Bad Bunny, whose real name is Benito Martinez Ocasio, has recently caused an uproar within the Latine community. He is allegedly dating Kendall Jenner, who is part of the Kardashian clan, and it’s eyebrow-raising, to say the least.
Why is Bad Bunny with Kendall Jenner bothering so many people?
To start off, let’s state the obvious. We don’t own Bad Bunny. No one does. The famed Puerto Rican artist is his own person and can do whatever he wants. As he has famously said before: Yo Hago Lo Me Da La Gana – and does he ever.
However, he’s built a brand around Latine pride and expressing his disdain toward the neo-colonizers taking over his home, Puerto Rico. In track after track, in different albums, he is constantly serenading his listenership with the love he has for his culture. Of course, this resonated with so many people as there is a collective pride that we all share for our respective Latin American and Caribbean countries.
In a more recent expression of cultural pride, he used the song “Apagón,” from his latest album, “Un Verano Sin Ti,” to showcase the realities of many Puerto Ricans. The song on its own spoke about the incessant blackouts La Isla del Encanto experiences. Using the messaging in the song, he created a music video that was turned into a 20-minute documentary. Narrated by Puerto Rican independent journalist, Bianca Graulau, he brought to life the stark Puerto Rican reality often not shown. He knew millions would watch considering he is the most listened artist in the world. There’s no doubt that Bad Bunny understands the power his platform holds. So, that brings us back to Kendall Jenner.
Allowing culture vultures in his circle
Though Jenner is also her own person, there is no denying that she and her family have benefited from other cultures. Thus, why they are often called “culture vultures.” Her sisters are known for adopting styles and habits from the Black and Latine community. In fact, Kim Kardashian felt she had the right to honor our Queen of Cumbia, Selena Quintanilla, on Halloween a few years ago. We can bet she doesn’t know about El Chico del Apartamento 512.
Then, we have Kendall who as recently as 2021 decided it was a bright move to create her own tequila label. As we all know, tequila is a patrimony of Mexico. All true tequila derives from Mexico and its agave.
The announcement of her tequila brand also brought aggravated commentary. She was seen wearing jeans, a cowboy hat, and a loose cotton shirt over a tank top – all while wearing a hairstyle typically associated with Mexicans. Yet again the not-so-subtle hints of appropriating Latine culture were present.
The image was riddled with stereotypical undertones. From the use of a sepia filter to a pickup truck, it was ridiculous.
Since then, people have questioned her about the authenticity of the tequila as well as the treatment of her workers. It is not unusual that people from the United States to flock to Latin American countries to exploit their workers and underpay them – while capitalizing on their resources. Let’s hope that’s not the case with her. She’s previously said that she “works closely” with them – whatever that means.
Is this gentrification?
Now, having her date one of the biggest Latine artists in our community feels like gentrification is happening before our eyes. Well, maybe not to that extent, but you get the drift.
Bad Bunny had us belting to the top of our lungs, “ahora todos quieren ser Latinos, pero les falta sazón,” all summer long. Somehow, we thought he understood the unspoken rule of not dealing with known culture vultures.
Though most of the drama on the internet regarding this is a bit much, it’s kind of hard not to feel disappointed.
But as we can see, he is not one of us, after all. Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean we should stop supporting or listening to his music. He has done great things for our community too. We can’t forget that.For Image credit or remove please email for immediate removal - firstname.lastname@example.org