With a total of over billions of views on his official YouTube account, Bad Bunny is whom you can call a chart-topping rap artist. He is a relatively new singer/songwriter who just went mainstream just a couple of years ago, and is now a sought-after music entertainer with multiple awards in his name and sold-out concerts. He is also labeled as the ‘Latin Trap King’ for re-introducing the genre ‘trap music’ into his own language, which eventually led to what we now know as ‘Latin trap’.
Benito Antonio Martínez Ocasio, famously known as ‘Bad Bunny’, hasn’t exactly lived a lavish lifestyle all his life. In fact, he grew up working as a simple bagger at his local grocery store, all the while taking up an audiovisual communication class at a nearby university. He added,
“I still feel like the same little kid I used to be working hard,” – “I am very grateful for those moments, – That experience was part of my growth, working to contribute to my family and be able to support myself. Those moments helped me get to where I am today”
Although Ocasio lived a somewhat difficult life, it didn’t stop him in pursuing his dreams of becoming a music artist. Even at a young age, the Latin trap king already started singing by joining church choirs. He later on took interest in Rap en Espanol, the moment he heard a Puerto Rican hip-hop record called “Ángel Que Había Muerto’ that he received as a Christmas gift.
Similar to a few of the highly acclaimed rappers in the music industry, he already knew what he was going to be. Even on his teenage years, he spent hours and hours listening to salsa legends, Juan Gabriel and Hector Lavoe, every time he gets the opportunity. He also added,
“On Sundays and Saturdays, when it was time to clean the house, when I heard those records, I knew I would have to at least mop the floor or something,”
The Big Break of Bad Bunny
The career of Ocasio started to kick-off when he performed tracks of his own at FL Studio. He then published these tracks on multiple digital platforms, gaining recognition little by little. This was in the mid-2016’s, and it included the track ‘Diles’ to which gained popularity as quickly as it was uploaded. The track garnered over half a billion of views and numbers are still rising as of today. Ocasio however can’t claim responsibility to its success all by himself, it was a collaboration with other well-known artists including Ozuna Ñengo Flow and Arcángel Y Farruko.
As soon as the head of Hear This Music Label, DJ Lucian heard the track, he immediately signed Ocasio. DJ Lucian in a way, even coined the artist’s stage name ‘Bad Bunny’, which he got by referring to the times when the artist as a kid was forced to wear a bunny costume. Although he accepted his stage name, he wasn’t exactly thrilled about it.
His fame as a solo artist really took off when he released his single “Soy Peor” that same year. This was just a couple of months after his collaboration with the other artists mentioned. The single has gotten famous and ultimately landed the Billboard’s U.S. Latin chart at No. 19. By then, every other track he releases gets thousands and even millions of hits by the week on his YouTube account.
At the beginning of his career, a lot of people doubted his talent and creativity. Some even questioned his individuality, claiming it was too much and advised him to tone it down a notch. Quoting the artist himself,
“I can simply tell you that since I was a kid, I didn’t like to look like anyone else, – When I came into this industry, I was never afraid to be myself – There were others who would advise me to tone down a bit, but I just always thought, ‘What’s the worst that could happen?'”
Thankfully, it did him more good than bad. He was even invited to collaborate with globally famous female rapper Cardi B for the 2018 track ‘I Like It’. As you might have guessed, it skyrocketed his career as it made the No. 1 charts.
As his fame grew more and more, his problems also grew. A lot of critiques questioning his lyrics and attitude, some just doesn’t want his music and is vocal about it, and others just hates him with his fame. Due to the heat of the media, he eventually left some of his social media accounts, including Twitter. He even stopped working with the man who gave him a platform in the first place, DJ Lucian. Whatever issues they may have between them, we may never really know.
Bad Bunny continues to live large and rise with popularity as of today. He’s not all that bad as critics and other people claim him to be. In fact, he helped a lot of his hometown neighbors by sending relief goods and money to the unfortunate people that got hit by the Hurricane Maria.