In only two years, Benito Antonio Martínez Ocasio has gone from a virtually unknown Puerto Rican kid to one of the biggest Latin trap stars in the world. After dozens of singles and a feature on the no. 1 song on the Billboard Hot 100, 24-year-old Bad Bunny is ready to release his first full-length album La Nueva Religión.
At least that’s what we know from his cover story for The FADER‘s Fall Fashion issue, in which Bad Bunny speaks about his sudden rise to fame, his Vega Baja roots, and what he envisions for his future.
In the last few months, Martínez has hinted at a full-length album. But he has also remained true to his style with several collaborations dropping on a month-to-month basis, a strategy that he’s held since his days on SoundCloud. His latest collabs are a remake of Hector El Father’s 2004 “Vamos pa’ la calle” and “¿Cuál es tu plan?” featuring PJ Sin Suela and Ñejo. While there isn’t a full list of the full-length’s features available, we’re hoping the anticipated Drake collab (in Spanish!) appears on La Nueva Religión, especially since it’s missing from Scorpion.
Off the stage, Martínez is the eldest brother in a family of three, and constantly visits his relatives in his hometown of Vega Baja, Puerto Rico. Though he is one of the most controversial lyricists in the game (his songs often anger conservatives around the world, especially at his home island, and several of his songs have been banned in the Dominican Republic), Martínez told The FADER that his parents turn up the volume in his car every time one of his songs is played.
The interview goes deeper into his background as a skater boy who grew up going to church with his mom and developed a passion for salsa artists and wrestling matches thanks to his dad.
Read the full cover story here, and scroll down for more facts we learned about Benito:
He doesn't work with a stylist.
Bad Bunny has a knack for style, but it’s surprising to know what every single outfit — even that purple suit from the Billboard Music Awards and the Gucci suit from “Chambea” — were his idea. Lately, though, he’s explored his love for 90s and 00s fashion, opting for colorful sweater-and-shorts combos with bulky sneakers (and yes, his signature sunglasses).
He wants English-speaking listeners to learn Spanish.
Over the last two years, Bad Bunny has opted to stay true to his roots. He’s done so not only with music, also choosing to do most of his interviews in Spanish, even with English-speaking media outlets. Take his recent Complex “Sneaker Shopping” segment, where the Puerto Rican trap artist spoke his native tongue even as the host interacted with him in English. Now, he says he’s learning English bit by bit, but he admits he wants his audience to learn Spanish — not the other way around.
His love for music from the 90s will appear on his album.
Though there’s no finished material to show yet, Bad Bunny did show cover story writer Julianne Escobedo Shepherd two songs from the upcoming album La Nueva Religión. One sounds like “’90s hip-house, but not in a corny or nostalgic way” and the second is “trap music as filtered through Marilyn Manson and The Matrix.” Yes, we are looking forward to that.
His nods to a "new religion" might be inspired by his past in the Catholic church.
Bad Bunny has described his fanbase as La Nueva Religión, a generation of millennial kids who reject tradition and work hard to make their dreams come true. In this cover story, Martínez revealed he was once in a church choir growing up, but chose to leave in his teenage years. That’s when he started freestyling. Although we don’t have any details on why he left, it’s safe to say he wanted to start his own religion in the music industry.
He was a skater kid (and not only fashion-wise).
Bad Bunny’s style often takes inspiration from skater culture, but it turns out the trap king is not only influenced by the sport. He actually skated as a teenager at the Complejo Deportivo Tortuguero in Vega Baja. Every year, him and his friends take a group photo at the communal skate park.