Platonic and honest friendships between dudes can be so cute and downright awesome. The Urban Dictionary, the pinnacle of internet wisdom, defines “bromance” as “the complicated love and affection shared by two straight males.” We have our issues with the restrictive nature of this definition, but OK, we’ll go with it. The entertainment industry is full of relationships marked by “complicated love and affection.” Can we think about Ben Affleck without Matt Damon? Or our own Latino superstars Gael García Bernal without the other great Mexican actor of his generation, Diego Luna? (we mean, just look at them… the definition of Latino bromance right there).
Well, a recent bromance in the music scene has sparked the imagination of millions. Colombian reggaeton powerhouses J Balvin (his full telenovela name is José Álvaro Osorio Balvín) and Maluma (nombre de culebrón: Juan Luis Londoño Arias) share a close bond. It is a true bromance that strips away any sense of competition between the two artists. Perhaps, because they share the same Colombian background and deep passion for music, J Balvin and Maluma have struck a friendship despite having a significant age difference of nine years. J Balvin was born in 1985 and Maluma in 1994. Perhaps Maluma finds in J Balvin a mentor, someone who is slightly more experienced in life and the many ups and downs of fame. The media has often played out a sort of rivalry between the kings of reggaeton, but these are only ill-founded rumors. Fact is, these two dudes love each other.
These are some of the things we love about this pair and why we hope que su amistad sea rica, honesta y duradera. Enter the frase célebre of our dear Laura Quiñones from the legendary Carrusel, but with a twist: “ay, qué bromántico.”
They are both proud children of the city of Medellín and it shows.
J Balvin and Maluma are the faces of contemporary Colombia, and, just like Shakira a few years ago, they have helped wash away the harmful stereotypes that still subsist in popular culture. More so, they were both born and raised in the city of Medellín, which in the 1980s and 1990s became the infamous epicenter of the drug trade. J Balvin and Maluma are the perfect poster boys for the post-Escobar Medellín: creative, energetic and stepping firmly into the future. In one of the handful of photos together they have posted on social media, Maluma wrote: “Medellin pal mundo cucho!! Medellin tiene mucha luz para dar!!” (From Medellin to the world!! Medellin has a lot of light to give!!). Great artists go back to their roots.
They both built their careers from the ground up, as second acts to legends like Daddy Yankee.
This photo was taken in Mexico City in 2016 when Maluma’s and J Balvin’s stars were just aligning and they were crossing over to international stardom outside of the Spanish-speaking market. This photo is a true delight: the past and present of a genre that has defined Latino music today. Who could have guessed they’d be such major artists today.
Igual de excéntricos, they are both equally quirky.
Both artists have created enigmatic personas that redefine Latin American masculinity. Going against traditional macho stereotypes, both take care of their appearance and choose styles that shine, form the clothes down to their often unique haircuts. They are more Lady Gaga than Daddy Yankee, and we say this in the best possible way.
They believe in musical collaboration and admire each other.
Look at those big smiles: not an ounce of professional jealousy. They have both praised each other’s musical prowess and have hinted at a possible further collaboration, which would be like the Super Bowl and the Oscars together for reggaeton fans worldwide.
In fact, they are now teasing at an imminent full-on collaboration! They celebrated J Balvin’s cumple and increased our thirst in the process.
This is not a drill, we repeat, this is not a drill… this is what Maluma posted just a week ago to celebrate his amigacho‘s birthday. “We will soon bring something”, he writes. Se nos cuecen las habas to know what these two are plotting. They are playful… but come on, don’t play with us!
This teasing is just making us crazy, but they love it and we are sure they are having tons of fun a nuestras expensas!
We love how happy they always look together, smiling and living the high life. Here, Maluma is like “So what up, shall we release something together?”.
They are not afraid to also tease each other on social media.
One of the ways in which the singers slay notions of conservative Latino masculinity is by calling out each other on their good looks. This is not common for two openly straight dudes, particularly in Latin America, and sensationalist media looks for a few dollars publishing rumors who are unfounded and insulting to the queer community. It is the twentieth-first century, people!
Will the wait finally be over? We would love this bromance even more.
According to E! Latino, the singers met on April 2018 and their first collaboration, a remix of “X”, the song made famous by Nicky Jam and J Balvin, now Maluma and Ozuna, was released on June 29 of that same year. We would love this pair to collaborate much further, perhaps writing something together.
Se llevan pesado, pero se aguantan, like all good brothers from another mother.
In a video posted in February this year by the artists from the Colombian capital city Bogota, which might signal that they secretly wrote new material together, J Balvin mocks Maluma’s new haircut. He says: “Por fin se cortó el pelo, ya lo pueden presentar en la casa” (“He finally cut off his hair, you can take him home and introduce him to your family”). We should point out that Maluma cut off his famous cabellera for a good cause.
They seem to be aware of everything that the other does on social media, like good BFFs.
The perfect frenemies. In this photo, which has nearly a million likes, Maluma teases J Balvin: “Someone tell him who is the real daddy”. We can guess that Maluma didn’t really like that comment about his lost mane, eh?
We love to witness the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
They are both young men (J Balvin, the oldest, just turned 34 this month), so they will likely remain friends for years and years to come. Music careers, particularly in genres like reggaeton, which depends as much on talent as it does on youth, tend to be short. We can just imagine what they will look like as a pair of viejitos watching videos of their best years and, hopefully, smiling over their many collaborations. Se vale soñar.
Out of all the highlights of the Golden Globes, dynamic duo Diego Luna and Gael García Bernal definitely stole the show when they arrived at the red carpet together as each other’s dates. From being the best of friends to growing in the film industry together, here’s why their fans are totally obsessed with them.
Here’s a picture of the dynamic duo back in 2007 and now in 2017.
So if you find a friend like Diego Luna and Gael García Bernal, hold on tight to them and never let go. Because friends who work together, motivate, inspire and challenge one another, are the best friends anyone could have.