In one of the finest examples of cross-cultural solidarity — or perhaps just genuine friendship — Colombian J Balvin and Puerto Rican Bad Bunny have finally dropped their long-awaited LP, Oasis. A playful take on their beloved art form of reggaeton, Oasis’ lead single, “Qué Pretendes,” raises the bar for 2019 summer jams.
In what translates to “What Do You Want?” in English, “Qué Pretendes” is a sharp-shooting kiss-off to an ex who refuses to quit a relationship. “You know very well/How to wrap me up,” sings Balvin coyly, “But this time/It’s too late now.” Bunny adds, with a special nod to the tech-ridden dystopia that passes for modern dating: “I erased you on Snapchat, I erased you on Facebook — I erased you from my life!”
With the release of their new single and video, the urbano kings flaunt well more than their fashions — and gratuitous cuts of sweaty women, undulating hungrily towards the men from inside a jungle. (Shout out to Duran Duran.) Balvin makes one of the most striking vocal performances of his career, offsetting Bunny’s lush bellows with a leisurely, but elevated cadence unmatched by his previous recordings. The track was produced by Balvin’s esteemed collaborator Sky Rompiendo, who helped craft his 2018 album, Vibras.
“Do you know what an oasis is?” said Balvin of the album, during a recent Beats 1 broadcast. “Those beautiful places that stand out in the middle of dryness… You see it and go: ‘That’s special … That’s different’ … And the way you write it is the same in English and Spanish.”
Oasis is out now on all streaming platforms.