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Bad Bunny chases GOAT status with new album

Toglenn/Wikimedia Commons
Puerto Rican rapper Bad Bunny surprised fans with a new album on Oct.13.

World-renowned musical artist Bad Bunny surprised fans on Oct. 13 with a brand new 22-song album titled, “nadie sabe lo que va a pasar mañana.” The album is deep and personal, but the Puerto Rican superstar remains his flashy and performative self, while reverting back to his trap roots in his most intimate record yet.

The title translates to “no one knows what’s going to happen tomorrow,” and is chock-full of certified bangers at a runtime of just over one hour and 20 minutes. While I don’t believe this release lives up to the hype of his Grammy-nominated album, “Un Verano Sin Ti,” Benito Antonio Martínez Ocasio — “Benito” to fans — is real and open about how he feels being the fourth-most streamed artist on Spotify. He even shaved his head as he had it back in 2017, his signature look for several years.

The first track is arguably the best composed of the 22 songs. “NADIE SABE,” which translates to “no one knows,” begins with an orchestral interlude, overlapping with a simple, slow trap beat. For most of the song, Benito sounds like he’s reading poetry. It’s an emotional, introspective look at who Bad Bunny really is.

While the song isn’t necessarily heavy in itself, there were a few lines that had me in deep thought. 

When Benito refers to his haters and fans, he utters the words, “Y hasta te deseen la muerte / Pero yo no, yo le deseo buena suerte,” which translates to, “And they even wish you death / But I don’t, I wish you good luck.” I believe this speaks true to Bad Bunny’s character.

As much as he is performative and rich, he still cares about how people feel. This remains true as later in the song, he sings, “Este disco no se pa’ ser tocado, ni un billón de vistas / Es pa’ que mi’ fan’ reales, estén contento,” which means “This album is not supposed to be played for a billion views / It’s so my real fans are happy.”

The next song is “MONACO.” The music video made the song for me, as it captures audiences with its cinematic production. In 1960s New York City, Bad Bunny rolls up to the world-famous Carbone Italian Restaurant and dines with legendary Italian-American actor Al Pacino. A gorgeous backdrop with antique decorations sets the scene before Benito begins the bass descent. Charles Aznavour’s French orchestral record “Heir Encore” plays as the sample in the dance-trap beat.

Later on in the album, “TELEFONO NUEVO” is another stand-out. The first minute is a fun, almost pop-like beat that Benito uses to sing about how successful he is. Then, his line gets cut off, literally. The tracks transitions into an old dial tone to the voice of the operator saying, “the number you have dialed has been changed.” I believe this could be an ironic clapback to the fan who claimed in January that he threw her phone into the ocean, according to Vulture. In reality, Benito only tossed it aside after the crazed fan got in his face.

The rest of the song is extremely fast. After a brief interlude, this new guy begins spitting bars at 1,000 words per minute. Luar La L, a 23-year-old fellow Puertorriqueño songwriter, joins in and compliments Benito’s background vocals for a true Bad Bunny throwback track.

“TELEFONO NUEVO” has raw, comical and nearly contradictory lyrics. Bad Bunny once again alludes to the fact that he doesn’t want to be famous and that he’s just like everyone else. One example is in the beginning, he says, “La gente ve una cabra y yo sólo soy otra oveja.” This means Benito may be considered “the GOAT,” but he only feels like a sheep.

In the same song, he also denounces his desire for fame, claiming he never wanted any of this. In the end, it’s another song about being rich and living a luxurious life (yachts, Gucci, exotic vacations), leaving listeners confused as to whether Bad Bunny really wants to be in the limelight.

I noticed that a lot of these new tracks remind me of his 2020 releases, “YHLQMDLG” and “EL ÚLTIMO TOUR DEL MUNDO,” in that most songs start off with slow tempo rapping about social struggles. Then, all of a sudden, the track goes silent. Slowly an instrumental fades back in, but this time it’s behind a new, faster beat.

This album does not resonate with me as much as “Un Verano Sin Ti.” Personally, that’s disappointing, but Benito’s original fans should love this. 

There are several songs I enjoy analyzing as a Spanish student, and even the generic trap songs about sex and money are super fun to dance to. When it’s all said and done, what does it matter? No one knows what’s going to happen tomorrow anyway. What we do know is Bad Bunny will continue to make record-breaking and trend-setting music for years to come.

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Aidan Sheedy, Photography Editor

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