05 April 2023

5 April 2023 - Bad Bunny - El Apagón

This is probably the longest single music video we've ever posted here. But it's worth it.  

Bad Bunny is arguably the biggest star to come out of Puerto Rico in a generation, and he's very proud and very defensive of his roots and his home.  HIs reggaeton-infused music has made him an international superstar. He uses his huge platform for good - highlighting issues that are plaguing Puerto Rico.

One of the biggest issues that has plagued Puerto Rico over the last decade has been the weakness of their power grid.  LUMA Energy, the company that primarily controls the grid that took over the grid in 2021 from the government for $115 million, has been under fire for mismanaging exactly that.  A joint venture between Texas company Quanta Services and Alberta company ATCO for the express purpose of managing and improving the grid, it serves the further benefit for those two companies of being a tax shelter, as it was established as a result of Act 22 of 2012, which exempts external investors from taxation on passive income.  LUMA is by far not the only beneficiary of Act 22, as a lot of real estate investors are also injecting their money into the territory and displacing residents.

So, you're thinking, "Well, that paragraph was quite the left turn.  What the hell does that have to do with reggaeton?"

"El Apagón" literally translates to "The Blackout". 53 seconds into this video for his song, you are introduced to a 20-minute documentary on LUMA Energy and Act 22 - and it's really, really well done.  The reporter, Bianca Graulau, is eloquent and well-researched, and passionate about the subject.- she does a LOT more videos on her YouTube channel, on both the power grid and Act 22, as well as other issues that impact Puerto Rico (and, also, interestingly, Hawaii, which has a similar history of United States colonization).

I encourage you to watch this video. If you don't know Spanish, turn captions on - it has English subtitiles.  Also, please go check out Bianca Graulau's other videos, many of them in English, as they give a lot more detail than this video can.

I am going to talk about the music, but talking about that video first was important.  

Lyrically, the song is typically boastful - he talks about how he is a particular fan of the Puerto Rican variety of a particular body part only found on a woman, but in a somewhat vulgar manner ("Me gusta la chocha de Puerto Rico") - but it's also a fun song, incorporating pop and trap sounds in with the reggaeton.  It's a song that expresses pride about Puerto Rico - about being proud of his homeland.  It's NOT the political song you think it is - but he DID use the title and song to suck people into a bigger message. 

Gabriela Berlingeri, his former girlfriend, provides the outro song, which is a pure pop contrast.  She's not a famous musician in her own right (although she has worked on several of Bad Bunny's song, including recording reference vocals for Jennifer Lopez on another song) - and the selection of her as a singer here is by design and not just because Bad Bunny and her had adopted a puppy together - but she, just a citizen, sings passionately about HER homeland.  

And yes.  That's Snoop.

No comments:

Post a Comment