Love for Bad Bunny’s “Yo hago lo que me da la gana”

sIn the past, there was much prejudice and bias against reguetón music in Puerto Rico—nevermind the fact that our country created this music genre. Initially, this prejudice found it’s base in valid reasoning: reguetón songs were misogynistic, they objectified and sexualized women, and promoted themes such as drugs and violence. Of course, misogyny and power isn’t the case for every reguetón song ever created, though. Hence why there was and still is prejudice against it. However, it seemed as though the majority of songs fell under these degrading categories.

Today, Puerto Ricans are more open to listening to reguetón and the new-emerging Trap genre. Three factors that affect this: 1) new artists like Bad Bunny and Ozuna are integrating Trap into mainstream culture, 2) the range of relatable themes that don’t necessarily fall into the previously mentioned categories, and 3) the attention that our country is receiving for a music genre that’s ours.

There’s still prejudice against this type of music, with some people claiming that it shouldn’t be considered music at all. However, more and more people are finding enjoyment and solace within Trap music and the urban genre.  

When it comes to Bad Bunny, there are generally two opinions: people either like him, or they don’t. It’s that simple, there’s no in-between, and if there is, they probably lean more towards not wanting him. Some people are on the fence about him: they seem to like his personality but not his music, and vice-versa.

The root of controversy comes from his music; more specifically, the themes expressed in his songs, the “vulgar” way in which he chooses his words, and the genre of his music. In the beginning, when he was obligated to make a specific type of music to rise in the industry, his songs contained misogynistic themes that objectified and sexualized women. Once he got the liberty to create his music, he made two albums that show a more progressive side to him.

I fall into the “people who like him” section. I love Bad Bunny because he’s different and so unapologetically himself, two qualities perfectly represented in his new, highly anticipated album Yo hago lo que me da la gana. Even the title screams a “screw everything” attitude, an era where he’s doing things his way.

YHLQMDLG is more organized and concise than his debut album, X100pre. It touches upon specific themes that range from heartbreak to full-on perreo. This range is a reflection of his two moods, which are predominant throughout his whole discography: heartbroken and horny. In some songs, like “Ignorantes,” there’s a blend of the two that leave the listener feeling sad about that one ex, but at the same time, pleased about the happy moments shared with them. 


 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by BAD | BUNNY (@badbunnypr) on


YHLQMDLG is the perfect mixture of old school reguetón and Trap, with songs like “Safaera” (which, in my opinion, should be our perreo anthem) and “Bichiyal.” These songs are extremely sexual and incite the listener to loosen up for a little while. Their main message is perreo and bellaqueo, bellaqueo, and perreo, and sometimes, that’s all we need in life. The album also reunites some of the OG reguetoneros, like Daddy Yankee, Ñengo Flow, Kendo Kaponi, Jowell & Randy, and Yaviah. In turn, it brings back memories of both my preteen years and my adolescence. 

Bad Bunny sings about female empowerment in songs like “Yo perreo sola” (“Te llama si te necesita/ Pero por ahora está solita/ Ella perrea sola”), “La difícil” (“Quería un gatito y lo cazó/ De las relaciones se cansó/ La última que tuvo la atrasó”), and “Bichiyal” (“Ya son las diez y se empezó a maquillar/ Hoy se puso traje, hoy se va a guillar/ Una asesina, los mata con perreo.”) Out of these songs, “Yo perreo sola” is the most powerful. Not only does the woman voice her needs and desires, but Bad Bunny also breaks away from gender roles in its music video. In it, we see Bad Bunny dressed as a woman, his face full of eye-catching makeup, and perreando like one. For a typically sexist and homophobic genre, this symbolizes the beginning of positive change within it.  


 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by BAD | BUNNY (@badbunnypr) on


The singer is not afraid to explore different genres; he mixes them with Trap to challenge his creativity, and the unchanging beat that predominates in this music genre. In “Hablamos mañana,” the soft guitar that’s playing in the background quickly changes to a loud and exhilarating drum beat towards the end that is similar to the Rock genre. What stands out in this song is this quick shift between one genre to the other and how uplifting the different beats are. This song is not so much about the lyrics, and it’s all about the rhythm. 


 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by BAD | BUNNY (@badbunnypr) on


Another aspect of the album that I love is how Puerto Rican it is. Bad Bunny is not afraid of using Puerto Rican slang or pronouncing his words in our accent. He changes his r’s for l’s, shortens para to pa’, and doesn’t say the’s’ in some reports that usually finish with it.

The whole album feels like an ode to Puerto Ricans: it has that proudness, that lively nature, and the easy-going personality that characterizes us. That theme stands out in “P FKN R.” Bad Bunny, Arcángel, and Kendo Kaponi shout “Yo soy de P fucking R” with the same enthusiasm that all Puerto Ricans have when they talk about their identity and when represented around the world. 

If you haven’t listened to YHLQMDLG yet, I encourage you to do so. The album might not be for everyone, but I guarantee that it’s diverse, fun, passionate, and light-hearted. Since we’re all quarantined indefinitely, music serves as an entertaining outlet that helps us relax. I’ve been listening to the album every day for the past month: in love with 90% of the songs. It takes me on an emotional rollercoaster that guides me from heartbreak to lust, and then back to love. The album is worth the listen, and Bad Bunny is one to be remembered. As he says: “Menos violencia, más perreo!”