Benito Antonio Martínez Ocasio (Puerto Rico, 1994), alias Bad Bunny, or Conejo Malo, worked in 2016 bagging groceries for customers at a supermarket in Vega Baja, a city half an hour from San Juan.
By 2017 he had already jumped onto the international scene and today, at 26 years old, he has broken several music industry records of his own this century. He is the No. 1 global artist of 2020 on Spotify, with more than 8.3 billion plays.
Bad Bunny won Latin Album of the Year for YHLQMDLG (an acronym for Yo hago lo que me da la gana) at the American Music Awards, and the album he just released, El último tour del mundo, has made history as the first all-Spanish album to debut at the top of the Billboard 200.
Is Bad Bunny Mexican?
The answer to your question "is Bad Bunny Mexican is 'no'. The reggaeton artist Benito Martínez Ocasio, better known as Bad Bunny, is of Puerto Rican nationality.
Bad Bunny tap dances on musical frontiers: he came to the market singing trap, a subgenre of rap, but in his cocktail shaker he mixes rhythms of his homeland reggaeton with dashes of the pop ballad, bachata, and rock. He has defied the laws of the industry, launching a brilliant career without the support of any major music label and singing only in his native language.
And Bad Bunny has confronted the prejudices against urban Latin music without giving an inch in lewdness or profanity, vehicles that he uses to tell stories of neighborhoods, sometimes melancholic, suddenly truffled with messages that vindicate women or protest against corruption in Puerto Rico.
Bad Bunny is a fine sensor of his time
He takes the reggaeton he has sucked in since childhood, shakes it up with the sensibilities of his generation, and obtains a new concoction. All with a staging that recalls the extravagance of the Lady Gaga of yesteryear or the provocative ambiguity of Prince. He wears a skirt, paints his nails, or shows up with impossible glasses.
When the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers awarded him the 2020 Latin Songwriter of the Year award, the critics were outraged. But the Bad Bunny phenomenon is a steamroller. He has 29 million followers on Instagram and 30.5 million subscribers on his YouTube channel. One of his latest music videos, Dákiti, surpassed 350 million views in a month and a half.
Bad Bunny doesn't play any instrument, doesn't know how to read notes, and doesn't need to. Everything has been so fast that sometimes he forgets he is rich and finds himself thinking he has to go to the supermarket. Other times he wants to shut himself up in his world and not know anyone. Most of the time he enjoys himself.
The road to success
He grew up in a middle-class home, with a mother, an English teacher, who made punctuality an affair of state, and with a father, a truck driver, who grabbed his unused sneakers and, to his despair, gave them away to other kids in the neighborhood. Bad Bunny studied for a couple of years of Communication at the University of Puerto Rico and dropped out.
In the Vega Baja store, he entertained himself by analyzing the clientele. Poor families and wealthy families, ladies and kids passed through the store. There he formed an idea of how different people could be, and how similar. Then he ran to work on his first songs on the computer. At garage parties in the neighborhood, he put them to the test with his nasal, childish voice.
The snowball started rolling on Instagram, on SoundCloud, on YouTube. DJ Luian heard him and proposed he launch outside Puerto Rico under the independent label Hear This Music. At the end of 2016, Bad Bunny lit Soy peor, a slow trap track, and all hell broke loose. The new star of Latin rap had just been born.
The scandal also has to do with his lyrics
Bad Bunny Malo sings like a neighborhood chop, albeit from a neighborhood permeated by a sensibility typical of his time, the push of the feminist wave or LGTB rights, the imprint of a generation that has begun to use the generic latinx. In 2018, a sinister year of femicides in Latin America, he published Solo de mí, a song in which he says: "Tonight I am dawning. that you loved me? I thank you, but I don't belong to you."
In the video, a young woman sings with Benito's voice on stage while bruises appear on her face until they suddenly disappear and she smiles. In February, after a homeless transgender woman was murdered in Puerto Rico, he appeared on a program dressed in a skirt and a T-shirt with the slogan: "They killed Alexa, not a man in a skirt."
He is aware that part of his audience needs to hear those messages. "And that's why I do it because I know the reach I have in Latin America. I have fans of many kinds; fans of the LGTB community and also, I'm sure homophobic fans. Feminists and machistas. I can hook them with this reggaeton and with this vocabulary. I talk to them the way we talk and I give them a message without them feeling like I'm giving them a sermon," the artist reasons.
Bad Bunny World's Hottest Tour in Monterrey and Mexico City
Bad Bunny, announced the dates and locations of the Wold's Hottest Tour, which will pass through Mexico City and the city of Monterrey, Nuevo León. According to a poster that was disseminated on social networks, the Callaita singer will perform at the Estadio Azteca, Mexico City, on December 9, and on December 3 at the Estadio BBVA, Monterrey.
After a few weeks of suspense after he deleted all the content from his Instagram account, Bad Bunny returned with the announcement of his road tour. Benito posted a witty video where he appears in the company of his current partner, Gabriela Berlingeri, and actor Mario Casas.
The World's Hottest Tour will begin on August 5 in Florida, United States. Afterward, Bad Bunny will perform in 15 cities in the United States. Among them are Atlanta, Miami, Boston, Chicago, Washington, New York, Houston, San Diego, and Las Vegas. The singer's tour of Latin America will begin on October 21 of this year. Starting in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic on that date.
During November he will perform in Buenos Aires on the 4th, Asuncion on the 11th, Lima on the 13th, Quito on the 16th, Medellin on the 18th, Panama on the 22nd of the same month, San Jose on the 24th, San Salvador on the 26th and he will close the month with a performance in San Pedro Sula on the 29th.
In December, Bad Bunny will close the tour with three presentations: December 1 in Guatemala City, December 3 in Monterrey, Nuevo León, and December 9 in Mexico City, where he will perform at the Azteca Stadium.
Bad Bunny beats Santana, sets record among best-selling albums
The singer Bad Bunny surpassed the record of the album Africa Speaks, by the guitarist Santana, which in its first week of release in 2019 sold 57 thousand units. Bad Bunny's second solo album, YHLQMDLG (Yo Hago Lo Que Me Da La Gana), set a record as the longest-selling Spanish-language album in the Billboard 200 top ten in the United States.
This was highlighted by the artist himself in a retweet from the Chart Data page, which every Sunday publishes the Billboard 200 listing. Bad Bunny, 26 years old and considered the top representative of the Latin trap, launched YHLQMDLG on February 29th. After its release, he set several records, including the highest-selling Spanish-language album in a week on Billboard's charts.
The other two records obtained by the Puerto Rican artist are the most streamed Latin album in a week and the most albums sold in the week of its release, since Billboard began tracking album sales on music platforms in December 2014. YHLQMDLG sold 179,000 units in the U.S. from its release on Feb. 29 to March 5, placing it second in the 200 best-selling albums - behind Lil Baby's My Turn - according to information provided to Billboard by Nielsen Music/MRC Data consulting firm.
YHLQMDLG has 20 songs, including collaborations with the also Puerto Rican Daddy Yankee, the duo of Jowell and Randy, Ñengo Flow, Yaviah, Kendo Kaponi, and Mora, as well as the Panamanian Sech, the Argentinean Duki, and the Chilean Pablo Chill-E.