“For a moment, it seemed like it was the end of the world,” Bad Bunny tells Apple Music about the inspiration behind his new album. Conceived during the 2020 quarantine, EL ÚLTIMO TOUR DEL MUNDO is hardly the swan song its grandiose title suggests. Instead, this visionary record from El Conejo Malo draws upon lockdown fantasies about what an album of his from the future might sound like. In true dystopian fashion, he imagined what his last concert tour would look like, or rather what the last shows ever in the world would look like. “It’s as if I spent my final tour of 2032 advancing the word from 2020.”
With any lingering retirement concerns quashed, EL ÚLTIMO TOUR DEL MUNDO instead invites listeners deep into the creative genius mind of Bad Bunny. Even before he dropped 2018’s eclectic X 100PRE by surprise, there were plenty of clues in his slew of singles that alluded to his diverse influences, musical or otherwise. Arriving mere months after YHLQMDLG, a tear-stained love letter to reggaetón past and present, this album pushes beyond genre and presents an opportunity to rethink everything we thought we knew about Bad Bunny.
“I already had intended to come with something very different, because that’s what I am passionate about,” he says. “It’s about taking risks and fulfilling my wishes and dreams.” While the previously released hit single “Dakiti” hinted at what was to come, EL ÚLTIMO TOUR DEL MUNDO broadens the extent of his Latin trap dominion on cuts like “EL MUNDO ES MÍO” and “HOY COBRÉ.” He unleashes his rock and indie passions on the alt anthem “YO VISTO ASÍ” and the nostalgic New Wave revival “MALDITA POBREZA.” On “BOOKER T,” he spits with the edge of his earliest singles over a serpentine groove, while he bares his sensitive side on the balladic “TRELLAS.”
Unlike on the guest-centric YHLQMDLG, Bad Bunny limits the vocal artists included here, a decision that makes the handful of features feel like statements. “I understand that in this business, everyone lives for collaborating on albums,” he says. “I thought it was time to demonstrate versatility and bring something fresh to the fans.” In particular, the surprisingly muted “LA NOCHE DE ANOCHE” with ROSALÍA fulfills the long-held dream of their respective and shared fans. On the Tainy-produced “SORRY PAPI,” he introduces R&B singer ABRA to the wide audience that her talents clearly warrant. Above all, with its surprise twists and inventive turns, EL ÚLTIMO TOUR DEL MUNDO is truly the album Bad Bunny was destined to make. “Music has no limits. That is what it is about.”