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It’s disconcerting when you know that you are in the presence of a story in the making. It’s the kind of energy that bad bunny brought to Yankee Stadium the weekend of August 27-28.
More than 50,000 people attended the two back-to-back performances, and the GRAMMY and Latin GRAMMY-winning artist testified to his unparalleled star power tenfold with equal parts courage and charisma. On Sunday, he even won an MTV Video Music Award for Bronx Performing Artist of the Year — the first Spanish-speaking artist to win that category in the award’s 37-year history. “Since day one I have always known that one day I could be the biggest star in the world without having to change culture, language, gender. I am Benito Antonio Martínez Ocasio, from Puerto Rico to the world” , did he declare. in Spanish.
Although this was the fifth time I’ve seen the star live (yes, I’m a huge fan, like almost everyone), it struck a different chord this time around as Benito has reached unfathomable heights in recent years. With her utterly impressive successes, topping the charts and registration–rupture sequence, it is indisputable that the astronomical ascent of El Conejo Malo is the stuff of legends. This is the era of the rabbit and we are all living in it.
He’s a modern musical shapeshifter who is ardently loved by the masses – and that love was on full display in the historic stage and beyond. The D train ride carried elated crowds shouting his songs, while PA systems blared his hits and countless people sported bunny ears. It was truly a monumental occasion for all involved, especially since the city has the largest population of Puerto Ricans in the country outside of PR itself.
Here are five times Bad Bunny’s hottest world tour performance at Yankee Stadium, testifying that he is a fascinating entertainer for the ages.
Almost every song he performed is a No. 1 single
The year isn’t over yet, but Bad Bunny’s A Verano Sin Ti is on track to become the biggest album of 2022. It’s the second all-Spanish album to top the Billboard Global 200 chart – the first being his own. El Ultimo Tour del Mundo from 2020. With seven staggering No. 1 singles on his fourth solo release and counting – and many memorable bangers throughout his six-year career – fans were treated to an evening of thrills and chills. nonstop.
The moment Bad Bunny stepped onto the stage and the captivating notes of “Moscow Mule” began to play, the audience visibly lost their minds. He was armed with an arsenal of hit after hit: the swirling “Dakiti”, the partying “Estamos Bien”, the very viral “Me Porto Bonito”, Cardi B“I Like It,” the Latin GRAMMY-nominated “Vete” salsa trap number, and the beat continues.
But who in the world could have imagined a sold-out mass at Yankees Stadium singing in unison: “¡Shorty tiene un culo bien grande!” (Or “Shorty has a big ass!”, lyrics of “Yonaguni”)?
He invited an All-Star lineup of legendary guests
Reggaeton pioneer Chencho Corleone enjoyed a successful second wave of fame, but this time on a global scale. Fresh off the show at Baja Beach Fest in Mexico the previous weekend, the Plan B alum took to the East Coast to revel in New Yol pride – and Corleone did not disappoint. When his high-pitched, dancehall-tinged cadence arrives on the “Me Porto Bonito” verse, the mood is undeniably more literal, inspiring perreo moves throughout the stadium.
Genre veterans Jowell & Randy also provided some serious warmth, particularly as the wickedly punchy beats of “Safarea” kicked in. The Puerto Rican pair blazed the trail for some nasty old school reggaeton, and the crowd loved it. They even played a few of their own Bad Bunny hits in 2020 Viva El Perreo, including “Se Acabó la Cuarentena”. “¿Dónde están los que hacen lo que les dé la gana?,“Bad Bunny shouted at one point, or ‘where are those who do what they want?’, a reference to YHLQMDLG.
Arcángel also made a striking appearance during Bad Bunny’s Latin trap segment — which included the risque “La Ocasión” and “Me Acostumbré” — and provided his signature nimble voice. Next, Marías crooner María Zardoya showed up to sing the soulful “Otro Atardecer” from Bunny’s new album. Veteran reggaetonero Tony Dize also came to join the party on stage.
Romeo Santos’ performance was both epic and humbling
The moment the Bachata King stepped onto the stage, the hordes of ecstatic and utterly amazed people collectively realized it was another one for the books. Romeo Santos‘ was a sight to behold, and he stood in awe to hear the roaring crowd. Dressed in white and a splash of lime green, the Aventura frontman shouted “Puerto Rico! Republica Dominicana!” and started with the insatiable “Volví”.
Last August, Aventura with Bad Bunny released the upbeat banger that earned the bachata band their first No. 1 song in over a decade, and it felt timeless as two of the hottest superstars in the planet performed it side by side, followed by a hug of mutual respect.
Santos’ return to Yankee Stadium was also notable given that the Bronx native has a large, homegrown, and fervent fan base. (He sold Yankee Stadium in 2014.) The Puerto Rican-Dominican artist sang his own hit, the slinky “Propuesta Indecente” a capella, but when the two icons released Don Omar’s “Ella Y Yo,” featuring Bad Bunny singing Omar’s parties, all hell broke loose. “¡The king of bachata!‘, Bad Bunny shouted, as the king came out with guns blazing.
Its uplifting tropical vibes are far reaching
Bad Bunny has inspired city dwellers around the world to bask in a summery groove, whatever the season and far beyond the tropical archipelago. That upbeat energy was alive and well this weekend as diverse crowds of Mexicans, Dominicans, Puerto Ricans, Colombians and other New Yorkers rode back to their homeland on the train to Yankee Stadium.
Many not only wore beachwear, but channeled a cheery attitude accompanied when going on vacation, and A Verano Sin Ti captures that infectious carefree spirit – a stark contrast to its previous apocalyptic theme El Ultimo Tour del Mundo. It’s a feeling we’ve missed terribly during the pandemic, and Bad Bunny was a beaming ray of sunshine, warming our hearts and brightening our minds.
His embrace of Latinx culture is transcendental
Along with delivering one of the most exhilarating performances I’ve had the honor to attend, Latinx pride and culture was in full swing. New York City has a long history of supporting the Latinx community and was one of the first major American cities to embrace Bad Bunny when he appeared in 2017. He returned that respect in many ways – from songs of the legendary New York salsa team. Fania All-Stars also echoed throughout the room before he entered. Ray Baretto, Hector Lavoeand Willie Colon the tunes were a welcoming reprise, but the multitude of crowds waved their own flags with pride.
Bad Bunny spotlighted traditional genres like Dominican dembow, Puerto Rican salsa, merengue, and other Caribbean beats alongside contemporary urban beats, setting the mood for Latinx togetherness. Towards the end of his concert, his backup dancers also waved a Puerto Rican flag with the words “Está bien cabrón” (or “This is shit”) written on it, which was followed by a deafening roar from the audience. It was, in fact, the first time the legendary Yankee Stadium had hosted a reggaeton showcase of this caliber. Considering that just a few years ago the Boricua star was working at a local grocery store, it makes her achievement all the more magnificent.
For a borough like the Bronx, which is heavily populated by the Latin diaspora, having a Puerto Rican entertainer reign over Yankee Stadium for a weekend marked a triumphant moment. While Spanish-language music was often overlooked by mainstream American media just a decade ago, the success of Bad Bunny is our success. And his music has transcended as a way to celebrate Latinidad.
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