Rolling up in a snazzy white Bugatti amid dozens of motorcycles and three-wheelers, Bad Bunny entered the scene with his hit “Bichiyal” off his second studio album YHLQMDLG. He then transitioned with “Si Estuviésemos Juntos,” channeling a 1970s-era pop balladeer backed up by an all-female band. “Maldito año nuevo, me botaron del trabajo,” he sang with conviction, (“Damn new year, I was fired from my job.”) He closed off his performance at the Hiram Bithorn stadium in his hometown of San Juan, Puerto Rico.
While 2020 has been grim, Bad Bunny has had a standout year: The superstar scored nine Latin Grammy nominations. Earlier this year, he joined Shakira and Jennifer Lopez onstage at the Super Bowl halftime show and he released not one, but two worthy new albums: YHLQMDLG and Las Que No Iban a Salir. In May, he landed his first cover of Rolling Stone.
While the mercurial sensation was among the first to globalize Latin trap since his arrival in 2016, Bad Bunny is also among the pack of urbano vocalists bringing back old school-styled reggaeton. He went in hardstyle on the perreo beats, as evidenced in Jowell & Randy’s Viva el Perreo, where he took on producer duties.
“Música urbana is in its best moment when it comes to numbers,” Bad Bunny told Rolling Stone earlier this year. “A wholesome reggaetóncito took off worldwide and became very popular. That’s fine, I am not criticizing that style of song. But street reggaetón, O.G. reggaetón, perreo … it deserves a space in the pop world.”
Ricky Martin, who was featured in Bad Bunny’s X100Pre, added: “[Bad Bunny] is a creative genius. Benito has reconfirmed the fact that music has no barriers. I think the way he does things connects at a deeper level regardless of language and cultural differences.”