Bad Bunny – X100PRE: The new wave of Reggaeton

Dance and celebration have always been an integral part of Latino culture.

Genres such as salsa or merengue have been channels for embodying our idiosyncrasy, both its positive and negative aspects.

It is not risky to think that the salsa of this generation is definitely Reggaeton, an urban genre that has been present in every Latino party since the beginning of the 21st century.

It is undeniable that over the years this genre has evolved as well as the perception of many people towards it, and with the arrival of the trap, also came a new wave of artists like Ozuna, Bad Bunny or Anuel AA. This variant of the genre with its slower and sometimes dark sound opened a world of possibilities to innovate.

 

That's how we met Bad Bunny in 2016, featuring in Ozuna’s ‘Diles’. A downtempo track with a sexually explicit lyric. In the following years Bad Bunny continued to accumulate successes with his singles and featurings such as ‘Soy Peor’, ‘Krippy Kush’ or the most recent, 'I Like It' with Cardi B and J Balvin, a track that reached the top 1 of the Billboard Hot 100.

Benito had already conquered the world without having released his debut album. His eccentric and transgressive style made him a fashion icon, the Puerto Rican singer was not afraid to wear jewelry, earrings or even nail polish, elements that are rejected by Latin American macho culture.

The public was anxious to find out if this groundbreaking attitude would be reflected in the album. This was confirmed when on December 24th 100XPRE arrived by surprise to all streaming platforms.

The album was not simply a collection of singles or greatest hits with a couple of new song as most Reggaeton albums are used to be.

 

X100PRE was a collection of 15 songs of which we only knew 'MIA' featuring Drake and 'Solo De Mi'. Mostly produced by Tainy and co-written by Benito himself, so this album could be considered an author's work, in contrast to other works such as 'Vibras' by J Balvin, where there were a lot of collaborators.

With the X100PRE, Bad Bunny took the limits of reggaeton to places never before reached. ‘Tenemos Que Hablar' is a punk-pop song with a funny melody that could perfectly belong to a Hillary Duff song from the early '00s.

But the most amazing thing about this song is part of its lyrics 'Apuesto que fue tu amiga, ey / Siempre le he caído mal / O tu primo gay, Omar / Yo siempre le he gusta'o / Tú lo sabe', eso es normal'. In this extract, Bad Bunny normalizes the fact that a gay guy is in love with a heterosexual, not only any straight boy but himself. Within a genre where homosexuality is still demonized and is a motive for bullying and harassment, this small verse represents Benito's intentions to completely change the concept of reggaeton.

The feeling of innovation does not end with this track; it also feels present in the electropop 'Una Noche En Miami' with a very similar sound to The Weeknd. On the other hand, one of the riskiest and explosive tracks is 'La Romana' featuring the Alfa, which begins as a conventional Trap song until it reaches its climax with an energetic dembow by the Dominican singer.

Another great theme is 'Caro', a song that talks about success and personal improvement, although it may seem like a conventional trap song, it has a very melodic bridge where Ricky Martin's vocals appear unexpectedly. The song is accompanied by a video where Bad Bunny is represented by a woman with a shaven head as if it were his feminine side showing up.

The 'Caro' video shows a message of inclusion by featuring different groups of people who are often ignored by the media. The visuals are another strong point of this era, Bad Bunny is well aware of the influence he has on the genre. This is evident in the 'Solo de mi' video that although it looks like a typical breakup song where Benito sings angry to his ex, the video shows another interpretation as it is starred by an abused woman.

 

 

Benito has managed to prove that 'el perreo' is cooler than ever and that you can carry a positive message along with bangers!

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/ Popnable Media

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