Last month, Bad Bunny shook the internet when he dropped the docu-style music video for “El Apagón,” a track off his record-breaking album Un Verano Sin Ti. Within the music video, there is a nearly-20-minute documentary titled “Aquí Vive Gente” by Puerto Rican journalist Bianca Graulau. The documentary covers the gentrification, displacement, and abandonment of Puerto Ricans on the island, focusing on how neighborhoods have become gentrified under Act 20 and 22. Under laws like Act 22, foreigners can move to Puerto Rico to avoid paying capital gains taxes on investments, including real estate and stocks. This incentive has inspired many foreign entrepreneurs to take their business to the unincorporated territory of the United States — including famed YouTuber Logan Paul.
For this reason, Paul makes a short cameo in the music video/documentary. The YouTuber previously cited taxes as one of his key reasons for moving to Puerto Rico about a year and a half ago, which has garnered ongoing criticism from in and outside the island. Let it also be known that he moved to Dorado into an alleged $13 million beachfront mansion inside the Ritz Carlton Reserve with his brother Jake Paul.
It seems that Paul has not been able to ignore the backlash that only grew following the visuals for “El Apagón.” Appearing on Philip DeFranco’s YouTube show that aired Wednesday, Oct. 5, Paul claims he wants to address the “anti-Logan narrative on the island” and speaks out against Bad Bunny and his music video, calling him “hypocritical.”
“I love Bad Bunny, and I think he is an amazing entertainer. I think he is a generational talent,” Paul tells DeFranco after sharing what he (Paul) has allegedly done for Puerto Rico. “But I do find it hypocritical because Bad Bunny is a Puerto Rican living in Puerto Rico who is privately taking advantage of the same tax program he is publicly condemning.”
DeFranco raises his eyebrows and critically asks, “Is that true?”
Paul continues, “So, I see this music video that has stuck me in the middle of it; that’s surrounded by context that makes me look like a vulture in Puerto Rico. Again, while I love Bad Bunny, I cannot personally support the hypocritical nature of his exploitation.”
As mentioned by DeFranco following the interview, it’s important to note that Bad Bunny and Logan Paul do not qualify for the same incentives. Bad Bunny has an opportunity for tax incentives as a native Puerto Rican still residing on the island. Still, he is ineligible for the condemned laws only allowed to foreign individuals.
Aside from taxes, Bad Bunny has been known to give back or provide a platform to his communities in a plethora of ways, including the Good Bunny Foundation, his nonprofit that pledged a $1 million contribution in 2020 to Know Your Rights Camp, founded by activist Colin Kaepernick. Most recently, he added QR codes listing local organizations helping those in need in Puerto Rico following the devastation of Hurricane Fiona.
Fans are quickly coming to the defense of Benito on social media, stressing that there is no comparison between the two, and many are also clarifying the matter of the tax break.
DeFranco says he and his team have reached out to Bad Bunny’s team for comment.
Criticism aside from Paul, it’s essential to listen to the bigger message behind “Aquí Vive Gente” and recognize those doing the work like Bianca Graulau. We cannot get distracted from what’s happening in Puerto Rico, under these acts, and within the devastation and displacement outside of these tax havens.