In “El Apagón,” Bad Bunny tackles gentrification and blackouts

Bad Rabbits wave flags during a 2019 national strike demanding the resignation of Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello.

Bad Rabbits wave flags during a 2019 national strike demanding the resignation of Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello.
photo: Eric Rojas/AFP (Getty Images)

Puerto Rican artist Benito Antonio Martinez Ocasio – aka bad rabbit— Dropped his fifth studio album on May 6it’s already 2022 Most Streamed Album. its title, United Nations Villano Cinti, Translating as “summer without you”, the vibe is reminiscent of lazy beach days and their afterparty: Songs about dancing, drinking, hooking up, and falling out of love.

Then there’s “El Apagón” or The Blackout, in which Bad Bunny trades slams on political leaders and continental gentlemen for verses about why he loves his home: “Martita sea, otro apagón. Vamo’ pa’ lo’ leacher a prender un blunt ante que a Pipo le dé un bofetón.” Damn, another power outage. Before I slap Pipo, let’s go to the bleachers and order a blunt weapon.

“Pipo” is the nickname for the island current governor, Pedro Pierluis.he is a former coal lobbyist Run an island with frequent power outages. Last year Pierluisi promised residents less energy disruptions in the future…and then in early April, South coast fires power plants, keeping millions in the dark.Schools have to close, intensive care unit at Mayaguez Medical Center power outage temporarily.

Residents and businesses alike are tired of blackouts. Last month, four major companies sued the island’s electricity agency, LUMA $310 million in losses. Angry residents rally outside LUMA offices in San Juan, tossed bags of food Spoiled in their fridge. According to statistics, the power outage in April cost Puerto Rico as much as $500 million. El Sindia.

Pipo isn’t the only one in “El Apagón” who is sent on a mission.At the end of the song, bad bunny’s partner Gabriella Berlineri Sing “Yo no me quiero ir de aquí, no me quiero ir de aquí, que se vayan ellos” or “I don’t want to leave, I don’t want to go, them should leave” – ​​presumably referring to the new islanders, including continental Americans, social media influencers and “Crypto Colonists“They make many locals feel unwelcome in their own homes.

Other songs in the album, like “Andrea,” also deals with the tug-of-war between Love Island, its people and its culture, but understands the reality of having to live there. “Quiere quedarse en PR, no irse pa’ ningún estado pero todo se ha complicado,” Bad Rabbit sings: “She wanted to stay in PR and not go to a certain state, but everything got complicated. “

Despite the complaints, the lyrics of “El Apagón” also remind listeners that “Puerto Rico está bien cabrón” or “Puerto Rico is fucking wonderful”. The song balances the joys of the island with the ordeal of displacement, unreliable politicians and regular blackouts — and reminds listeners that they’re worth fighting for.

This is a particularly important message recent protests. Last year, environmentalists and residents of the popular beach town of Rincon protested at a condominium site that blocked the build a swimming pool This cuts off beach access and threatens the endangered sea turtles that lay their eggs nearby.Earlier this year, beachgoers Picked up by wealthy homeowners Local Puerto Ricans organized a party protest. A month later, another protest party called “Ghetto BeachIt was held in Dorado. People were dancing, sunbathing and chanting “yo soy Boricua, pa que tu lo sepas”/”I’m Puerto Rican, you know. “

Like the protest party, Bad Bunny’s “El Apagón” brought light to the audience in the island’s literal and socioeconomic darkness. Things aren’t perfect, but at least Puerto está bien cabrón.

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