Puerto Rican artist Benito Antonio Martínez Ocasio —aka Dangerous Bunny— dropped his fifth studio album on Might 6, and it’s already 2022’s most streamed album. Its title, Un Verano Sin Ti, interprets to “A Summer season With out You,” and the vibe remembers a languid seashore day and its afterparty: There are songs about dancing, consuming, hooking up, and misplaced love.
After which there’s “El Apagón,” or The Blackout, the place Dangerous Bunny trades verses about why he loves his house with searing assaults on its political leaders and mainlander gentrifiers: “Maldita sea, otro apagón. Vamo’ pa’ lo’ bleacher a prender un blunt antes que a Pipo le dé un bofetón.” Rattling it, one other blackout. Let’s go to the bleachers and lightweight up a blunt, earlier than I give Pipo a slap.
“Pipo” is a nickname for the island’s present governor, Pedro Pierluisi. He’s a former coal lobbyist working an island that experiences frequent energy blackouts. Final yr Pierluisi promised residents that there can be fewer vitality disruptions sooner or later… after which in early April, a fireplace broke out on the Costa Sur energy plant, plunging thousands and thousands into darkness. Colleges needed to shut down, and the intensive care heart of a medical heart in Mayagüez briefly misplaced energy.
Each residents and companies are fed up with the facility outages. Final month, 4 main companies sued LUMA, the island’s energy authority, for $310 million price of damages. Offended residents rallied outdoors of LUMA’s workplace in San Juan and threw luggage of meals that had spoiled inside their fridges. All advised, April’s outage price Puerto Rico’s financial system as much as $500 million, in accordance with El Nuevo Dia.
Pipo isn’t the one individual taken to process in “El Apagón.” On the finish of the tune, Dangerous Bunny’s accomplice Gabriela Berlingeri is featured singing “Yo no me quiero ir de aquí, no me quiero ir de aquí, que se vayan ellos,” or “I don’t wish to go away, I don’t wish to go, they ought to go away” —they, presumably, referring to new island residents together with mainland Individuals, social media influencers, and “crypto colonizers” who’ve made many natives really feel unwelcome in their very own properties.
Other songs in the album, like “Andrea,” additionally cope with the tug of struggle between loving the island, its individuals, and its tradition, however understanding the fact of getting to dwell there. “Quiere quedarse en PR, no irse pa’ ningún estado pero todo se ha complicado,” Dangerous Bunny sings: “She desires to remain in PR, and never go off to some state, however all the pieces has gotten difficult.”
Regardless of the complaints, the lyrics of “El Apagón” additionally remind listeners that “Puerto Rico está bien cabrón,” or “Puerto Rico is fucking superb.” The tune balances the fun of being from the island with the trials of residing with displacement, unreliable politicians, and common energy outages —and reminds listeners that they’re price preventing for.
That’s an particularly necessary message within the gentle of latest protests. Final yr, environmentalists and residents in widespread seashore city Rincón protested at a rental web site to cease building of a pool that lower off seashore entry and threatened endangered turtles that lay their eggs close by. Earlier this yr, beachgoers had been accosted by rich householders and a celebration protest was organized by native Puerto Ricans. A month later, one other protest occasion referred to as “Ghetto Seashore” was held in Dorado. Folks danced, sunbathed, and chanted “yo soy Boricua, pa que tu lo sepas” / “I’m Puerto Rican, simply so you already know.”
Just like the protest events, Dangerous Bunny’s “El Apagón” provides listeners rays of sunshine amid the island’s literal and socio-economic darkness. Issues should not good, however no less than Puerto Rico está bien cabrón.