Bad Bunny/Benito- Nadie Sabe Lo Que Va A Pasar Manana

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Bad Bunny’s fifth studio album, Nadie Sabe Lo Que Va a Pasar Mañana, occupies a conflicted space. "Dicen que el mundo va a acabarse, ojalá que sea pronto" reads the album's fatalist opening statement; the consequences of stardom run through this album like veins of ore. Where last year’s Un Verano Sin Tí was defined against open skies and sweeping possibility, Nadie Sabe sees the walls closing in for the first time -- and with the crown seeming to weigh a little heavier this time around, Benito finds his refuge back at the start: in Latin trap.

Indeed, Nadie Sabe's identity is anchored to the return of the "trap bunny" stylings of his early career, a compelling era of gloomy breakup ballads and thundering anthems. Yet while some of the familiar markers are present -- clicking hi-hats, outlandish sex talk, the gravelly voice of Bryant Myers -- the album's sound pulls as much from modern trap as it does from Latin trap's late-2010s peak; its bounced-up 808s and glossy synths prove a far cry from the haze-shrouded "Soy Peor" or insistent "Me Acostumbré." It’s a patchwork style but one that frequently plays to his strengths as an MC: Benito glides across the stomping 808s of "Mr October," summons the highlife into gems "No Me Quiero Casar" and "Baby Nueva," and hooks into new sounds with the gorgeously gothic "Cybertruck" and bounce-laden "Los Pits." True to form, he also takes time to usher the new school under his wave: Young Miko uses her dismissive, slick vocals to open "Fina," YOVNGCHIMI and Luar La L add a gruff edge to the project’s darker cuts, and Mora’s experimentation with electronica resurfaces here on the skittering "Hibiki."

While flashes of the wild, raunchy Benito are littered throughout -- the entire third verse of "Baticano" springs to mind -- it’s the more monastic angles here that leave the biggest impression. Pride of place is the opening pairing of "Nadie Sabe" and "Monaco," an operatic double bill that reflects on fame with a Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy-like ethos, veering from cutting candor to a distinct, fanged determination. Longer runtimes give equal gravitas to some of the album’s less conflicted moments. Among five-minute standouts like "Acho PR" and "Teléfono Nuevo," gothic trap odyssey "Vuelve Candy B" proves the album’s most magnetic moment, picking at the threads of global stardom with pure platinum boasts: "Él que tiene Billboard no tiene Grammy, él que tiene Grammy no tiene Billboard/Mira mi trophy case, cómo los combino." While most of these runtime choices are deftly made, a couple of moments are oddly weighted: the much-anticipated (and brilliantly starry) "Perro Negro" jams to an abrupt halt before Feid can deliver a full verse, yet the somewhat one-note "Baticano" and "Mercedes Carota" are afforded four-minute runtimes.

Nadie Sabe is Benito wrestling the mad horse of stardom, an attempt to make concrete the gray areas that have settled between present and past. While it plays a less-sure hand than classic predecessors like YHLQMDLG, it nonetheless proves a welcome gift for the star's dedicated fanbase.

1    Bad Bunnny-Nadie Sabe    6:19
2    Bad Bunny–Monaco    4:27
3    Bad Bunny & Young Miko– Fina    3:36
4    Bad Bunny & Mora (19)–Hibiki    3:28
5    Bad Bunny– Mr. October    3:09
6    Bad Bunny– Cybertruck    3:11
7    Bad Bunny– Vou 787    2:03
8    Bad Bunny & Bryant Myers–Seda    3:10
9    Bad Bunny– Gracias Por Nada    2:57
10   Bad Bunny & Luar La L–Telefono Nuevo    5:54
11   Bad Bunny–Baby Nueva    4:00
12   Bad Bunny & YOVNGCHIMI–Mercedes Carota    3:22
13   Bad Bunny–Los Pits    4:10
14   Bad Bunny– Vuelve Candy B    4:26
15   Bad Bunny–Baticano    4:16
16   Bad Bunny–No Me Quiero Casar    3:45
17   Bad Bunny–Where She Goes    3:51
18   Bad Bunny & Eladio Carrión–Thunder Y Lightning    3:37
19   Bad Bunny & Feid–Perro Negro    2:42
20   Bad Bunny–Europa :(    0:11
21    Bad Bunny, Arcángel, De La Ghetto & Ñengo Flow–Acho PR    5:59
22   Bad Bunny–Un Preview    2:45