Bad Bunny Once Again Pays His Respects To Tego Calderón: ‘He Is One Of My Idols’
The singer told the magazine, “It’s a place that since I was chamaquito — before all of this — I’ve always dreamed of going. I always dreamed of going to Los Angeles one day because I was a fan of the Lakers and Kobe.” Still, the “Moscow Mule” genre-bending, celestial superstar also talked about his beginnings in Puerto Rico’s Almirante Sur. Raised by “very Catholic” parents, a school teacher and a truck driver, Benito Antonio Martínez Ocasio “grew up with a lot of love” en su barrio. And while he loved Vico C and Marc Anthony, one musical influence reigned supreme: reggaeton great Tego Calderón.
This isn’t the first time Bad Bunny shares his admiration for Calderón
Bad Bunny has shared his love of Tego Calderón in the past. In fact, he told GQ last year that the “Pa’ Que Retozen” singer was “the first O.G. street artist” his parents let him listen to. While his mom was a big fan of “ballads, merengue and Top 40 radio,” his family first gave him a glimpse of reggaeton by letting him listen to Vico C— at least once he made songs with “cleaner” lyrics. Vico C may have been his gateway into the genre, but Tego Calderón was the “first” artist Bad Bunny was “really hooked on.”
One of the cutest stories you’ll hear today? The “Dákiti” star told the outlet that his parents would threaten him with taking away his Tego Calderón CDs. He explained, “When If I was feeling lazy and I didn’t want to get up, they’d threaten me with not being allowed to listen to Tego Calderón. Man, I’d get up so fast and get dressed. I’d be ready.”
The singer reminisced on his parents go-to amenaza: “‘You’re not going to listen to Tego’s song!’ And I’d say, ‘Okay, Mami, fine. I’m ready!’ ” So, while we had the possibility of La Llorona, La Chupacabra, or even la policía coming to put us in check, all Bad Bunny’s parents needed was to get a hold of that Tego Calderón CD.
The star called Calderón “the biggest singer in the industry”
While Bad Bunny once described Calderón as “flow and lyrics made into a human” and “the biggest reason” he is an artist over on Instagram, his recent TIME interview shed even more light on his fandom. When asked about possible racist and colorist dynamics within the reggaeton industry, Bad Bunny replied, “I can’t say that yes or no because I haven’t lived it.” Still, he used Calderón as an example: “They asked me about if Tego Calderón would’ve been bigger if he wasn’t Black. But in my eyes, Tego Calderón is the biggest singer in the industry.”
The “Callaíta” singer still explained that “maybe doors closed because of [Calderón’s] skin,” but said it would be “irresponsible” to speak on an experience that’s not his own. However, Bad Bunny said he doesn’t really understand when people say Calderón could have been more famous. Why? Because he thinks the “Mambo Duro” star is the biggest in the game… and the G.O.A.T.
He described, “When they asked me I said, ‘What? To me Tego Calderón is the biggest singer in the genre, he is one of my idols too. What do you mean not as big? What’s bigger than him?’”
Bad Bunny promises to never forget about reggaeton’s history
It’s important to note that Bad Bunny has also paid respects to Tego Calderón through his lyrics. Namely, his song “El Apagón,” which famously references Calderón’s “Metele Sazón” in its most famous line. Bad Bunny’s lyric, “Ahora todos quieren ser latino, pero les falta sazón, batería y reggaetón” is a derivative of Calderón’s, “Metele sazón, batería y reggaeton” back in the early aughts.
As Bad Bunny said in his recent interview, “To me it’s important to always maintain a respect for those who deserve it.” He continued, “It doesn’t matter how big I grow, I include people that have inspired me that for the better that I wouldn’t necessarily be here… I’m a fan of reggaeton and I don’t want to forget about its history.”