In The Community
There’s no question that Selena Quintanilla left behind a legacy that will forever cement her as a pillar of the Latinx community.
The 23-year-old singer’s tragic murder at the hands of her obsessed assistant and president of her fan club made her a martyr of the community, sending her already rising star that much higher after her death.
In early August of 2022 Warner Music Latina and the Quintanilla Family announced a post-humous release featuring altered vocals sung by a then 13 to 16-year-old Quintanilla. The label and family chose to employ voice-aging technology that would change the sound of the singer’s voice to emulate what Quintanilla would sound like now.
Selena’s brother and album producer A.B. Quintanilla told ABC News, “Everything was recorded on vinyl. So we had to kind of fuse the old school ways with the new school ways. Clean Selena’s vocals, and put them on timing. And then we also pitched her vocal down just a hair to make her sound a little bit more mature.”
Needless to say, this approach to digitally creating new music was a hot topic of discussion amongst fans of the “Dreaming of You” singer:
\u201cWoke up excited to listen to the new Selena Quintanilla album Moonchild Mixes and was so disappointed by it. The beats are all over the place they don\u2019t match the song lyrics at all. We can\u2019t do this to Selena\u2019s legacy y\u2019all \ud83d\ude2b\u201d— Irvin Camacho (@Irvin Camacho) 1661518999
Other fans had no issue criticizing the decision to release a post-humous album in the first place:
\u201c@vulture Selena's dad & brother need to let her rest. Literally none of her fans have asked for a posthumous album like this.\u201d— Vulture (@Vulture) 1659466671
“Moonchild Mixes” is only the latest posthumous release from the Quintanilla family after a not-so-well-received TV series was released on Netflix. Many fans expressed the opinion that this album seems to be just another opportunity to continue capitalizing on the singer’s legacy, while others appreciated that they were able to hear something new from the beloved singer.
Regardless of where the public lands with their opinions, with the advent of technology we’re seeing more and more efforts to bring back the entertainers who passed long ago. We’ll of course never know the wishes of these already passed entertainers. The most we can hope for moving forward is that entertainers make clear how they want their intellectual property treated as technology continues to evolve and make it even more possible to bring them back in various forms.
Hitting play on a Bad Bunny track is a guaranteed good listen, and given his current place as a global top artist, we were led to wonder, what led to the Puerto Rican artist’s meteoric rise to fame in just a few short years?
With other reggeaton artists being in the game longer, you’d think Bad Bunny’s success would have also taken just as long. Instead, El Conejo Malo has rockets on his back. The secret to Bad Bunny’s success may ultimately be what other artists in the genre lacked: Latinas being the core of his biggest fans.
While women in reggaeton are certainly not new, up until Bad Bunny’s (born Benito Martínez Ocasio) rise in fame, the scene was mostly a male-dominated space, with an equally large male fan base. Up until recently, there didn’t seem to be a male reggaeton artist that women could listen to—until Bad Bunny.
In a recent interview published on TikTok, reggaeton artist Arcangel defined what sets Bad Bunny apart from the rest: his anti-machismo stance. Arcangel, born Austin Agustín Santos to Dominican parents in New York, spent a lot of time traveling between New York and Puerto Rico growing up. He’s also no stranger to the limelight himself as one of reggaeton’s biggest artists.
Arcangel goes on to explain that although he believes Bad Bunny isn’t as talented as reggaetoneros largely credited with popularizing the genre like Don Omar, he’s certainly different from those before him in that Bad Bunny is entirely disconnected from machismo.
“You know why people can’t do what he [Bad Bunny] has done? Because everyone here has that fucking machismo that dominates everything, and machismo is out of style. Believe me— that whole concept of you being the alpha of everything, that is out of style. What’s in is letting your woman lead the way. Mami, what do you want to do? This genre is one that is still machista. What was missing here was the guy’s personality. His essence, how he speaks, how he dared to dress like a woman, how he dared to do what he is doing now. That globalized our gender. Didn’t you notice how much more popular reggaeton is since this guy came out?”
"Ningún artista a hecho que Bad Bunny ..." #fyp #arcangel #papiarca #badbunny #benito #puertorico #reggaeton #moluscotv #choliseodepuertorico #arcangelprra #parati #fypシ
Bad Bunny’s rise to fame is commonly attributed to the relatability of his lyrics, the high production quality of both his shows and music, and the themes of his songs that resonate with many of his fans. It says a lot that even others in the industry are aware that without leaving behind machismo, reggeaton as a genre could never be as big as it is now.
In his recent interview with Harper’s Bazaar, the artist explained, “Maybe at the very beginning of my career, I tried to pretend I was someone that I’m not, but I learned that that’s the way artists lose themselves. It’s because they forgot about themselves—them as a person—and invented a fictitious personality.”With Latina buying power always having more value than the mainstream cares to recognize, Latinas can only turn up the volume on Bad Bunny’s latest release and relax—this one’s for the Latinas who are allergic to machismo.
The VMA’s have been a staple of pop culture for years now, and there’s always something to talk about after they’re done. This year was no exception, from iconic red carpet moments to first-time appearances to album announcements. And to no one's surprise, Latinx artists showed up and showed out to make the night even more iconic:
In the best Latin category, Anitta made history becoming the first-ever Brazilian artist to take home a VMA. In her emotional acceptance speech, she made sure to point out how it was the first time an artist from her country had won this award, saying, “Tonight I performed a rhythm that, for many years in my country, was considered a crime. I was born and raised in the ghetto of Brazil, and for whoever was born there, we would never [have thought] this was possible. Thank you so much."
Much love to #Anitta for representing for Brazil ❤️ #VMAs
Her iconic win happened only moments after she performed her hit single “Envolver.”
Anitta Performs "Envolver" | 2022 VMAs www.youtube.com
Later in the night, we witnessed yet another Latinx artist making history when Bad Bunny became the first non-English speaking artist to win the Artist of the Year Award, an award that has for years been one of the most recognized achievements in artists’ careers. Bad Bunny is also now the second Latinx artist to win the award, with the first being Camila Cabello in the 2018 VMAS.
In his heartfelt speech, Benito said, "I always knew that I could become a huge artist without changing my culture, my slang, and my language.”
\u201c*cue the applause* \n\n@sanbenito IS OUR 2022 #VMA ARTIST OF THE YEAR! \u2600\ufe0f\ud83c\udf0a\u2764\ufe0f\u201d— Video Music Awards (@Video Music Awards) 1661743116
Also watch the performance of "Titi me Pregunto" that had everyone getting of their sits:
Bad Bunny Performs "Titi Me Pregunto" | 2022 VMAs www.youtube.com
Definitely, a night to remember for Latinx representation.