Bad Bunny Does What He Wants: Ruin The Charts

At midnight last night, Saturday, the last day of February, the Puerto Rican-born Latin Trap/Reggaeton artist Bad Bunny released YHLQMDLG, and so ruined the charts, crushing the dreams of most top artists and forcing half of the top fifty into a sharp vertical decline.

Bad Bunny previewed the release on the Jimmy Fallon Show on Friday, and with Billboard on Saturday, but did not say much about it, except that it would have 20 tracks, and that the acronym stands for “Yo hago lo que me da la gana,” which means “I do whatever I want.” Besides ruining the charts, doing what he wants means representing Latin American and Latino culture on the global stage, and almost purely in Spanish.

Immediately after its release, Bad Bunny’s YHLQMDLG shot up to the top of the charts, including Number One for Music Maven’s Most Streamed Artist category, with almost 24M streams on its first full day, today, March 1. Let that sink in. When Lil Baby released on Friday at nearly 20M streams, that was already far higher than his competitors, including almost all the top 5 combined. Bunny’s energizer hop knocked all the rest of the top five down, and won him 10M more streams than the current number 2, Lil Baby, at 15M.

Exactly a month ago, at the beginning of February, Bunny was only at 74th on the top 100 most streamed, with little over half an M streams. His platinum-clad Super Bowl performance the next day raised him up only 20 positions to 54th. Since then his stream performance has fluctuated wildly between #20-40. The day before yesterday, he was 41st, with 1M streams, so his rise within 24 hours to 24M streams was truly exponential.

YHLQMDLG also raised the crazy bunny rabbit to Number One as Music Maven’s Highest Earning Artist, to almost $64K today, from less than $3K the day before yesterday. That means he generated over 23 times as much revenue from one day to the next, similar to his 24-fold geometrical raise of 124 in total streams in a day.

The Bunny’s latest also won him second place as Music Maven’s Most Influential Artist, still second only to BTS. Music Maven’s proprietary technology offers data analytics and metrics for all artists and songs, across all platforms and global regions. With this exclusive data, Music Maven values its rank of Most Influential Artist, which encompasses not only streams and revenue, but social media presence, digital downloads, and concert ticket sales.

Bad Bunny is so high on that top metric because he is a master of social media, exhibited by his 22M followers on Instagram, 13M views of the YouTube video for one of his latest songs, “La Difícil” (“She’s Difficult”) in one day, plus another 133M more for “Vete” (“Get Out”), from last November, included in YHLQMDLG, and at 224M streams on Spotify. Bunny’s surprise performance alongside his collaborator J Balvin at the February 2 Super Bowl Half Time Show, headlined by Shakira and J Lo, and now at 139M views, brought Latino culture to new heights of global recognition. That performance also prepared the way for Bunny’s rise as the world’s Most Influential Artist in only one day.

By doing what he wants, Bad Bunny now has 16 of 20 tracks from his album in the top 50 Most Streamed Songs. While that might seem surprising to English listeners and readers since all the tracks have Spanish titles, and are almost all performed in Spanish, Music Maven’s presentation of data and analysis of BTS has shown that language does not matter that much for global audiences.

Bad Bunny’s devastating aural success also speaks to the existence of a vast, sound-vibrating and listening audience of those of Latin-American descent in the US, now at over 60M people, and in Latin America, now far over 600M people. Spotify proves this point, as it shows that Bunny’s listenership in Santiago de Chile, Mexico City, Buenos Aires, and Lima most drive his sonic boom. Music Maven proves that music insiders must speak and understand Spanish, if not also Portuguese, for the largest Latin American country, Brazil, and avoid stereotypes about Latin American cultures, if they want to surf the tidal waves and rising currents of the global music industry.

If you are still wondering why Bad Bunny has risen so high in the tide so quickly, take a look at his videos with Drake, featured on Bunny’s “MIA” (“Mine”), with its 992M views on YouTube, and 778M streams on Spotify. Or better yet, his feature, with J Balvin, on Cardi B’s “I Like It,” now with over 1B views YouTube and over 1B streams on Spotify.

Yes, you read right, over one billion views and streams. If you are not among that one eighth of the world’s population that has viewed or listened to those songs, you will quickly understand the comedy, and alternately hilarious and serious stage presence of this wild hare, aka conejo malo. Bugs Bunny comparisons aside, this bunny is no joke.

By Vince, March 1, 2020