Bad Bunny, a 24-year-old Puerto Rican Latin trap star, rose to fame virtually overnight. He appeared out of nowhere with his song Soy Peor, which instantly became a smash hit, reaching #22 on the Hot Latin Songs chart in 2017. Ever since then, Bad Bunny has captivated and changed the Spanish trap game with not only his flow but his dorky sense of style and views on women.
Machismo is something that is embedded in Latin culture because it sets rules on how men should dress and act. Bad Bunny, however, breaks these boundaries by painting his nails and wearing what he wants without concern for anyone else’s opinion. While touring in Spain last summer, he stopped at a local nail salon and was denied service plainly because he was a male. He then took to Twitter and expressed his anger through a series of tweets, even going so far as claiming that this particular nail salon was stuck in the 1900s for not offering service to men. This triggered backlash and prompted him to delete his Twitter account.
In May of 2018, Bad Bunny challenged women to let their pubic hair grow, saying that there was no need for the excessive amount of grooming we did to impress men, and that whoever didn’t like it wasn’t worthy of us. “An alpha male like myself won’t care,” he tweeted. Doing these things are all unheard of, especially coming from a rapper in a genre of music that relies so heavily on that macho image.
When Bad Bunny released the music video for his song Caro, which debuted on his first album, X100pre, it sparked conversation. The music video begins with him getting his nails painted. It then switches to a female model lip-syncing the song to Bad Bunny being kissed by a male and a female model on the cheek. Most people don’t realize that, in the majority of Hispanic households, males doing something as insignificant as painting their nails or dying their hair could be seen as flamboyant and get you shunned.
Is this the beginning of the crumble of the patriarchy? Are the LGBTQ+ becoming accepted by Latin trap singers? Latin culture, for the most part, is foundationally conservative; Bad Bunny questions how someone in this day and age can still be living in the past.
Bad Bunny may have gained fame overnight, but his impact will pave the road for other rappers to share their support for the LGBTQ+ community in the future.