New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

Review: Bad Bunny’s unpredictable journey with ‘nadie sabe lo que va a pasar mañana’

After a few months of inactivity that followed a year of groundbreaking success, the Puerto Rican artist returns with a new vibe.
Yezen Saadah
Bad Bunny’s newest album, “nadie sabe lo que va a pasar mañana,” was released on Oct. 13, 2023. (Illustration by Yezen Saadah)

When the Latin music industry is brought up in conversation, it is nearly impossible not to mention Bad Bunny. In recent years, the artist’s career has skyrocketed with a series of hit releases, including “I Like It” with Cardi B and J Balvin, “DÁKITI” with Jhayco, and “MIA” with Drake. His newest album,“nadie sabe lo que va a pasar mañana,” which dropped on Oct. 13, consists of 22 tracks featuring a variety of Latin artists like Eladio Carrión and Luar La L.

This year, Bad Bunny fans got a break from the action-packed 2022. The artist took a step back in order to prioritize his health and enjoy his accomplishments. He occasionally dropped singles and was featured in songs by other artists, including Travis Scott and Drake. But after he revealed the release of his new album, “nadie sabe lo que va a pasar mañana” in a now-deleted Instagram post, fans didn’t know what to expect.

Bad Bunny’s previous album, “Un Verano Sin Ti,” which came out in May 2022, provided listeners with the perfect mix of laid-back and energetic beats to gear up for the summer. The album also broke numerous records, including becoming the first Spanish-language album to be nominated for the Album of the Year Grammy Award.

“nadie sabe lo que va a pasar mañana” introduces a completely different feel compared to Bad Bunny’s prior hits. While his iconic reggaeton beats return in songs like “PERRO NEGRO” and “UN PREVIEW,” a majority of the tracks vary in genre. Most songs fall into the hip-hop category, but “THUNDER Y LIGHTNING” showcases the artist’s exploration of drill music — a genre known for its distinct, heavy basslines and aggressive beats. Featuring Eladio Carrión, the elongated synth bass tones pull the listener more toward rap than on any other track.

Bad Bunny also takes his listeners back in time by sampling Charles Aznavour’s “Hier Encore” in “MONACO” and Madonna’s “Vogue” in “VOU 787.” He also references the king of pop in “MR. OCTOBER” as he sings “Walking on the moon, Michael Jackson.”

The most distinctive element of “nadie sabe lo que va a pasar mañana” is seen in the lyrics that relay the importance of embracing identity and culture, an overarching message that Bad Bunny communicates throughout the album. This is seen in the album’s first track, “NADIE SABE,” which begins with a pensive orchestral rendition. Bad Bunny shares his thoughts and emotions for over six minutes, offering a glimpse into his self-reflective 2023, during which he was unable to escape media attention after a series of controversies came to light: an incident involving him throwing a fan’s phone and speculation of him dating Kendall Jenner. The track has a lower harmony to give it more R&B acoustics. The orchestral section has minor chord progressions that create an entire backstory with instrumentals alone.

Additionally, the track “ACHO PR” reveals Bad Bunny’s grounded nature, emphasizing how his recent success and international recognition have not interfered with his deep-rooted connection to his Puerto Rican identity. He reflects on his upbringing, acknowledging that while socioeconomic conditions in Puerto Rico at the time may have not been ideal, still he maintains a deep admiration for the tight-knit and spirited nature of his community. The bass hits heavily throughout the track, composing the synths and snare beats together for a cohesive sound. He shows his gratitude towards specific people in his life, including his idols — Arcángel, De La Ghetto and Ñengo Flow — all of whom make appearances on the track.

Personally, as someone who was an avid listener of “Un Verano Sin Ti,” my expectations were undeniably high for “nadie sabe lo que va a pasar mañana.” After my initial listen of the album, I was somewhat underwhelmed by the lack of reggaeton songs. However, further exploration of tracks like “NADIE SABE” and their meaning made me more appreciative of the album. I was impressed by how Bad Bunny used it as a platform for introspection, offering listeners a chance to gain insight into his individual story. Rather than catering to the interests of his fans and global audience in order to capitalize on his international appeal, Bad Bunny chose to stay true to his versatile nature and roots.

Contact Sneha Tripathy at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Yezen Saadah
Yezen Saadah, Editor-in-Chief
Yezen Saadah is a junior studying cinema studies, journalism and Middle Eastern studies. He's a lover of cinema, history, art and literature, and he enjoys writing about pretty much anything. If he isn't in the newsroom or at the movies, he's probably just trying to enjoy his day off. Contact him on Instagram @yezen.saadah or send tips to [email protected]

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