It’s been nearly two decades since Puerto Nuyorican rapper N.O.R.E. dropped “Oye Mi Canto,” a track that formed part of the U.S. reggaeton boom of the early 2000s. Now, N.O.R.E. is taking credit for reggaeton in the U.S. and Bad Bunny’s career in his latest interview.
This past weekend, Kanye West appeared on the podcast Drink Champs, hosted by N.O.R.E. and DJ E.F.N, and West admitted to pulling up Bad Bunny’s concert footage — taking notes from the Puerto Rican artist’s career for his own music. “[If] you’re going to put an album out, you have to go after the No. 1 artist,” West says before revealing who he’s talking about. “Bad Bunny, that’s who’s on our wall. That’s who’s on our wall when we make music. We’re loading up concert footage.”
During West’s response, N.O.R.E. interrupts the rapper to say, “If it wasn’t for me, there might not be no Bad Bunny. I brought reggaeton to America.”
It didn’t take long after the interview aired for many to voice their thoughts on the host’s comments, with much of the opinions bearing criticism. “NORE really opened his mouth to say if it weren’t for him, there might not be any bad bunny. You’re just a footnote in reggaeton. Bad Bunny didn’t pop off reggaeton. Try again,” wrote one Twitter user.
That wasn’t the only backlash N.O.R.E. faced as many were angered with the host giving Kanye West a platform to speak more controversially. Despite, he’s basking in the viewership the interview received during Football Sunday. “My Ye interview got more views then football haha!!!,” he tweeted.
“Oye Mi Canto” was featured in Rolling Stone‘s 100 Greatest Reggaeton Songs of All Time this past summer. The 2004 track was among the Top 10 at #8, with contributor Gary Suarez writing, “As much as reggaeton gets framed as Puerto Rico’s story, the genre also boasts plentiful New York roots and branches… Bilingual and brawny, ‘Oye Mi Canto’ unites the diaspora with an elevating anthem that nodded to the late Big Pun amid a broader celebration of Latinidad.”