Bad Bunny was the first headliner of Coachella 2023 on Friday night and the first Latino to headline the festival. Shortly after starting the show, he had a question for the audience:
bad bunny asking â€˜what do you prefer, me talking in english o hablando espaÃ±ol?â€™ and the whooooole crowd yelling espaÃ±ol ahhhhhhhh pic.twitter.com/3VpcfHPNq1— missing yoongi :( (@benitohoseok) April 15, 2023
This is an artist who’s made a point of almost always speaking Spanish so it’s not like there was ever a chance of English. But the timing of this question is interesting because, as noted last week, Bad Bunny has been criticised over the last couple of months with some wondering whether or not he’s abandoning the positions that have so endeared him to his Latinx supporters. Benito’s Instagram post the day before his performance suggested that he was aware of the conversation and would be addressing it.
In the end, it wasn’t so much about what he said, although he did make a point of saying that it’s impossible to truly know him just from social media or an interview (an oblique reference to his controversial TIME cover story) but what he expressed through his music. Because it was “El Apagón” that immediately followed those remarks, and of course this is the song that called attention to the socioeconomic issues in Puerto Rico and the political corruption that has made life increasingly difficult for residents.
Two videos were also shown during Benito’s set: one that traced the history of salsa and paid tribute to salsa legends like Celia Cruz, La Lupe, Johnny Pacheco, and more; and another that traced the origins of reggaeton, specifically crediting Black artists for their pioneering influence on the genre.
For some people, it wasn’t enough and they feel like he’s backtracking. For others, they appreciated the effort. For much of the audience, though, it was all about the show. Like, sure, there were tech difficulties, particularly with Post Malone’s guitar, but for me personally, given that it was the first time I was watching Bad Bunny for almost two hours instead of just two or three songs. So this was my initiation and holy sh-t, the electricity he brings to that stage, and alllllll that sex appeal. Also… the jet ski, LOL. I do know about the jet ski from his videos and also from the time he cruised around on one almost naked and I guess that’s my note here – too many clothes on the jet ski.
But now let’s talk about Kendall, because she was there for his set and they were hanging out the rest of the weekend too. In full view of … well…everyone else at Coachella. Nobody goes to Coachella expecting to be low profile so this is where we are now with their relationship – it’s not like Benito and Kendall don’t know that they’re a heatscore and that’s not stopping them from being out there together. Photos of the two together are attached below, and here’s a fan video of them during Rosaliá’s performance. The way I’m reading this body language, these two are equally into each other. He does not look like he’s there against his will, as unpopular of an opinion as that might be.
kendall, bad bunny and friends during rosaliaâ€™s set at #Coachella ðŸ¤Ž pic.twitter.com/iKMixP9sqI— anna (@kuwtkendall) April 16, 2023