Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

Nadie Sabe Lo Que Va a Pasar Mañana—Bad Bunny’s journey through evolving trap

Illustration by Hailey Akau.

Opinions expressed in Beacon Op-Eds are not necessarily shared by the entire staff. It is the responsibility of Opinion editors to elevate each individual’s unique voice. 

Just over a year ago, Bad Bunny released his biggest album to date, “Un verano sin ti,” showcasing some of the most groundbreaking and now iconic reggaeton tracks in the industry. This album not only solidified his status within Hispanic audiences but also made him a household name worldwide.

I came back to the States last fall to find that everyone and their mother could sing the chorus to “Titi me pregunto,” and every stoner in Boston had “Un Coco” in their rotation. 

Bad Bunny’s discography has changed significantly since his trap days and debut album “X100PRE.” His latest release, “Nadie Sabe Lo Que Va a Pasar Mañana,” reaffirms that with each milestone he passes and every million he earns, I can always expect something new from him, even if it’s something I might not initially like.

While undeniably juvenile, “X100PRE,” served as a perfect debut for an artist primarily recognized in the trap scene. With contributions from reggaetón veteran Marcos “Tainy” Masís and Roberto Rosado, the album seamlessly blended triumphant trap and pop-punk elements that were previously absent in mainstream Caribbean urban music.

The album transformed my high school experience. It wasn’t just a party essential; the backstory of its production and lyrics became the party. We became as pretentious as every American I knew—except we could dance. 

His momentum since his 2018 debut hasn’t slowed. In 2020, his most pivotal release, “YHLQMDLG” (I do whatever I want), showcased Bad Bunny’s refusal to conform. True to the album’s title, he didn’t heed advice to stick to trap or rely on J Balvin’s salsa-adjacent loops; instead, he did whatever he wanted.

Primarily a party record, “YHLQMDLG” pushes the boundaries of reggaeton while retaining its roots. Anthemic as always, the album features some of Bad Bunny’s most iconic tracks like “Yo perreo sola,” transporting us to a San Juan marquesina, embodying the essence of perreo. With raw and stripped-down reggaeton vibes—reminiscent of Daddy Yankee’s “Gasolina” or Ivy Queen’s “Quiero Bailar”—the standout five-minute masterpiece is “Safaera.”

However, nothing embodies “I do whatever I want” quite like Bad Bunny’s latest album. Teasers of the album showcased Benito’s newly shaved head, paying homage to his initial trap years. Everyone was anticipating another Bad Bunny and Arcángel classic akin to “Tú No Vives Así,” where Bad Bunny delivered some of the best opening bars of his career. 

We were hyped, because Trap Bunny is back 

But in true Bad Bunny fashion, he once again defied expectation. True to his verse in the second track “MONACO,” this isn’t a typical trap album—this is trap “that belongs in a museum.” El Conejo Malo has returned to the hustling and reckless trap roots, now as a millionaire with years of successful world tours and accolades under his belt.

Gone are the days of Bad Bunny catering solely to a Latino audience by stepping out of ice cream trucks and smoking hookah in a Dominican neighborhood; whether you like it or not, he is making trap global. 

This album explores his own rags to riches story—his internal struggle to stay true to his fans while navigating immense wealth and success unmatched by any other urban Latin artist. From rapping about wanting the world at his fingertips, being unapologetically horny, and his love for Puerto Rico, this album proves that in his hands, any genre can be shaped to convey the message he wants.

Lyrically, he mocks the public’s perception of him, offering a mix of celebrity homage with references to Madonna’s “Vogue” in “VOU 787” and Charles Aznavour’s classic “Hier Encore” in “MONACO.” Meanwhile, tracks like “GRACIAS POR NADA’ hark back to Bad Bunny’s early days.

I often find myself listening to his songs multiple times to discern whether I truly enjoy them or if I’ve simply been exposed to them enough to become desensitized.

I would argue that profound art, especially one that defies genres and reflects on dark themes like this album, deserves scrutiny. Bad Bunny’s cynical and sometimes paranoid lyrics, intertwined with witty disses and the occasional sports reference, doesn’t immediately resonate with all listeners. One needs to interact with the music.

In the fifteenth track, “BATICANO,” a play on the word “Vatican,” Bad Bunny sheds light on the criticism he faces from religious individuals, specifically addressing sexual liberation. With a sexy, almost BDSM-like rhythm, he argues that religious hypocrisy condemns us all to hell, emphasizing that our time on Earth shouldn’t be spent judging others. Simultaneously, he grapples with his own beliefs, seeking forgiveness from God while succumbing to his darkest impulses. 

This struggle is reflected in the lyrics: “Call your mom to ask for her hand / I was already in hell when I found the devil, I was selling my soul when I bought hers,” and “Everybody fucks, from waiters to preachers…to believe in god you don’t have to be a minister, no man on earth has the right to judge in the name of Christ.” 

He introduces up and coming talents such as Young Miko in “FINA,” and platforms more locally recognized Puerto Rican artists like Luar La L in “TELEFONO NUEVO” (translated to “new phone”), featuring some of the most impressive production of the entire album. The Rolling Stone described the beginning as a “moonstruck, synth-driven glimmer” where Benito once again opens up to listeners, deviating from the expected flaunting of wealth and fame. Suddenly the disconnected tone of a phone call cuts off the beat, and Luar’s violent entrance ignites a firestorm of bars. 

Similarly, “CYBERTRUCK” taunts listeners, with him proclaiming, “I’m not normal,” and, “Let those who hate me hate me / Let those who love me love me,” set against a backdrop of reggaeton beats and keyboard tones that might confuse seasoned listeners unaccustomed to the syncopation.

The album, while highly experimental, achieves what “Un verano sin ti” did not. It never tailors to English speakers. Although Bad Bunny’s fame ensures his U.S. tour will likely sell out and he will maintain recognition among a broader audience, this album is primarily for us. It’s for those who witnessed his humble beginnings and unconsciously longed for trap to evolve.

In true Bad Bunny fashion, as he does in every album, he collaborates with the Puerto Rican rappers we grew up hearing—Arcángel, De La Ghetto, and Ñengo Flow—in “Acho PR.” We are reminded of the same guy that gave us “Diles” and “Cuando Perreabas.” Caribbean trap lives on, takes on a new identity, and compels outside listeners to recognize that Caribbean artists and Latin music are not “foreign”; they’re at your doorstep and here to stay.

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About the Contributor
Shannon Garrido
Shannon Garrido, Editor-in-chief
Shannon Andera Garrido Berges (she/her) currently serves as editor-in-chief, formerly she managed global content and covers news centered around the Caribbean. Her interests include Dominican politics, pop culture, and environmental reporting. She is an undergrad at Emerson College, majoring in Journalism.

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