Whether you think streaming numbers are telling or completely bogus, there’s something to be said for an artist who racks up hundreds of millions of plays per song. Bad Bunny has been one the most consistent hit-makers of the past two years. He was one of the top artists of 2018 on Spotify. On YouTube, even his lowest-performing upload still has an enviable 10 million views.
Meanwhile, his collaborations—“Mayores” with Becky G and the remix of Nio García, Darell and Casper Mágico’s “Te Bote”—place him in the coveted billion views club. That’s a pretty big deal, especially for someone who was bagging groceries in Puerto Rico three years ago. Now, he has a residency at the hottest new club in Las Vegas, KAOS, where he makes his debut April 25.
The 25-year-old vocalist is part of the Latin wave that flooded us with Luis Fonsi’s “Despacito” in 2017 and never left. That same year, Bad Bunny was plotting his inevitable crossover. Songs like “Soy Peor” were too big to be contained. Soon, he became a household name in the U.S., one synonymous with the musical genre he helped export: Latin trap.
Bad Bunny is everything you love about contemporary American hip-hop, but with Latin flair. He’s got a drowsy vocal timbre and a choppy, Migos-like cadence that he flexes over slow-burning bangers punctuated by reggaeton rhythms. Imagine Drake, but in Spanish and with really cool sunglasses. Needless to say, it’s virally infectious.
It’s no surprise, then, that two of the biggest artists in the country would come calling. The aforementioned Canadian crooner hopped on Bad Bunny’s “Mía,” from his incredible 2018 debut, X 100pre. And with all due respect to queen Cardi B, Bad Bunny stole the show on her Grammy-nominated smash, “I Like It.” Even if you don’t speak Spanish, the only English couplet in his verse says more than enough: “I spend in the club what you have in the bank/This is the new religion, bang, it’s Latino gang.”
We’re ready for church.
BAD BUNNY April 25, 10:30 p.m., $25-$85. KAOS, 702-953-7665.