It could be an understatement to name Puerto Rican city music phenomenon Dangerous Bunny (born Benito Martinez Ocasio) a widely known artist. Together with his final blockbuster album “Un Verano Sin Ti” rating Billboard’s No. 1 hottest in 2022, Martinez Ocasio has come a great distance from his first music on Soundcloud in 2016.
And but, on the peak of his fame, el conejo malo appeared to stumble from grace. From a viral video displaying him tossing a fan’s telephone away to his controversial relationship with vogue mannequin and so-called tequila culture-vulture Kendall Jenner, Martinez Ocasio grew to become the center of quite a few controversies over the previous yr. The scandals had the Web abuzz about dropping Dangerous Bunny’s music, with some “switching” to that of hit regional Mexican singer Peso Pluma.
However perhaps we shouldn’t pivot away from Dangerous Bunny simply but. Such a substitution flagrantly dismisses the decades-long politically charged histories of each reggaeton and corridos tumbados.
Apart from, Dangerous Bunny continues to be up and kicking. His Oct. 13 launch, “nadie sabe lo que va a pasar mañana” (“no person is aware of what’s going to occur tomorrow”), contests public opinion and calls again to the darker movement and cheeky swagger of his early lure roots. Its ample 22 tracks lean on this style to discover themes of intercourse, fame, heartbreak and the streets.
On this sense, the album feels acquainted. It accommodates all the identical archetypes we all know and love from Dangerous Bunny’s previous discography: angsty rants directed at previous lovers, sexual bars set to sultry melodies, bittersweet reflections on development and assured going-out bops that mainly command you to shake your hips.
In different methods, although, “nadie” is actually a departure from his earlier launch, worldwide smash hit “Un Verano Sin Ti.” Songs like “Monaco,” “Mr. October” and “Telefono Nuevo” ooze with braggadocio over catchy lure hi-hats and lend this challenge a far darker sound than that of its predecessor.
Drill-trap newcomer YOVNGCHIMI joins in to create a daring impression on “Mercedes Carota,” rapping in regards to the energy dynamics of the streets. Menacing cackles punctuate flashy bars; the question-response refrain has the singers dismissing an imaginary third individual for not exercising authority by medication, demise or cash. These cocky tracks make for an energizing pay attention, they usually grew to become a few of my favorites on “nadie.”
Alternatively, the “unhappy Bunny” songs on the album don’t fairly measure as much as Martinez-Ocasio’s earlier classics like “Solo de Mi,” “Soy Peor” or “Vete.” Maybe these new songs lack a harder-hitting message, or maybe his flows merely don’t handle to seize the emotion of angst in the identical manner. (The exception to that could be “Gracias Por Nada,” which did transfer my chilly coronary heart to some emotion.)
Equally, the album’s introduction “Nadie Sabe” additionally lacks catchiness and relatability — although perhaps that wasn’t the aim with this one specifically.
Martinez Ocasio opens by plainly lamenting sure poisonous parts of his fame, establishing an fascinating context for what follows. In mild of the artist’s discontent, this album’s return to his 2016 lure sound nearly appears like a small gesture of resistance to the worldwide business success he earned by his reggaeton albums. In any case, Dangerous Bunny had established his prowess because the king of the Latin lure scene lengthy earlier than “Tití Me Preguntó” was commonplace faculty occasion fare.
However concern not, reggaeton followers — the album’s 81-minute length makes loads of area for a broad palette of sound and vitality. Stable reggaeton gems pepper the challenge. “Perro Negro” is an irresistable bouncing perreíto, and “Hibiki” virtually begs you sing alongside boisterously.
Admittedly, reggaeton sluggish jam “Seda” struck me as a lyrically creepier model of Martinez Ocasio’s 2022 hit “Aguacero.” I most well-liked the extra nonchalant seductive rap monitor “VOU 787,” which crafts an elegant beat by sampling Madonna’s “Vogue.”
One of many strongest bops on the album is “Fina,” a coquettish tune that includes rising queer reggaetonera Younger Miko. Between Miko’s signature hoarse movement and intelligent bars from Dangerous Bunny, there’s a lot to like.
Curiously, although the refrain on “Fina” calls again to reggaeton large Tego Calderón, this album continues Dangerous Bunny’s shift towards that includes youthful up-and-coming city musicians. Whereas his 2020 challenge used copious collaborations with reggaeton founders as an example his rise to stardom, he paves the best way for others on “nadie.”
Fan backlash however, Martinez Ocasio did safe a chart-topping debut for “nadie,” demonstrating that this bunny is able to bouncing again. A breakdown of public picture does appear inevitable for a lot of celebrities lately, be it over a petty squabble or a deeply regarding sample of abuse. In each circumstances, we must always strategy the parasocial cycle of “stan, scandal, repeat” with warning.
In circumstances like that of Dangerous Bunny and Peso Pluma, our conversations about artist accountability should keep away from treating these from marginalized communities and genres as disposable, interchangeable commodities.
Editor’s Observe: This text is a evaluate and consists of subjective ideas, opinions and critiques.