Entertainment

J Balvin Has Made History Out Of Lollapalooza And Becomes The First Latino Headliner In The Festival’s 28 Years

I don’t care how tired you are, what language you speak, where you have to go next, if the DJ decides to pop on some reggaeton at the club, your plans just changed. The genre has been hitting big with U.S. audiences, especially with pop superstars like Cardi B giving it a wider audience to enjoy those thumping bass lines. It’s the perfect music to roll your hips and run your fingers through your hair to while you work off that double shot you took earlier. Some might say it’s also the perfect music to play at the carne asada or to clean the house or to write an essay or…

If you need an introduction to the genre, look no further than J Balvin.

His songs continually perform well in Latin Music charts and his videos are known to grab millions of views within hours of posting. Whether he’s singing about not remembering what happened last night in “6 AM” or the joys of dirty dancing in “Ginza”, or writing a love song to all of us in “Mi Gente“, the smooth sound of his voice mixed with the beat and latin rhythms hits a certain pleasure center in the brain that is absolutely infectious.

Also, I think we would make really beautiful babies. Just sayin…

Over the weekend, J Balvin became the first Latinx headliner at Lallapalooza, a festival that has been in existence for 28 years.

Yep. I said first. Because in the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand and Nineteen, Latinos still have firsts to break through.

And the fans were here for it.

Across social media and in reviews from Rolling Stones to Billboard, many are saying that this was the most intense headline event ever. Way to represent J Balvin!

Seriously, y’all, the show was lit.

I mean…absolutely hyped up.

J Balvin also brought out Wisin y Yandel.

LOST THEIR MINDS.

Lollapalooza, as a festival, started in 1991 as a project of Perry Farrell, the frontman of a popular 90s alt rock band Jane’s Addiction.

The festival was mostly known for its alternative rock and grunge offerings that were indicative of the times. Bands like Red Hot Chili Peppers, Soundgarden, and Nine Inch Nails would travel the country with the festival. While rock music was the main focus, the lineups were eclectic and featured rap acts like Cypress Hill, Ice Cube, and A Tribe Called Quest as well as  electronic music and, yes, Latinx music. Mexican rock band, Café Tacvba were the first to play the festival in 1992. 

Since then, Latinx acts have been part of the North American Lollapalozza festival lineup, which is now rooted in Chicago, but not a huge part. What makes the fact that J Balvin is the first Latinx headliner even more baffling is that the first satellite Lollapalooza festival was in Chile starting in 2011. The next two were in Brazil and Argentina. You would think the North American branch would play nicer with its sister cities.

American audiences have been slow to come around to Latinx entertainment though. Probably the first representation we had in the mainstream consciousness was Desi Arnaz in I Love Lucy. It’s the first example I can think of where a large chunk of the American population loved a Latinx singer whether she was singing in English or Spanish. Since then, Latinx acts have typically had to develop English albums to make an impact in the U.S. market – Gloria Estefan, Selena, and Ricky Martin come to mind.

So when bands like Los Tucanes de Tijuana find themselves on a major summer fest lineup and then are given the key to the city, it’s kind of a big deal. It means that promoters are taking Latinos seriously as a demographic to market to. It also means promoters are ready to support the entertainers Latinos love with real money. 

It’s apparent that J Balvin understands the importance of this legacy.

In this instagram post he says, “”This is dedicated to dreamers to Latinos and those who know that in life everything is cause and effect, and that we deserve to be here.” 

J Balvin deserves to be here and we can only hope it’s the start of the beginning for more Latinx artists to break through.

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Bad Bunny Talks New Music And His Future In Reggaetón In A Powerful New Interview

Entertainment

Bad Bunny Talks New Music And His Future In Reggaetón In A Powerful New Interview

Kevin Mazur / Getty Images

So much of this year has been spent inside our apartments singing and dancing to Bad Bunny hits like “Safaera” and “Yo Perreo Sola” or looking through countless magazines that made him their cover boy.

It seems that 2020 is peak Bad Bunny, as the reggaetónero takes over the world bringing us hit after hit while bringing perreo into the mainstream.

Now, in his latest cover story in The Culture Issue of the New York Times, San Benito gives us insight into what his 2020 has been like, what we can expect from him in the not so distant future and what being a Puerto Rican super star means to him.

Bad Bunny is taking over the world and his latest interview with the New York Times details just how he plans to do it.

‘The World According to Bad Bunny’ – that is what graces the cover of the New York Times’ latest Culture Issue. And it catches your eye – his full face, including his now signature mustache – force you to do a double take to soak in all of his glory. Or maybe that was just my reaction…

Benito Antonio Martínez Ocasio — more popularly known as Bad Bunny, San Benito, El Conejo Malo — is the reggaetónero we’ve all fallen in love with and who is topping charts throughout the world. 

His latest feature story covers everything from his love for Puerto Rico to his next album, but it’s also another major step for the artist in putting both is home and the Latino community on the world stage.

His profile begins with Bad Bunny discussing his album YHLQMDLG, which begins with the song “Si Veo a Tu Mamá”, which has a verse we can all relate to in 2020: “maldito Año Nuevo” (or “this damn new year”). But despite all the BS that 2020 has thrown our way, Bad Bunny has managed to shine through by being an advocate when it comes to so many issues.

Bad Bunny says he feels like an “athlete representing his Puerto Rico at the Olympics.“

San Benito has made it his mission to put his homeland on the map and to showcase to the world the problems that Boricuas face on the island. In the interview, Bad Bunny describes himself as an athlete representing Puerto Rico in the Olympics.

Those problems he speaks of include the island’s status as a commonwealth territory of the U.S. which means its citizens on the island cannot vote for president or have any voting representatives in Congress. 

The natural disasters of Hurricane Maria, Irma and the earthquakes that rung in 2020 also add to the laundry list of problems, and also came with little financial help from Trump’s federal government, which has left Puerto Rico in a vulnerable state to this day.

In language, Caribbean Spanish like that of Puerto Rico is heavily criticized by the so-called sophisticated Latin Americans, but they all bop their heads to Bad Bunny tunes like “Safaera,” “La Romana,” and more.

So many of us love Bad Bunny for his constant activism and he doesn’t disappoint in this NYT piece.

Bad Bunny is known for breaking cultural stereotypes, shattering boundaries others couldn’t dream of, and advocating for women. He’s even openly talked about depression, and shown the world it is okay not to feel okay.

His activism has also shown support for the trans community with the video “Yo Perreo Sola,” dressed in drag, or when he’s done public appearances wearing a skirt and a shirt that read “mataron a alexa, no a un hombre en falda.”

However, in the wake of George Floyd’s murder, Benito was suspiciously mute — no posts on social media, no interviews. He seemed to have disappeared at a moment that so many of us could of benefited from his compassion. Many criticized the singer for his silence.

But on June 12, a TIME article was published about him speaking out, through email exchanges, and how he did not want to just send a basic message, but rather go deeper to “support the fight against a systematic monster that’s been [around for] centuries.”

Bad Bunny also speaks out about reggaetón’s black roots – which so often go unmentioned.

Credit: Kevin Mazur / Getty Images

As for inspirations, Benito called out the prominent Black stars who helped shape reggaetón into the phenomenon that is it today. He admits that’s something he’s still learning about. “As a child, for better or worse, I always lived in my bubble,” Benito says. “Now, I could say – and people do say – it’s a form of privilege. But it’s always been my way of being. Me, in my house and in my bubble, imagining a better, more magical world.”

As he ascends into the pop mainstream, Bad Bunny also opens up about returning reggaetón to its Puerto Rican roots on his album YHLQMDLG. “Since reggaetón went pop all over the world, I don’t feel like people really know the sound that raised me, that I grew up studying,” he says. “This is the album I would’ve wanted to release when I was 15 and dreamed of being a singer.” Benito also hints to the next project, adding, “My next album doesn’t have anything to do with YHLQMDLG.”

It’s a long interview but, come on, it’s with Bad Bunny so the entire interview is worth the read. You can check out the NYT piece here.

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McDonald’s Just Announced Their Newest Menu Item: The ‘J Balvin Meal’

Entertainment

McDonald’s Just Announced Their Newest Menu Item: The ‘J Balvin Meal’

Photo: jbalvin/Instagram

If you thought J Balvin couldn’t get any more successful than he already is, you were wrong.

On Monday, McDonalds announced a surprise collaboration with the chart-topping Colombian reggaeton singer.

According to their press release, McDonalds and J Balvin have teamed up to create a signature “J Balvin Meal”. The meal will consist of a Big Mac, fries with ketchup and an Oreo McFlurry. Customers who order the meal through the app will get the McFlurry for free. The meal will be available until November 1st, so it is indeed, a limited-time offer.

“As a longtime McDonald’s fan, I am excited to join the short list of global icons who have had a meal named in their honor,” Balvin said in the press release. “I am looking forward to sharing my signature order with my fans, along with more surprises that are to come with this partnership. ¡Lego!”

McDonald’s had been teasing the meal for days, tweeting out messages like “reply to this tweet and we’ll tell you a secret about our next collab meal”. They also sent out a cryptic tweet where they just posted a bunch of rainbow-colored circles (for those of you who don’t know, J Balvin loves rainbow colors so much that he named his fifth studio album “Colores” and called his tour the “Arcoiris” tour).

The J Balvin x McDonald’s collab comes on the heels of the fast food chain’s wildly successful collaboration with rapper Travis Scott.

The Travis Scott Meal (which was literally just a quarter pounder with cheese topped with lettuce and bacon, fries with barbecue sauce, and a Sprite) was so popular that McDonald’s reported nationwide shortages of the meal’s key ingredients, like lettuce, slivered onions, and bacon.

It makes sense that the most popular artist in the world is getting his own McDonald’s meal. And naturally, fans have some thoughts…

The opportunity to express their opinions about this unconventional collaboration was just too tempting to pass up.

The memes about the possibility of multi-colored burgers were plentiful.

If McDonald’s offered multi-colored burgers, something tells us they would have people lining up out the door.

Of course, people couldn’t help but take a jab at McDonald’s *constant* broken ice-cream machines.

McDonald’s might as well have added a disclaimer to their press release explaining that the McFlurries would only be available at locations in the U.S. with working ice-cream machines (all ten of them).

Some people were even brain-storming ideas for the next famous artist and McDonald’s collab:

Considering McDonald’s prides itself as a family-friendly establishment, we’re not sure how they could pull this one off…although we’d love to see them try!

We wonder what artist McDonald’s plans to collaborate with next!

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