Review #447: X 100pre, Bad Bunny

Karla Clifton
3 min readOct 19, 2023

#447: X 100pre, Bad Bunny

I just really like Bad Bunny. He was part of a historic Rolling Stone cover for Latin artists, and was also the first person to wear a mask on its cover during COVID. (Not to mention his COVID song, “En Casita.”) He’s the first man other than Hugh Hefner to appear solo on the cover of Playboy. [] He apparently professionally wrestles sometimes?? Also he’s just a cutie. Ugh, look at him.

I was working adjacent to the music industry when this record was released, and I remember thinking that it was so exciting that there was a huge explosion of Spanish language music in the English-speaking world. From “Despacito” to Rosalia, English speakers learned that you don’t have to understand the lyrics to understand the music. (Though the Grammy Awards did him really dirty by captioning his performance with “Singing in non-English.” Pathetic.)

Hailing from Puerto Rico, Bad Bunny’s debut (released on Christmas Eve, which is pretty badass) has been described as a love letter to his country. Bad Bunny plays with the Spanish language — the album title is meant to resemble Por Siempre, Spanish for Forever. And “RLNDT” is an abbreviated version of Rolandito, a boy who went missing from a Puerto Rican park in 1999.

This is an expansive debut. Reggaeton/electropop dominates (“Ni Bien Ni Mal”) but he also features some pop-punk guitar (“Tenemos Que Hablar”). Bunny foretold his international appeal by hosting an international house party — see “Otra Noche en Miami” and “La Romana,” which refers to a city in the Dominican Republic. And naturally he sings about women — see “Cuando Perriabas” and “Si Estuviésemos Juntos.” (Although it should be noted that Bad Bunny has suggested that he is sexually fluid.)

I obviously didn’t understand the lyrics, but I loved looking them up and finding that the meanings were much deeper than I anticipated. I loved “Caro,” where he defends his personal style, and also “Estamos Bien,” where he assures listeners that he will be alright no matter how much money he has. “Ser Bichote,” which is in some ways just a braggadocios song about how Bad Bunny is the best, gets a little deeper when you learn what a bichote is, and what its significance is in PR. Finally, “Solo de Mi” describes a woman getting out of an abusive relationship. Not your standard electropop topic.

Bad Bunny gets some help from English speakers — Diplo contributes to “200 MPH,” and the way Bad Bunny says his name is just delightful. “¿Quién Tú Eres?” features the only English on the album, with a spoken outro from another minor PR celebrity, Jesús Hernandéz, or El Chucheto. (Chucheto was later accused of sexual assault, and Bad Bunny made a very thoughtful statement about it.) Though my favorite feature was Drake on “Mía,” mostly because Bunny makes him speak Spanish. What a power move. And they both sound great!

This completely won me over and I’ll definitely be listening to the album he released just a few days ago. And let’s all place bets on whether or not Kendall Jenner is pregnant with his baby. (Just kidding, but click that link, it’s hilarious.)

Fun Fact: Another artist from Puerto Rico, Yandel, also released a song called “Como Antes” in 2017. I don’t think they’re connected at all, but I did find it weird!

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