Bad Bunny

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Essential Albums

  • YHLQMDLG
  • OASIS

Artist Playlists

About Bad Bunny

Two years before he was named Apple Music Artist of the Year, Bad Bunny spoke to us about his then-new album YHLQMDLG. His debut, X 100PRE, had helped bring Latin trap to a global audience without diluting its regional spirit—no small feat. Did he feel like he had to do even better the second time out? “I’ll be honest with you,” he said. “No.” No? “On the contrary, I wanted it to be different.” Like his collaborator J Balvin, El Conejo Malo has become a symbol of Latinx culture’s migration into the global mainstream, reshaping the look, sound and feel of modern pop just by following his own idiosyncratic muse. YHLQMDLG: Yo hago lo que me da la gana—I do whatever I want. Part of doing whatever he wants meant putting out three projects that year, including the forward-thinking fusion album EL ÚLTIMO TOUR DEL MUNDO and a set of collaboration-heavy tracks from the vault, LAS QUE NO IBAN A SALIR. It also meant taking time to plan his next move. “I like to prepare myself and prepare the surroundings to work my music,” he says about his process. “But when I get a good idea that I want to work on in the future, I hold it until that moment.” That moment came with 2022’s Un Verano Sin Ti. Though the LP’s title might suggest a shift into sad-boy mode, it instead revealed a different conceptual aim as his ultimate summer playlist. “It's a good vibe,” he says. “I think it's the happiest album of my career.” As a kid growing up Vega Baja, Puerto Rico, in the mid-’90s (he was born Benito Martínez Ocasio in 1994), Bunny fell in love with a broad spectrum of Latin music—reggaetón, merengue, salsa—before discovering American hip-hop. His best tracks don't just blend tradition and futurism, Latin and global, but stake out new thematic territory for male Latinx artists, including personal vulnerability (“Vete”) and sexual violence against women (“Yo Perreo Sola”, “Bellacoso”), making him both a role model and an ally for LGBTQ+ communities and socially progressive values.

HOMETOWN
San Juan, Puerto Rico, United States of America
BORN
10 March 1994