As one of the most popular musicians on Earth, Bad Bunny could collaborate with just about anyone, but he’s consistently chosen to spotlight local talent from his native island instead. “Putting the whole world onto underground from Puerto Rico… makes me feel proud of what I represent,” he recently told New York Times.
The singer has described his sun-kissed new album A summer without you as “a record to play in the summer, on the beach, as a playlist,” and the guests include an array of artists from the Caribbean like fellow Puerto Rican pop star Rauw Alejandro, cumbia-electro group Bomba Estéreo, Chencho Corleone of the influential reggaeton act Plan B, and many more. Here’s a brief introduction to all of the artists Bad Bunny rounded up this time.
Bomba Estéreo are led by vocalist Liliana Saumet and keyboardist/bassist Simón Mejía, who craft kinetic music infused with the percussive rhythms of their native Colombia. After debuting in 2006, they quickly became an underground sensation, especially for their vibrant, psychedelic live shows. Last year, they put out the stellar Leaves, a concept album focused on spirituality and the healing properties of the natural environment. Here, they add a deft touch to “Ojitos Lindos,” where blasts of fanfare and Saumet’s ascendant voice amplify the song’s lovelorn lyrics about discovering your other half.
The Puerto Rican-born Jhay Cortez got his start writing for reggaeton stars like Zion Y Lennox and Ozuna before making the transition to full-fledged rapper. He put out his third album, Timelezz, last year. His breakout moment of him came with Bad Bunny’s inescapable “DÁKITI” from 2020’s The Last World Tourand the pair hit on a similar vibe for “Tarot,” where they deliver enough bawdy lyrics to make the most brazen exhibitionist blush over a laidback beat.
Rising Puerto Rican singer Rauw Alejandro fuses reggaeton, trap, and pop into one fluid sound that’s earned him plenty of attention over the last few years. His music by him is more explicitly pop-leaning than other stars in the genre—see: last year’s smash hit disco-reggaeton fusion “Todo de Ti” —but that makes him a perfect fit for “Party,” a winding ode to women on the dancefloor. Alejandro also notably had a short-lived beef with Jhay Cortez late last year, turning A summer without you into something of a stop between the two. If anyone can bring about world peace, it’s Bad Bunny.