Spotify’s most-streamed artist globally deserves more praise


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Bad Bunny posing for cameras at the 2020 Billboard Music Awards on Oct. 14, where he won best Latin Artist and Latin Album of the year.

Spotify released its 2020 Wrapped on Monday, their annual year in review, and at the top of the U.S most-streamed lists are familiar names, yet there’s one artist that tops them all on the global stage, Bad Bunny.
The Puerto Rican artist, who is at the top of every category as far as Latin charts go, beats out household names in the U.S such as Drake, Juice WRLD and The Weeknd for the top artists globally, as well as top streamed albums globally for his album “YHLQMDLG”.
Benito Antonio Ocasio Martinez, known to the world as Bad Bunny, has had himself a great 2020 including global success for his music as well as tons of marketing success, but this did not happen overnight.
Listeners in the U.S may know him as one of the artists featured on Cardi B’s song “I Like It,” which was released in 2018 along with friend and fellow Latin artist J Balvin, as well as “Mia” a song which featured Drake and was released the same year.
What they might not know is Bad Bunny broke onto the scene back in 2016 and has only found more and more success as time goes on.
Initially, his sound was all about trap and as he began to find more commercial success, he began to focus on reggaeton, a music style that originates from his native Puerto Rico, and its sound is influenced by American hip hop, as well as Latin and Caribbean music. He is not limited to this style of music as he has incorporated rock, bachata and soul.
Bad Bunny had gained a following in the Latin community years before he started to build a fanbase on a global stage. The latter could be attributed to his 2018 collaborations with Cardi B, Drake, and his first solo album “X100PRE” which was placed by Rolling Stone at 447 within their 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
2020 was Bad Bunny’s year, as he released his album “YHLQMDLG,” which stands for “Yo Hago Lo Que Me Da La Gana” which translates into “I Do Whatever I Want.” He translated the title himself during an appearance on the Feb. 27 episode of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon when he revealed the album’s name and cover to the world.
“YHLQMDLG” released on Feb. 27 and it includes infectious beats and rhymes like on the first song of the album with “Si Veo a Tu Mamá,” catchy upbeat songs like “Yo Perreo Sola” which has a message towards those of the LGBTQ+ community who he supports and can also have you remembering your ex with songs like “Ignorantes” alongside Panamanian artist Sech.
“YHLQMDLG” was Spotify’s most-streamed album of this year globally.
He did not stop there, as he released on May 10, “Las Que No Iban A Salir”, or “The Ones That Were Not Coming Out” as a bonus due to everyone being at home because of COVID-19. All of these were songs that he decided weren’t going to be featured on any of his previous albums. It debuted at number seven on the US Billboard 200.
The release of this album in May in the middle of the pandemic allowed Bad Bunny fans to rejoice as they got more hits from arguably the best Latin artist at the moment. The negative side to this is we were not able to see our friends and play these at full volume, dance and party to.
How does Bad Bunny cap off the year which included a Super Bowl performance, late-night show appearances on American television, a Corona commercial with Snoop Dogg and a collaboration with Crocs? He released “El Ultimo Tour Del Mundo,” or “The Last Tour of the World” on Friday already having nine songs off the album included in the top 10 spots on the Global Spotify Chart as of Saturday.
Bad Bunny pushes the envelope with “El Ultimo Tour Del Mundo” as it not only provides his reggaeton and trap sound his fans are accustomed to but also includes an alternative and indie rock sound that ultimately pays off for him.
On past albums, he has experimented with different genres but rock influenced most of this album. I think it shows us how versatile he can be as an artist while still providing us with his usual reggaeton and trap rhythms.
With 16 songs on the album which involve the same mood swings that Bad Bunny can create with his music, from ecstatic and in a party mood with “Dakiti” alongside Puerto Rican artist Jhay Cortez, wanting us to prove all of our haters wrong with the aggressive lyrics and trap rhythms on “Booker T” and of course having us on the verge of tears with “Te Deseo Lo Mejor” and “Trellas”.
Growing up, I don’t think I could’ve imagined a Latinx artist to be able to be this successful as Bad Bunny has been. He has truly broken a barrier for Spanish-speaking artists, as now they can not only look to reach success within Latin America but also be able to reach the whole world, the language does not matter.
Personally, it brings me pride and joy to see how non-Spanish speakers try to learn the lyrics to his songs, learn Spanish in order to understand him or just vibe to his music without having any idea what he’s saying.
Bad Bunny is one of the hottest artists in the world right now and he will probably not stop here, so even if there is a language barrier I encourage you to at least give it a listen and I know you won’t be disappointed.