Pop Culture Joyful Hour : NPR



Negative Bunny is just one of the world’s greatest pop stars. His very last album, “El Ultimo Tour Del Mundo,” was the initial completely Spanish-language record at any time to hit No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard albums chart. Now, a year and a half afterwards, the Puerto Rican singer is back with a new history referred to as “Un Verano Sin Ti” – or “A Summer season Without the need of You.” I am Stephen Thompson. Now, we are speaking about Poor Bunny on POP Culture Content HOUR from NPR.


THOMPSON: Joining me these days is Anamaria Sayre. She’s a producer for NPR’s Alt.Latino. Hello, Anamaria.

ANAMARIA SAYRE, BYLINE: Hey. What is actually up, Stephen? Many thanks for acquiring me.

THOMPSON: Oh, it is this kind of a satisfaction. I’m so glad we can talk about this document. So Bad Bunny has been streamed billions on billions of times. He was Spotify’s most streamed artist in equally 2020 and 2021. Now his new album, “Un Verano Sin Ti,” has established its personal spherical of streaming data. This previous Friday, the day it arrived out, Lousy Bunny received the most streams any artist has at any time registered in a solitary working day, with more than 183 million. Benito Antonio Martinez Ocasio is a total-fledged multimedia superstar. He done at the 2020 Super Bowl. He gained the 2021 WWE 24/7 Championship. He’s in the forthcoming Brad Pitt thriller “Bullet Practice.” And he’s just been cast in an forthcoming Marvel movie.

Now “Un Verano Sin Ti” promises to make Poor Bunny an even bigger star. It is a 23-song, double-duration album that sprawls throughout many genres, including pop, entice, reggaeton and a great deal extra. It is really tricky to sum up this album working with a single seem or genre or vibe. But it really feels like an expansive summertime mixtape. It can be even split into a Aspect A and a Side B. Side A characteristic many guest artists from Puerto Rico, together with Jhay Cortez and Rauw Alejandro, while Aspect B showcases a amount of women’s voices, together with those people of the Marias, Bomba Estereo and Buscabulla. Anamaria, what do you consider of “Un Verano Sin Ti”?

SAYRE: Whew, I signify, what do I think of it? That is this kind of a loaded issue. I sense like, for the sake of – I do not know – like, journalistic ethics, integrity, I have to disclose, off the bat, that I individually am in appreciate with Terrible Bunny. So…

THOMPSON: (Laughter) So vicious objectivity…

SAYRE: Certainly.

THOMPSON: …Just chilly, surgical objectivity.

SAYRE: What do I feel of the album? I really like it. I really like listening to it. I consider it is a departure for him in lots of techniques and also, like, really reliable, you know? He released these, like, again-to-back-to-back again tasks – appropriate? – you know, about 2020.

THOMPSON: Three albums in 2020.

SAYRE: Nuts, crazy.


SAYRE: With each and every new 1, he broke the mold, I assume, a tiny further. He’s clearly recognised as becoming this actually huge reggaetonero. And he went from that to incorporating, like, pop and punk and all these kind of various, exciting seems. And what was humorous about listening to you listing some of the genres he plays with is I’m like, that won’t even definitely top rated the surface area of what he’s participating in with on this album.

THOMPSON: No, not at all.

SAYRE: There’s, like, insert – as well as mambo, bossa nova, dwelling, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. And I consider, like – this, to me, is kind of, like, his victory lap album in a way, wherever it truly is like, there had been no anticipations in quite a few approaches around this album. Like, he did not have to adhere to something or any person. He is, like, the star. Felix and I – Felix Contreras, host of Alt.Latino – we get into type of arguments, soft arguments, about this a ton mainly because I’m like, Felix, he’s not Latin pop star Bad Bunny any more. Like, he is just the pop star. We do not even want to converse any more about crossing above and all these diverse issues that we normally discuss about with significant Latin artists. Like, he is the crossover. He’s done it. He can sing in Spanish, he can sing in English, he can enjoy with regardless of what genres he want and individuals will listen.

I mean, you listened to these quantities. It really is like, he could drop, like, a kid’s history – I will not know – like, a KIDZ BOP thing. And people today would be like, oh, my God, glimpse at what he did. It truly is so ground breaking. But I assume he has acquired people stripes. I think, like, what he does below is truly amazing. I imagine he actually spends a ton of time – as opposed to earning it, you know, this tremendous pared-down, tight work, he definitely spends a whole lot of time meandering as a result of the diverse genres, via the distinct spots that he mentions, you know, whether or not in lyrics or in models or sonically or whatever it could be. He seriously usually takes his time painting this seriously lovely homage to Latin The usa as a entire, homage to Puerto Rico, like he often does, to himself, to his lovers. So I believe you seriously get an spectacular array of principles pushed house listed here.

THOMPSON: Yeah. You stated victory lap, and it does truly feel like that. It feels quite bold in a whole lot of techniques. Like, it seriously feels like he’s attempting to showcase, like, almost everything he can do all at at the time, all on best of just about every other. But I do think you can find type of an uncompromising quality to this file at the identical time that seriously shines through. Like, as bold as this is, as a lot as this is geared to be the album of the summer months, as substantially as it is geared to be type of all things to all people today – you described the unique Latin American nations that he’s shouting out, you know, how significantly this history is type of trying to attractiveness to a definitely, genuinely wide swath of listeners.

It would have been very easy for this report to be, like, an even more substantial swing at, like, a U.S. pop crossover. This is an artist who’s worked with Drake. This is an artist who’s worked with Cardi B. But you glimpse at the guest checklist on this history, and Rauw Alejandro is a massive star. I mean, they’re absolutely names, but they are not automatically Drake. They are not Cardi B. Like, I was actually delighted, as a lover of Bomba Estereo, as a enthusiast of The Marias, as a enthusiast of Buscabulla. Like, I just liked observing them get this, like, substantial A-list showcase to come to be, you know, greater and even bigger stars.

SAYRE: Yeah, that is a massive piece of the intentionality he’s bringing listed here, correct? Due to the fact, you know, like you stated, like, oh, it truly is built to be the largest album of the summertime it truly is produced to be all these issues. And yes and no, right? Like, “Un Verano Sin Ti,” we received this album title and we ended up like, a summer time without the need of you? Like, that is not an album of bops. Like, that is not, like, an album you are actively playing up in the club. Like, that’s, like, me at household by myself at 10 p.m., like, feeding on chips in bed variety of power. Like, that’s just…

THOMPSON: There are a whole lot of unfortunate bops.

SAYRE: Perfectly, yeah, for positive. For confident. That is correct. And on this file, far too, right? You will find unfortunate bops. You will find common reggaeton hits. There’s a million other things in concerning. And I think that, to me, like, he named the album that mainly because he wanted to have the freedom to play in whichever area he required to. He was environment anticipations that, like, you may possibly be capable to enjoy these in the club, you may possibly not, but I just want to be equipped to do what I want to do. And I assume that, to me, is, much more than anything, a testament to a change in how he desires to serve his supporters in quite a few techniques with his new music.

I have lined Latin music. I have listened to a large amount of these different reggaetoneros returning from COVID. They’re, like, all off with the hits. You have, like, “Pepas.” You have all of these factors that are, like, manufactured for club engage in, proper? Like, they’re designed for, like, get back out there. Get back again out in the environment. Like, do your issue. To me, what I hear when I listen to this history is I listen to Benito getting like, get again out in the club. Get again out on the streets. Get back again out with your family members in the backyard. Like, this album is not essentially about, oh, go and have a outrageous time publish-pandemic. It is truly about, like, him seeking to be section of the listeners’ knowledge in every single part of their day. Like, that actually speaks to younger listeners – ideal? – since you – he’s generally been capable to engage in with the boundaries of points, with the nuance of items. He is generally been kind of a contradiction, I assume, in and of himself and almost everything that he does.

And so I believe the title monitor, “Un Verano Sin Ti” – it has a very somber – not somber but, like, melancholic experience to it. And if you listen to the lyrics, they’re actually quite pleased. They’re very upbeat. And I imagine that is just one instance of him saying to this world youthful viewers that he has, like, I see you. I see the gamut of emotions that you operate in a day or an hour or a minute. And I am in this article to communicate to that and to give you a thing to participate in as a soundtrack to people encounters, no matter what they are.


Poor BUNNY: (Singing in Spanish).

THOMPSON: I wished to discuss about a actual tone-setter on this document. You know, this record kicks off with a song named “Moscow Mule.” And, you know, clearly it can be kind of like a 1st solitary…


Undesirable BUNNY: (Singing in Spanish).

THOMPSON: …And then you get Track 2 ideal soon after that, you get a minimal perception of one thing remaining switched up. This happens about a moment into the track “Despues De La Playa.”


Negative BUNNY: (Talking Spanish).

THOMPSON: All of a sudden you had been just off on a absolutely 180-degree variety of genre switch into this frantic mambo on a report from a dude who was not always known…


THOMPSON: …For mambo. And…

SAYRE: …Yeah, you would be accurate (laughter).

THOMPSON: …And you notice that this history is a radio dial remaining flipped to highlights of a ton of distinctive stations.

SAYRE: Oh, God. I like that song mainly because I feel, you know, when I initially hear to the album, I hear the second observe, I hear him make the switch, toss it, like, to some mambo, like, straight up you can visualize the tias in Zumba heading wild to this track, and I think that that is, like, the second I listened to that, I was like, oh, he is likely for the gold. Like, he is heading to go wherever he would like to go on this record. And that is him knowledge, I know they’re listening in Brazil, I know they are listening in Cuba, I know they are listening in Spain, I know they’re listening all throughout, you know, the Spanish speaking elements of the planet. And so to him, this is seriously a minute where he is taking part in with these seems and providing them up. Like I outlined, I assume he presents shout-outs in his lyrics. He names many, several countries by name. But over and above that, he truly does do all of these types in a way that, to me, didn’t sense contrived.

I feel a amount of artists have form of tried out to intention for this, like, a very little bit of a pan-Latin album in a way exactly where, you know, they identify that Latinidad is not a monolith, There is certainly heaps of distinct styles and appears to participate in with, appropriate? And I you should not know that I have ever noticed an album this stylistically diverse and this properly stylistically various. And it really is actually about, how do we honor the sonic variety of a group of folks who is endlessly, sonically varied?

THOMPSON: Yeah. Give me a feeling of tracks on this history that sense like contenders for music of the summer months 2022.

SAYRE: I nearly would like to go out on a limb right here, and I’m just going to make a assertion about what the summer time will be, I guess…


SAYRE: …And truly emphasize one particular of my preferred tracks on the record, if not, it’s possible I would dare even say my favourite keep track of on the record, which is the Marias collab, “Otro Atardecer.”



Terrible BUNNY AND THE MARIAS: (Singing in Spanish).

SAYRE: It is not “I Like It.” That is for confident.

THOMPSON: (Laughter).

SAYRE: It is not for the, you know, football games and for…

THOMPSON: It truly is a mellower feel.

SAYRE: It’s a mellower really feel. And nonetheless it feels verano. It feels like, you know, I could be at a social gathering with close friends, with family members, taking pleasure in the splendor that is summertime in all of its things – not just the going out piece, but truly just the togetherness and paying time piece. And I assume that a person I truly just like for its variety of broad-achieving skill. I believe it seriously has a lot of sounds in it that truly feel like they’re going to resonate with his viewers.

And I think, even with the fact that he goes just about everywhere, like, there is continue to a very distinct sense to this document. And I assume it’s continuously PR. It truly is continually Puerto Rico, with the playa seems and the, you know. He seriously weaves that all jointly. And it’s heat and festive and not essentially in an in-your-confront variety of way, but, I imagine, in a definitely reliable type of way, which – authenticity is constantly what Bad Bunny has finished greatest and what has drawn individuals to him once more and again.

THOMPSON: Properly, I needed to request you about form of the themes of this history ’cause of course he is heading for a whole lot below. He is stuffing a ton into this record. What themes do listeners get absent from this history?

SAYRE: Like I reported, you know, he’s continually shouting out the PR in all spots of what he does. And he is also persistently quite vocal politically, I consider, in lots of ways. He has a record in the previous of accomplishing this. He is been seen in protests in Puerto Rico. He is finished it in his music. He, you know, paraded all around New York for all his Boricua Nuyorican people. And so just one track in specific stood out to me, which was the Buscabulla collab. “Andrea” I imagine it is. On that monitor, he kind of weaves this full seriously momentous tale about femicide – the femicide of a well-known Puerto Rican, Andrea Ruiz Costas.


Undesirable BUNNY: (Singing in Spanish).

SAYRE: It can be no accident that he did that with Buscabulla, who – you know, 50 percent of that duo is a storied Puerto Rican woman musician. And I assume they understood on that collaboration, from what I’ve listened to, that they truly wished to do something impactful for Puerto Rico. And so he definitely does not keep back on declaring how he feels about the Puerto Rican govt, about Puerto Rico as a complete. And that has usually been something that I imagine a whole lot of instances other Latin artists, when they get huge ample, they shy absent from simply because they want to be a minimal bit – like I stated, like, they’re seeking to do these pan-Latin albums. They are striving to be witnessed as worldwide stars for absolutely everyone. And you will find one thing un poquito complicado about, you know, presenting oneself as seriously strictly Puerto Rican and really strictly standing in specified positions around politics there. But I feel that is a little something he will by no means compromise on. I really don’t see a planet in which Terrible Bunny releases a file that will not have something to say about exactly where he came from.

THOMPSON: Very well, do you want to choose a single much more emphasize to get us out?

SAYRE: Let’s see.

THOMPSON: A different favorite keep track of? I know we’ve only acquired 23 to select from.

SAYRE: I really like them all. Like, severely. Very well, “El Apagon” is a different excellent political statement. It is really speaking about Puerto Rico and the energy outage that transpired put up Maria.

THOMPSON: It is really a challenging-driving, like, danceable observe.

SAYRE: It’s a hard-driving, danceable keep track of. And which is what I’m declaring – in which he plays with that nuance yet again. He’s like, oh, you want to dance in the club? Okay, let’s dance in the club. But we’re heading to be speaking about Puerto Rican politics although we do it.


THOMPSON: Nicely, let’s listen to a small little bit of that.


Terrible BUNNY: (Singing in Spanish).

THOMPSON: All proper. Properly, we want to know what you consider about Undesirable Bunny and “Un Verano Sin Ti.” Uncover us at fb.com/pchh and on Twitter – @pchh. That provides us to the conclude of our exhibit. Anamaria Sayre, thanks so substantially for getting in this article.

SAYRE: Thank you, Stephen.

THOMPSON: And, of system, thank you for listening to POP Culture Content HOUR from NPR. This episode was generated by Mike Katzif and edited by Jessica Reedy. I am Steven Thompson, and we will see you all tomorrow, when we will be chatting about the new Netflix series “Heartstopper.”


GABRIELA BERLINGERI: (Singing in Spanish).

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