It is quite clear that Bad Bunny is a star. From the recent placement on PARTYNEXTDOOR’s “Loyal” remix, to the collaboration album ‘OASIS’ with fellow latin pop star J Balvin, he has unequivocally become a hitmaker in every sense of the word. And now, with his recent release ‘YHLQMDLG,’ his second studio album, he takes a concerted next step into becoming a full-fledged superstar. Kee and I decided to take the time to share our thoughts on the confident artist’s next step. – Ritchie
1. What was the first thing to pop into your head when you started the album?
Kee: How the hell is he going to top X 100PRE??
Ritchie: God, that first beat (“Si Veo a Tu Mamá”) is fantastic. The beat sounds exactly like an 8-bit video game soundtrack, like it was ripped straight from the video game episode from Community. That’s a good comparison, I promise.
2. What was the best song on the album? The worst?
Kee: The best song accolade feels like a two song race between “La Santa” and “P FKN R”. I think I’ll take “P FKN R,” although I may have played “La Santa” more since its release. It hits home for me being that I’m Puerto Rican. It’s a prideful anthem that also paints a picture of the type of struggle that the island is riddled with. The song also has some of the best features on the album with a really hard hitting trap beat behind it.
The album doesn’t really feel as though it has a clear cut worst song. Just another really solid album from Bad Bunny with no clear cut misses.
Ritchie: I have to go with “Vete.” There’s something romantic about the track that really draws you in. The outstanding vocal performance combined with the smooth, subdued production creates an electric concoction. It’s rooted in some reggaetón history too, as the intro is a callback to the classic track “Si Te Vas.” Bad Bunny’s pain rips through the track with ease.
There is no worst song. What kind of dumbass question is that? Who asks that?
3. How did this album register in comparison to his solo debut X 100PRE?
Ritchie: Personally, I didn’t even think about his debut album. As a listener, YHLQMDLG was a completely different experience than X 100PRE. If X 100PRE was a fast paced sprint up the stairway to the music industry, this album is an example of Bad Bunny easily slotting into his comfort zone, rooted in cultural significance with the reggaetón and modern trap influences.
Kee: I found myself having to remind myself that this is not X 100PRE, which to me is one of the best albums of last decade. There were so many hits and highlights on that album that it feels almost unfair to compare it to this. All that being said, YHLQMDLG feels more like an album rather than a chase for hits or a hookah clubs playlist. The album also has a very throwback reggaetón feel with trap cuts whereas the previous is filled with trap from almost start to finish. I feel like he really was trying to create a whole piece of work rather than trying to make every song bigger than the last.
4. Please give us your thoughts on the “Yo Perreo Sola” video.
Kee: Powerful. You’re seeing one of the biggest artists in the world writing a song from the perspective of a woman, dressed up like one, while dancing to a song about women expressing themselves freely at the club without being bombarded by men trying to get with her. The video also shows me he doesn’t really care much about what people may think of him as long as people understand the message he’s presenting loud and clear. It feels like a video that will inspire creatives of the current and next generation to be more liberated with their craft, no matter the reaction.
Ritchie: His career has never been about being concerned with what others will say or think about him. He has been clearly outspoken about his views and support for the women’s rights, sexual diversity, and the LGBTQ community: from calling attention to the killing of a homeless transgender woman named Alexa from Puerto Rico on his appearance on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” to this video here. It’s clear that Bad Bunny’s activism is legitimate and is willing to advocate for whatever he believes in, with no concern about what anyone else will think.
5. What was your favorite moment of the album?
Kee: YO SOY DE P FUCKIN’ R, EH-EH-EH-EH-EHHHHHH.
Ritchie: The Daddy Yankee feature. You can never go wrong with a Daddy Yankee feature. He and Bad Bunny absolutely destroy the “La Santa” production. It is perfect.
6. What is the biggest takeaway from YHLQMDLG?
Ritchie: If you haven’t already hopped onto the Bad Bunny bandwagon, the train has already left the station. He has amassed an impressive catalog in a span of a few years, and now sits comfortably at the peak of his abilities. It’s hard to imagine that he can get better from here, but it’s impossible to rule out that possibility.
Kee: With now two amazing solo albums, the collaboration album with him and J Balvin, and a plethora of hit records he’s appeared on; he’s probably on pace for the best run in urban latin music history right now in a span of just 2 years.