In the early 1980s, Vargas fled her home country of El Salvador when her husband was killed during the nation’s civil war. After seeking asylum, she was smuggled into the U.S., in a small wooden box, thanks to the efforts of her children. Once here, Vargas remarried, had another child, got divorced, all while making ends meet with menial jobs. In 1996, Vargas received her U.S. citizenship, and a few years later she met the man who would become her husband, Jorge Alberto. Unfortunately, Jorge was deported back to El Salvador earlier this year, leaving their marriage’s future uncertain. And the cherry on top of all this bad luck? Vargas is currently saddled with $17,000 dollars in medical debt because her employer – Trump International Hotel in Las Vegas – refuses to sign a contract with the union she belongs to, which could have provided her with the benefits to cover her breast cancer surgery.
Don’t get it twisted, though. Vargas is anything but beaten.
Vargas is fighting to have her employer recognize her union, which has been an uphill battle. When Vargas and other co-workers began wearing union buttons in a show of solidarity, they were briefly suspended. Only after the Culinary Union 226 came to their defense, filing an “unfair labor practice” with the National Labor Relations, was Vargas allowed to return to work, still wearing her buttons. Without the Culinary Union 226, workers in situations similar to Vargas’ might end up on the streets or worse. Despite the backlash, Vargas isn’t deterred. She’ll keep on fighting through, and she’ll also cast her vote in Nevada, a state Donald Trump sorely needs to have any chance of winning, for Hillary Clinton.
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.
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.
Despite Cardi B filing for divorce from Offset last month (?) and proclaiming that she “hasn’t shed one tear” over the decision, it appears that she has since had a change of heart…
Over the weekend, video surfaced of Cardi B kissing Offset at her lavish 28th birthday party. The PDA was captured by camera-wielding partygoers. Offset also documented the weekend festivities on his own Instagram, posting a lot of Instagram stories of Cardi celebrating her birthday weekend.
Offset also posted a birthday message to Cardi on his Instagram page where he was practically gushing over his admiration for the Dominican rapper.
But Offset didn’t just simply attend Cardi’s birthday party. According to multiple outlets, Offset appeared to have gifted Cardi with a massive billboard that featured a picture of her and daughter, Kulture, in matching pink outfits. Cardi posted a video of her reaction to the billboard to her Instagram, captioning the post with: “Thank you sir. I love it.” Fans quickly guessed that the “sir” in question was Offset.
Not only that, but Offset allegedly gave Cardi a brand new Rolls Royce truck with Kulture’s name embellished on the seats. So to outside observers, it appears he’s pulling out all the stops to approve his love and affection.
Cardi B’s birthday party seemed to be quite the affair. The soiree was thrown in Las Vegas and was attended by the likes of Megan Thee Stallion and Kylie Jenner. Social distancing rules did not seem to be in place.
The apparent reconciliation between Cardi B and Offset comes just days after Offset appeared to look distressed on his own Instagram page. When fans asked him what the source of his haggard appearance was, the Migos rapper responded: “I miss Mrs. WAP.”
Cardi B was also recently noticeably defensive of her ex-husband, telling her fans to stop with the hatred of her former partner and the father of her child. “I don’t talk to him but you not going to disrespect my child father,” she told her fans via Twitter. “If he die, go broke, you not the one that’s going to raise my kid & you not the 1 who pays for her shit.”
We guess we’ll just have to stay tuned to see what happens with these two.