"Covers the campus like the magnolias"

Old Gold & Black

'Covers the campus like the magnolias'
"Covers the campus like the magnolias"

Old Gold & Black

"Covers the campus like the magnolias"

Old Gold & Black

Nadie sabe the future of Bad Bunny’s music

The singer’s latest album is one of his best
Bad Bunny says his newest album is for his “true fans.”

How do you follow a record-breaking album? Bad Bunny, or Benito Antonio Martínez Ocasio’s, last album “Un Verano Sin Ti” shattered industry standards as the first album in Spanish to be nominated for the Grammys Album of the Year award in addition to winning a variety of other awards. The album gained international recognition and solidified Bad Bunny as a universal artist regardless of whether listeners spoke Spanish. 

The success of “Un Verano Sin Ti” would be hard for anyone to follow up, but the artist did not back down from the challenge and released “Nadie Sabe Lo Que Va a Pasar Mañana” on Friday, Oct. 13 — just over a year after the release of his last album. 

Bad Bunny first announced this new album vaguely in a Vanity Fair article. A snippet of the album was posted in a comment of an early September post for the magazine before the entire article dropped. Closely following the October issue of the magazine, it happened. The marketing was non-existent until cryptic clues suddenly came back to back in rapid succession. Bad Bunny solidified that an album was on the way soon by wiping his Instagram, which only had a few posts related to his recent single, “Where She Goes.” On Sept. 25, Bad Bunny dropped “UN PREVIEW” — which he stated via his WhatsApp would be the last song he would drop this year and was a preview of what was to come — devastating fans.

In the early days of October, all-white Spotify billboards in cities across Latin America appeared with large black text containing a variety of messages, such as, “Nadie Sabe si será este año o el próximo” (No one knows if it will be this year or the next) and hints of potential features including SZA, A$AP Rocky, Rosalía and more. Fans assumed this was Bad Bunny’s way of toying with his fans’ excitement, a common habit of the artist who believes in keeping fans on their toes. 

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On Oct. 9, in his first Instagram post since the wipe, a one-minute video showed Bad Bunny covering his face and hair as he walked into a restaurant. The camera pans away from him until the end when he reveals his shaved head and officially announces that the album drops on Friday the 13th. Long-time fans of Bad Bunny rejoiced in the fact that this shaved head all but confirmed his return to his musical roots of trap.

Fans, including myself, waited excitedly for the album’s release. I loved his 2016 trap, and I was hoping for him to return to it, but the album is innovative and unique to where Bad Bunny is in his present career. While this is a trap album, Bad Bunny has made it very clear that there will never be a return to the 2016 trap era that began most fans’ obsession with the artist. That being said, he did say in the titular song “Nadie Sabe”  that this album is for his “real fans,” not for those who jumped on the bandwagon when he released “Un Verano Sin Ti” and not for fans of his reggaetón era alone. 

This album is deeply personal to Bad Bunny and overall one of his best, in my opinion. The album’s strength comes not only from the subversion of expectations that he will return to his old style of trap, but also from its solidification that Bad Bunny is unpredictable. 

In “Nadie Sabe,” the title track of the album, fans are allowed into the thoughts of Bad Bunny and his struggle with fame. This song is a statement that none of his fans know him personally, and they need to stop acting like they do. It is a response to the recent backlash he has received due to his relationship with Kendall Jenner and accusations that he is weakening his cultural connections now that he has made it big. This song distinguishes himself as his own person who doesn’t need anyone’s opinion on his choices. 

Following this personal song, the rest of the album is rather shallow, focusing on things like how much money he has and how famous he is. When it was first released, all of the features on the album were a surprise, as the project was shrouded in secrecy and only featured Bad Bunny as the artist. The secrecy of the features made the album so much more exciting for the first listen-through. The album itself sounds pretty uniform and a bit repetitive when you listen to it for the first time, but the creative transitions between Bad Bunny and the features exemplify the uniqueness of the album. 

 When I first heard “Nadie Sabe Lo Que Va a Pasar Mañana,” I assumed that I wouldn’t listen to it very much because I am more partial to his reggaetón over his trap, but I was pleasantly surprised to see how frequently I want to listen to the album. While it is different from his others in that it does not immediately appear to have hit after hit (I would qualify it as a sleeper hit if you stick with it), it is not for everybody and is not supposed to be. The album is not a return to his old trap, but a symbol of his ownership over his future work and a reminder that he will continue to subvert expectations. Overall, I would give the album an 8.3/10.

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  • K

    KevinNov 1, 2023 at 9:58 pm

    I thought this was a very well written article on Bad Bunny’s newest album. I loved how it not only focused on the album, but also the creative marketing that came before it. And I have to say, I too prefer his reggaetón over his trap. Overall, very well written and I can’t wait to read more articles from this writer.