and unusual timbres. These elements undoubtedly relate to the fact that Visitante plays dozens of instruments. The brothers still hold the record for most Latin GRAMMY Awards in history, a whopping 27 each!

"Atrévete-te-te" is an infectious cumbia-reggaeton hybrid featuring an unforgettable high-register clarinet. Residente’s lyrics are raunchy, witty, and replete with American pop culture references and anglicisms. He dares a "Miss Intellectual" to get down off her culturally elitist high horse and let loose: "I know you like Latin pop rock, but reggaeton gets into your intestines, under your skirt like a submarine, and brings out your ‘Taino’ (indigenous people native to Puerto Rico)." He reinforces his point later, singing, "Who cares if you like Green Day? Who cares if you like Coldplay?"

"Bailando" - Enrique Iglesias feat.Descemer Bueno and Gente de Zona (2014)

In the 2010s reggaeton’s popularity continued to grow, and "Bailando" was one of the songs that significantly raised the genre’s visibility among English-language audiences. Nonetheless, Spanish pop singer Enrique Iglesias originally didn’t like the song.

"Bailando" was written and recorded by Cuban singer/songwriter Descemer Bueno and Cuban reggaeton duo Gente de Zona, who had become one of the island’s biggest musical groups. When Iglesias heard Bueno’s recording, he changed his mind and they added his vocals. 

Garnering many awards, and winning Song of the Year at the 2014 Latin GRAMMYs, "Bailando" was flamenco-infused reggaeton designed for mass appeal. It follows a traditional pop song format, with Iglesias singing the verses and trading off with Gente de Zona and Bueno in the extended chorus sections. The lyrics are standard love song fare, and don’t include any of the rapped vocals or Cuban slang that had made Gente de Zona so popular in Cuba. Nonetheless, it peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and spent a record-breaking 41 weeks at the top of the U.S. Latin charts. 

"Despacito" - Luis Fonsi featuring Daddy Yankee, with a remix feat. Justin Bieber (2017)

Love it or hate it, it’s impossible to ignore the cultural impact of "Despacito." It was already a huge hit in its original version, by Puerto Rican singer Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee. But when Justin Bieber called Fonsi up to inquire about doing a remix, it became 2017’s song of the summer.

Like "Bailando," the original version was already as much Latin pop as it was reggaeton, and although Daddy Yankee has some rapped vocals in the second verse, he’s mainly singing as well. The producers decided to use a Puerto Rican cuatro, which opens the song, in addition to an acoustic guitar in order to give the song a more local feel. One unique element was the insertion of a rhythmic break right before the chorus "Despacito" (which translates to "slowly") comes in. The way Fonsi breaks up the three syllables in the title word, taking his time with them, is a nice touch.

The Justin Bieber remix was released three months later, and maintained the song’s original rhythms and Daddy Yankee’s verses. An English verse was added for Bieber at the beginning of the song, and he sang the "Despacito" choruses in Spanish — the first time he’d ever sung in Spanish. It quickly rose to No. 1 on the Hot 100 charts, which gave Fonsi and Daddy Yankee their first No. 1 hit. It stayed at the top of the charts for 16 weeks, tying with "One Sweet Day," by Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men, and remained the longest-leading No. 1 single until 2019. "Despacito" also won Song and Record Of The Year at the Latin GRAMMYs.  

"Titi Me Preguntó" - Bad Bunny (2022)

Bad Bunny is not only the most prominent artist in contemporary reggaeton — he was the biggest artist in the world in 2022. It’s impossible to list all of the accolades Benito Antonio Martínez Ocasio has attained in his short career, but here are a few: His latest, Un Verano Sin Tí, was the first Spanish-language one to be nominated for Album Of The Year at the 2023 GRAMMYs, he's been Spotify's most streamed artist in the world for three straight years.

Un Verano Sin Tí was a masterful achievement, showcasing a wide variety of contemporary Latin music beyond reggaeton, including Dominican dembow and mambo, bachata, electro-cumbia, and even indie rock — all anchored by Bad Bunny’s emo vocal style. The album is a celebration of Spanish Caribbean identity, paying homage as much to Dominican as to Puerto Rican music.

"Titi Me Preguntó" is not only one of the album’s biggest hits, but also one of its most complex tracks, featuring several discrete sections. It begins with a bachata guitar intro, followed by Bad Bunny’s rapped vocals accompanied by a sparse backbeat. His aunt is asking why he goes out with so many girls and won’t settle down. The body of the song speeds way up, keeping a sparse accompaniment, as Bad Bunny lists the names and cities of different girlfriends. 

But there’s an interesting shift at the 2:15 mark, where the bachata guitar returns and we hear a woman’s voice admonishing him for being an f-boi. It’s followed by anguished Bad Bunny vocals singing, "I’d like to fall in love but I can’t." The music changes back to the sparse backbeat accompaniment when he sings: "I don’t even trust myself," and notes how many women say they want to have his first-born child. The singing returns, as a spooky electronica melody is added into the background mix: "Listen to your friend, I’ll only break your heart…I don’t know why I’m like this." 

This is a man struggling with interpersonal demons, and this vulnerable masculinity (and his past refusal to conform to rigid gender norms) is precisely why Bad Bunny is so beloved by his female fans.  

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5 Takeaways From Bad Bunny's New Album 'Nadie Sabe Lo Que Va a Pasar Mañana'
Bad Bunny performs during Coachella 2023

Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Coachella


5 Takeaways From Bad Bunny's New Album 'Nadie Sabe Lo Que Va a Pasar Mañana'

Bad Bunny is clearly on a new level. On his new album 'Nadie Sabe Lo Que Va a Pasar Mañana,' released Oct. 13, Benito declares that he's in his prime and is not slowing down when it comes to experimentation, vulnerability or big-name collaborators.

GRAMMYs/Oct 13, 2023 - 08:02 pm

Bad Bunny can do whatever he wants. 

On 2022’s Album Of The Year-nominated Un Verano Sin Ti, the iconoclastic Puerto Rican reggaetonero dabbled ably in dream pop, dembow, dub reggae, merengue and whatever other genre came to hand. His creative abandon reflected that of a bedroom producer, rather than one of the biggest stars in the world with everyone watching him. 

This all makes perfect sense, because Bad Bunny is still a completely independent artist. Whatever it is — adventures into norteño-cumbia, donning a backless white suit with a train and body jewelry, or professional wrestlingel conejo malo will pull it off. Bad Bunny is clearly on a new level and in his new album Nadie Sabe Lo Que Va a Pasar Mañana, out today, he declares: "Ya no estoy en mi peak, ahora estoy en mi prime" (I'm no longer at my peak, now I'm in my prime.)

Clearly, he knows he can do whatever he wants and how to do it. Bad Bunny's fifth record is a look at what happens when he confidently embraces this freedom. Here are five takeaways from Nadie Sabe Lo Que Va a Pasar Mañana.

The Concept Of Crossing Over Is Dead

Bad Bunny might have killed the crossover (he at least called it in a recent interview with Vanity Fair). He was never interested in being a "crossover" superstar, singing in English and tailoring his style for non-Latin audiences, even on his own terms. Instead, he created a new mold for a global pop star. He established himself quickly on the international scene as music’s enigmatic trickster hero, the pure embodiment of chaotic good, and used his  music as a plaything — a tool for creating chaos of genre, gender and language, in essence a toy. 

Yet it never seems like he’s chasing a trend: With Un Verano Sin Ti he made a Latin indie album and on El último Tour Del Mundo he rocked out and made an emo rap album with exquisite tropigoth flourishes. On Nadie Sabe Lo Que Va a Pasar Mañana, Bad Bunny returns confidently to his roots in Latin trap, having played the major role in raising the genre’s global profile. He brought the entire scene to join him on the album from the OGs Arcángel and De La Ghetto, to newcomer Young Miko. This time around he's mixing in drill, Jersey club and other electronic beats. 

He’s been called a reverse crossover artist, inviting the uninitiated into his world and language. Crossover to Bad Bunny? Sure. If you can keep up with him.

Drill Is The International Language

As the album title nonchalantly states, no one knows what will happen tomorrow, but if you are looking for clues, the latest Bad Bunny album is a good place to start. So, keep your ear to the ground for Latin drill. From its birthplace in Chicago to its spread to South Korea, drill is quickly becoming the lingua franca of youth — and that includes the Spanish speaking world. 

Benito would have to at least dip a toe in, but "No Me Quiero Casar" finds him diving straight into frigid synths and a rumbling drill beat. "Mr. October," with its jackhammer production and horror-movie vibes, is also squarely in that cold blooded vein. Like everyone else who takes up the menacing mantle, he seems to find it cathartic.

He’s Not Afraid Of The Dark

You could view Nadie Sabe Lo Que Va a Pasar Mañana as Bad Bunny's most sonically mature and heavy-sounding album. Bad Bunny and his production team chose a mostly gloomy palette, creating a shadowy world of after-hours sounds. Apart from the drill and trap, there’s "Cybertruck" and "Where She Goes," which lean into hard club rap, while "Hibiki" explores a lush but lightless techno landscape.

This Is His Cinematic Era

He’s been living in Los Angeles and more than dabbling in acting. Never afraid to go high-concept, Bad Bunny seems to have been binging the Criterion Channel and is now going full auteur on Nadie Sabe Lo Que Va a Pasar Mañana.

The album is laden with Western, American New Wave, and neo-noir references. "Nadie Sabe" opens the album with six minutes of film score strings over which he ruminates in a Drakian mode. To really bring the vision home, he stars opposite Al Pacino in the sweeping video for "Monaco."

Throughout the album he adopts the role of the brooding don with the energy of a classically trained thespian doing "Richard III." He is so convincing that those used to the gender flouting loverboy and budding revolutionary might be a little unsettled. Then again, it might not all be acting. Perhaps, as he laments in "Nadie Sabe," he’s pushing 30 and starting to feel the weight of the world. 

He Needed To Vent

A lot of the album is a kiss-off to any and all haters, fake fans, exes and anyone who might want to tie him down. Never one to mince words, every track on this album is explicit. Lines on "Nadie Sabe" can be translated as "This album isn’t meant to be played a billion times/It’s so that my real fans are happy/Although inside I don’t feel like it 100 percent/It’s so they can cancel me and hate me." Wow, Benito, tell us how you really feel.

The rapper is wisely reticent about his private life, but if you didn’t know any better you might think this was at least partly a break up album about packing up and moving on. "Gracias Por Nada" is a farewell to a former novia, much of which does not bear translating. "Telefono Nuevo" is a murky trap epic with the tone of a mob-land saga and the content of a group chat with the boys. Sole well chosen English lyric: "Yes, I know men are trash."

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