Benito Antonio Martínez Ocasio (born March 10, 1994), known by his stage name Bad Bunny, is a Puerto Rican singer and rapper. His music is often defined as Latin trap and reggaeton, but he has incorporated various other genres into his music, including rock, bachata, and soul. He is also known for his deep, slurred vocal style and his eclectic fashion sense. Throughout his career, Bad Bunny has frequently collaborated with artists such as J Balvin, Ozuna, Farruko, Residente, Arcángel, and Daddy Yankee. Born and raised in the municipality of Vega Baja, Puerto Rico, Bad Bunny gained popularity on SoundCloud and was eventually signed to a record label while working in a supermarket as a bagger and studying at the University of Puerto Rico at Arecibo.
Benito Antonio Martínez was born on March 10, 1994, in Almirante Sur barrio in Vega Baja, Puerto Rico. His father was a truck driver and his mother is a retired schoolteacher, who would listen to Salsa, Merengue, and ballads, such as Juan Gabriel's "Abrazame muy fuerte" while Bad Bunny helped her with house-chores. He has two younger brothers, Bernie and Bysael, and considers his close friends to be part of his family. He said he was raised in a happy home.
While working as a bagger at Supermercados Econo in Vega Baja in 2016, Bad Bunny released music as an independent artist on SoundCloud, where his song "Diles" caught the attention of DJ Luian who signed him to his record label, Hear this Music. Since then, he has earned multiple top-ten entries on the US Hot Latin Songs chart. His breakthrough single, "Soy Peor", established him as a forerunner in the Latin American trap scene and reached number 22 on the Hot Latin Songs chart.
In the summer of 2017, Bad Bunny signed a booking deal with Cardenas Marketing Network (CMN) for several Latin American countries. He was featured in Becky G's single "Mayores", released in July 2017. Starting in November 2017, Bad Bunny hosted Beats 1's first Spanish-language show, Trap Kingz. Also in November 2017, Bad Bunny's track, "Tu No Metes Cabra" peaked at number 38 on the Hot Latin Songs chart. The re-mix demanded the release from prison of Anuel AA. At around the same time, the song "Sensualidad," released as a collaboration between Bad Bunny, J Balvin, and Prince Royce, peaked at number 8 on the Hot Latin Songs chart, while the remix of "Te Boté" with Ozuna and Nicky Jam reached number one on that chart. In 2018, Cardi B collaborated with Bad Bunny and J Balvin on the Billboard Hot 100 number-one single, "I Like It". In Cardi B's single, Bad Bunny raps in Spanish, Spanglish, and English. It became Bad Bunny's first number-one single on the US Billboard Hot 100. Then Bad Bunny became "El Conejo Malo".
His gender variant behavior is on full display in many of his videos, and when he, at award shows, appears with well-manicured and polished, long fingernails. In the video for his single "Estamos Bien", Bad Bunny is seen enjoying his time with his buddies, then polishing his fingernails with a purple nail polish then blows them dry. His fashion sense is also influenced by his interest in skateboarding as a teenager, wearing shorts that are traditionally only worn in the skate parks in Puerto Rico. After interviewing him in 2018, NPR interviewers Felix Contreras and Jasmine Garsd said that one of the things that struck them most was his humility.
Martínez says he likes to live a calm life and immediately after a concert he leaves the area to avoid crowds. He disappeared from social media for a time when he was overwhelmed with his sudden rise to fame. Views of his videos on YouTube tallied seven billion in 2018. He responded to questions regarding his absence with the release of a song saying he was fine, "Estamos Bien". In 2019, Martínez played on the "Away" roster during the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game at the Bojangles' Coliseum in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Martínez has been openly critical towards the lack of humanitarian aid in the wake of Hurricane Maria, which devastated the island of Puerto Rico. Introducing his performance of "Estamos Bien" on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on September 26, 2018, the artist stated in English: "After one year of the hurricane, there are still people without electricity in their homes. More than 3,000 people died and Trump's still in denial." Shortly after the hurricane, Martínez personally distributed food, water, and generators in his hometown of Vega Baja. A year later, his family home was still running on three generators. Martínez has criticized the decisions made to close schools in Puerto Rico and contrasted them with the opening of more and more prisons. He has since been nominated for Telemundo's Tu Musica Urban Awards "Humanitarian Award of the Year." On July 22, 2019, Martínez joined artists such as Residente, Ricky Martin, and more than half a million Puerto Ricans in taking the streets and shutting down a major highway PR-52, more commonly known as Expreso Las Américas or Autopista Luis A. Ferré, in the days-long protests against government corruption and demanding Ricardo Rosselló's resignation.
On October 11, 2018, Bad Bunny released "Mia", a collaboration with Drake. It reached number five on the Billboard Hot 100. In November 2018, Bad Bunny released "Te Guste" with Jennifer Lopez, with a video directed by Mike Ho.
Following the release of his breakthrough single "Soy Peor" in late 2016, he collaborated with Cardi B and J Balvin on the Billboard Hot 100 number-one single "I Like It" as well as with Drake on "Mia". His debut album X 100pre was released in December 2018 and was awarded a Latin Grammy for Best Urban Music Album. On June 28, 2019, Bad Bunny released Oasis, a collaborative album with J Balvin. The record contains the singles "Qué Pretendes" and "La Canción". He performed at the Super Bowl LIV halftime show as a guest-performer, alongside Shakira and Jennifer Lopez. On February 29, 2020, he released the album YHLQMDLG — Yo Hago Lo Que Me Da La Gana.
Bad Bunny released his debut album X 100pre on Christmas Eve 2018 soon after leaving DJ Luian's label "Hear this Music", revealing on an Instagram live stream that he was never allowed to make an album and also confessing that he actually produced his music by himself. He would join Rimas Entertainment as soon as he left "Hear this Music" to release his debut album on December 24, 2018. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, X 100pre received an average score of 84 based on five reviews, indicating "universal acclaim". The record contains a variety of musical genres, including pop punk, Andean music, Dominican dembow, and "windswept 80s stadium rock". Alexis Petridis of The Guardian praised Bad Bunny's "off-kilter creativity", opining that Bad Bunny "feels less like part of the current pop landscape than an artist operating slightly adjacent to it. He is separated from the pack as much by a desire to take risks as by his roots."
On June 28, 2019, Bad Bunny released Oasis, an eight-song collaborative album with J Balvin. The record was released overnight and was deemed a "surprise" release. The two artists first met at a J Balvin concert in Puerto Rico, when Bad Bunny was working on releasing music on SoundCloud, and then collaborated on the 2017 track “Si Tu Novio Te Deja Sola”. The chemistry between the two was so strong that they came up with the idea to release a joint album. Oasis peaked at number nine on the Billboard Hot 100 and topped the Billboard US Latin Albums chart. In 2019, Bad Bunny performed on the main stage at Coachella. A protest song, "Afilando los cuchillos" , (in English: Sharpening the knives) with lyrics by Bad Bunny and Residente, was released during the 2019 protests against Ricardo Rosselló. The song garnered 2.5 million views on YouTube within a day of its release. In February 2020, Bad Bunny was a guest performer in the Super Bowl LIV halftime show, headlined by Jennifer Lopez and Shakira.
Bad Bunny supports LGBT rights. In January 2019, Martínez criticized a tweet by reggaeton artist Don Omar that was widely considered to be homophobic, tweeting: "Homophobia, in this day and age? How embarrassing, loco." During a performance on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon in February 2020, he called attention to the murder of a transgender woman in Puerto Rico.
YHLQMDLG debuted at number two on the US Billboard 200, becoming the highest-charting all-Spanish album ever on the chart. "Vete" was released as the lead single of the album on November 22, 2019. The album title was first mentioned during a sequence of the accompanying music video. The second single "Ignorantes" with Panamanian singer Sech came out on February 14, 2020. In March 2020, Bad Bunny released the music video for "Yo Perreo Sola", in which the artist performs in drag. The final frame of the video denounces sexual harassment of women, and reads: “If she doesn’t want to dance with you, respect her, she twerks alone.” On the song and video, Bad Bunny stated “I wrote it from the perspective of a woman. I wanted a woman’s voice to sing it — ‘yo perreo sola’ — because it doesn’t mean the same thing when a man sings it. But I do feel like that woman sometimes".
Bad Bunny announced the album YHLQMDLG on February 27, 2020, during an appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and stated that it would be released on Leap Day 2020. Bad Bunny released the album at midnight on February 29, 2020. The album's title stands for "Yo Hago Lo Que Me Da La Gana" (Spanish for "I Do What I Want") and features collaborations with Daddy Yankee, Yaviah, Jowell & Randy, and Ñengo Flow. The album is an homage to the marquesinas (garage parties) Bad Bunny grew up attending, and features many nods to early/mid-2000s reggaeton. On the final song on the album, "<3", the artist announced his intention to retire after releasing one more album with the lyric "In nine months I'll release another, to retire calmly like Miguel Cotto", referencing the retirement of the Puerto Rican boxer. He noted that the stress of fame has had a negative impact on his mental health.