Why “Un Verano Sin Ti” Is the Greatest Album of the 12 months

Dangerous Bunny is not any stranger to success. His debut album, “X 100PRE,” cracked the highest 50 of the Billboard 200 when it got here out in 2018 — a time earlier than his recognition demanded his music movies include English subtitles. His follow-up album, “YHLQMDLG,” has been licensed 24x platinum by the Recording Business Affiliation of America (cue the subtitles) and nonetheless stands as possibly his most unadulteratedly heavy-hitting album. However along with his newest launch, “Un Verano Sin Ti,” the gender-fluid Puerto Rican iconoclast has cemented himself not simply as the most important artist in reggaeton, however as one of many greatest stars on the earth. And that star exhibits no indicators of dimming.

To say Dangerous dropped “Un Verano Sin Ti” on a Friday in Could would not do the discharge justice. Even earlier than the album’s launch date was formally introduced, music heads in all places had been salivating on the prospect of a handful of latest warm-weather anthems to bump to. Dangerous had been teasing the disc throughout social media as “one thing to play on the seashore.” So, with the prospect of what felt like the primary actual post-pandemic summer season on the horizon, followers already had their antennae up, ready for any phrase.

That phrase got here by way of a brief Instagram reel on Could 2. 4 days later, on Could 6, “Un Verano Sin Ti” was formally launched and promptly broke every thing—information, the web, and the collective hearts of titís around the globe. On the day of its launch, the album was streamed virtually 146 million instances. Inside a month, it will set the file for single-month streams with two billion. It might then go on to develop into the quickest album to hit six billion streams on Spotify. And it is nonetheless going sturdy. As of October, “Un Verano Sin Ti” has spent 18 weeks at both No. 1 or No. 2 on the Billboard 200 — essentially the most for any file since Billboard began its chart rating system in 1956.

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So, how does Dangerous do it? How does a child from a tiny island within the Caribbean — the place {the electrical} grid is about as dependable as a bucket with the underside minimize out (¡Pa’ fuera, LUMA!) — crack the success code and prime the charts in international locations just like the Netherlands and Switzerland along with the US and Canada? Effectively, a part of it’s timing. “He did this purposely,” says Jesus Trivino, the senior director of World Latin at TIDAL. Trevino is accountable for something that has to do with the Latin style on the platform, from playlisting to liaising with artists and every thing in between. Because the launch of “Un Verano Sin Ti,” he is seen Dangerous hovering among the many prime artists throughout TIDAL and different digital service suppliers, and he expects Dangerous will end out the yr within the prime spot. And whereas Dangerous’s recognition is just about a year-round form of factor, like summer season in Puerto Rico, Trevino attributes a lot of the unprecedented success of the artist’s newest album to the timeliness of its launch.

“With ‘Un Verano Sin Ti,’ [Bad] was saying, ‘I would like you to have this.’ We had been popping out of quarantine, popping out of this world disaster. ‘I would like you to recollect the nice instances, to create your individual good instances with this album.’ I feel that is actually what it’s,” Trevino provides.

Certainly, the pandemic and subsequent lockdown sucked the air out of the world. In cities across the globe, quarantine and social-distancing protocols had us all functioning in an existential vacuum. However after two years of vaccines, boosters, and false begins, the prospect of the primary actual summer season since 2019 had folks from Puerto Rico to Poland able to let free. And “Un Verano Sin Ti” was the right album for it. Over 23 tracks, Dangerous navigates a spread of genres from merengue (“Después de la Playa”) to Bossa Nova (“Yo No Soy Celoso”) to traditional reggaeton (“Efecto”) to Soca (“Enseñame a Bailar”) and extra. It is an album made for the seashore, for the barbecue, for these velvet summer season nights, and the magic of three a.m. However greater than something, it is an album made for the Caribbean and for Caribbean folks, which makes its worldwide success much more astonishing.

“I see this album as a love letter to Caribbean Latinos.”

“I see this album as a love letter to Caribbean Latinos,” Trevino says. “The whole lot it offers with, it is undoubtedly an album for Puerto Ricans and Dominicans, and anybody that has tropical blood.” Nevertheless it wasn’t simply post-pandemic fever that put such a region-specific album on the trail to turning into the most important album of the yr. Trevino thinks the larger issue is Dangerous Bunny himself and the way he represents the evolution of each reggaeton and Latin tradition. “I noticed a tweet that stated the distinction between Harry Kinds and Dangerous Bunny is that Dangerous Bunny can do ‘Watermelon Sugar’ however Harry Kinds cannot do ‘Tití Me Preguntó,'” says Trevino. “And it is spot on. And the great thing about it’s that reggaeton is such part of the popular culture material now, like the worldwide popular culture material, that you do not see [Bad] as reggaetonero or a rapper anymore. You see him as a pop star.”

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It is true. Dangerous is a pop star. However he is the uncommon breed of pop star that manages to transcend his style whereas nonetheless staying true to its roots. This yr, he is nominated for 10 Latin Grammys throughout seven classes, certainly one of which is “album of the yr.” If he wins, he would be the first reggaeton/urbano act to take residence the highest prize since Calle 13 in 2011. However the socially aware, hyperexperimental, sound that Calle 13 had cultivated all the time leaned closely into various. If Dangerous Bunny wins, he’ll do it as a pure reggaetonero, with an album that has folks around the globe singing in Spanish and getting just a bit style of what it feels prefer to be Caribbean. However greater than that, he shall be kicking down a door for a brand new era of artists.

“He can carry the style for so long as he needs to,” says Trevino. “And the great thing about that’s that he is so open to working with new artists that he’ll discover the ‘subsequent’ Dangerous Bunny. For him to cosign somebody like Villano Antillano, who’s an incredible artist in her personal proper, it is game-changing,” he continues.

“Un Verano Sin Ti” is greater than only a profitable album — it solidifies Dangerous Bunny because the ambassador for the style of reggaeton, carrying it on his shoulders whereas on the identical time pushing the boundaries of what has been accepted inside it. And on the finish of the day, that is one thing each artists and followers alike can all profit from.

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