Review: What Makes Bad Bunny So Easy to Love

by Christopher Ehlers

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Monday April 11, 2022

Big Bunny
Big Bunny  (Source:Associated Press)

There's no denying that Bad Bunny is one of the biggest stars in the world right now. And if ever there's been a grandiose display of one man's talent, success, and influence, it's his "El Último Tour Del Mundo" tour, which is just about one of the most impressive concert tours I've ever seen.

What Bad Bunny has accomplished in a relatively short amount of time is staggering, especially when you consider the boundaries that the Puerto Rican rapper has been breaking ever since "I Like It," his 2016 collaboration with Cardi B, put him on the map internationally. Not only is he the first Latin urban music artist to be featured on the cover of Rolling Stone, but he was Spotify's most streamed artist for two years in a row, a first for a non-English language artist. That's even more impressive when you consider the artists he had to out-stream to get there, people like The Weeknd, Dua Lipa, Taylor Swift, and Adele. What's more, his most recent album, "El Último Tour Del Mundo," was the first all-Spanish-language album to claim the top spot on the US Billboard 200. In short, Bad Bunny is one of the most famous men in the world right now, and I wouldn't count on that changing any time soon.

One thing that makes Bad Bunny so easy to love has been his outspoken support for the LGBTQ community. During a 2020 performance on "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon," one of his first major US television performances, he wore a dress in support of Alexa Negrón Luciano, a homeless transgender woman who had just been murdered in Puerto Rico. He wore a shirt that said "mataron a Alexa, no a un hombre con falda," which translates to "they killed Alexa, not a man in a skirt," which is the way that the media had essentially been reporting the story. Another time, when singer Don Omar tweeted something homophobic, Bad Bunny replied to him, saying: "Homophobia in this day and age? How embarrassing, loco."

In addition to making headlines for his record-breaking successes and for his support of the queer community, he has also become known for the way that he has sought to challenge gender and sexuality norms in what is typically a genre filled with toxic machismo. Whether it's incorporating heels or dresses into his photo shoots, painting his nails, or showing up to a basketball game carrying a Chanel purse as he did last week, Bad Bunny is all about unbridled individuality no matter what anyone else thinks about it. When asked about his own sexuality by the LA Times, he replied: "It does not define me. At the end of the day, I don't know if in 20 years I will like a man. One never knows in life. But at the moment I am heterosexual, and I like women."

It's a remarkably progressive attitude for a 28-year-old man who is only just beginning his career. In so many ways, Bad Bunny is the future, and it's impossible to divorce his success from his outspoken activism and wildly progressive ideas about gender and sexuality. Tens of thousands of fans are showing up every night not only because they like his music, but because they like what he stands for.

As for the show itself, it's a high-octane, high-energy extravaganza with more pyrotechnics than I ever thought could be safely fired off in an indoor setting. Performed entirely in the round, the concert begins as a life-size big rig truck drives across the floor of the arena. For the first handful of songs, Bad Bunny performs atop the truck, just like on the album cover for "El Último Tour Del Mundo," before it opens up and reveals a thrust-like stage that moves forward and back towards different ends of the arena. Complete with state-of-the-art lighting and constant blasts of fire from the stage, it's certainly the most innovating staging I've ever seen, one that was designed with audience experience in mind. Rather than rely on tiny screens around the arena, as most artists do, Bad Bunny has a series of massive screens hanging around the stage that spin, rise, and fall, giving everyone, regardless of seating section, a perfect view. Then there are his backup dancers, dancers of all colors, sizes, sexual orientation, and gender, that reinforce Bad Bunny's ideals while amping up the entertainment value of the show itself.

The most exciting thing about Bad Bunny? That's he's only just getting started. The name of this tour may be "El Último Tour Del Mundo" (The Last Tour of the World), but he's already announced his next outing, which is sure to be this summer's hardest-to-get-ticket. Beginning in August, his "World's Hottest Tour" will play outdoor stadiums across the U.S., South America, and Mexico. And after seeing the kind of show Bad Bunny puts on inside, there's no doubt in my mind that he's going to blow our minds this summer.

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