Nuevo Culture

Bad Bunny Sends Message to His Critics in TIME Magazine Cover Story

Bad Bunny made history today (Mar. 28) as TIME Magazine’s first cover entirely in Spanish-language. Aside from his update on Sony-Marvel’s El Muerto role, the cover story also touches on his new POV on the “El Apagón” lyric, a message to his critics who don’t want to listen to him anymore, and his current perspective on colorism in the reggaeton space. 

One of Benito’s Un Verano Sin Ti global hits is “El Apagón,” where he talks about non-Latines trying ‘to be Latino’ nowadays. The most popular lyric of the track is arguably: “Ahora todos quieren ser latino’, no, ey / Pero les falta sazón,” which he is now seemingly being used against him. When asked about this shift, he said feeling “upset” over those “wanting to be Latino” had passed. 

“I was upset. But now, that feeling has passed me… It’s not like I feel like that right now. It’s good to do what you want,” he said in the interview. “And the same for other artists that are gringo (white) that never would have the opportunity to work with a Latin artist or do a song in Spanish, and now you see them looking at Latin music because it’s on top. It became ‘cool’ to be Latino.”

He continued: “They’re not just making our music; they’re trying to copy the flow of Latinos. But then I think about it — our culture and music runs far and wide. It impacts people in other places. They want to try it and feel it. So why am I going to be bothered by that if they do it with respect?”

When asked who his music is for and about critics who won’t listen to his music now, he says that he makes his music for those who love him. “If you don’t want to listen to my music anymore, that’s OK. That’s fine; someone will like it,” he said. “I do music for [those] who want to listen to me and for who want to connect with me. If you don’t like what I’m doing, I’m not going to do something else for you to like it. If you don’t like it, well, brother, there are plenty of artists out there, and perhaps you’ll find someone you’ll like.”

Moreover, another interesting point was when they asked Benito about race and colorism as having a critical role in determining one’s success in reggaeton. Bad Bunny said, “it’d be irresponsible of [him] to say yes.” He said: “For example, they asked me about if Tego Calderón would’ve been bigger if he wasn’t Black. But in my eyes, Tego Calderón is the biggest singer in the industry.”

He continued: “Maybe doors closed because of his skin [color], maybe some promoter preferred an artist whiter than him. But those things I don’t know. I haven’t lived it. When they asked me, I said, ‘What? To me, Tego Calderón is the biggest singer in the genre. He is one of my idols too. What do you mean not as big? What’s bigger than him?’”

Read the entire cover story via TIME’s official website.