Halftime Leisure

Bad Bunny’s Third-Annual Valentine’s Day Video Proves His Artistic Growth

February 24, 2020


HOLLYWOOD, CA - OCTOBER 11: Bad Bunny arrives for the 2nd Annual PornHub Awards on October 11 2019 in Los Angeles California. (Photo by Glenn Francis/www.PacificProDigital.com) Wikimedia Commons

“Ignorantes” marks the third single by Bad Bunny—the stage name of the highly eclectic and popular Puerto Rican trap and reggaeton star, Benito Martinez—for his upcoming album, and his first collaboration with Afro-Panamanian singer, Sech. This is el conejo malo’s first move following his Super Bowl Halftime Show appearance with Shakira, giving audiences a taste of his second studio album, reportedly called YHLQMDLG, which is still shrouded in secrecy. Long-time Bad Bunny fans were not surprised by the release date of the song and its accompanying music video, as it is the third year in a row that Martinez has released a music video on Valentine’s Day. In 2018, it was “Amorfoda,” and last year it was “Si Estuviésemos Juntos”; the series exemplifies not only musical and thematic maturation for the singer, but also personal growth.

“Amorfoda,” loosely translating to “f***ed love,” focuses on Bad Bunny’s distaste for romantic relationships, as he discusses his regret for showing affection and being in love. The video, all filmed in a single shot, shows Martinez in his iconic crazy glasses and turtleneck, in a car with a girl who starts fighting with him as he ignores her while singing directly to the camera. He eventually leaves her for two other girls. In “Si Estuviésemos Juntos” (“If We Were Together”), Bad Bunny attempts to move on from a girl, but cannot help but admit that he still has feelings for her. In the music video, we see a young Bad Bunny getting married to and slow dancing with a girl, as he sings about a lost love, and then a lonely old man reminiscing about the same girl. 

“Ignorantes” begins with a young boy shaving his head and giving himself Bad Bunny’s signature haircut—a buzz cut with a V-shaped pattern just above his brow—and then his third eye opens on his forehead, a motif of Martinez’s that served as his debut album, X 100PRE’s, cover art. Then, we see the imagery for this single’s album cover: a man on fire running to the ocean. Lyrically, Sech and Bad Bunny own up to their own ignorance and immaturity, while still longing for a different outcome in a relationship where both parties still love the other. Now, this does not mean they are fully grown men; Martinez, 25, still mainly misses the physical intimacy, “yo sé que a vece’ peleamo’, pero qué rico cuando chingamo’.” The duo seem to miss companionship over any one person.

The video follows multiple couples, cutting between happy, affectionate clips, intertwined with desperate, companionless shots. Here we find the thematic consistency in Bad Bunny’s trio of Valentine’s Day videos: nostalgia for an unsuccessful love, with a hint of deception or toxicity. Yet, “Ignorantes” includes elements of responsibility and acknowledgment of personal mistakes, which are absent from Martinez’s “Amorfoda” storyline. Moreover, it speaks to el conejo malo’s rejection of homophobia and his embrace of queer narratives, as several of the couples are outwardly and unquestionably queer. Bad Bunny has a history of speaking out against bigotry directed towards the LGBTQ community. Some even interpreted his “Caro” music video as coming out as bisexual, with shots of both men and women running by him and kissing him. This progressiveness and inclusivity, particularly for a Latin artist, demonstrates what sets this star apart from his peers, as well as what I think has propelled Martinez from a breakout SoundCloud star to one of the biggest Latin artists in the world. 

We see one couple running into the ocean together, which immediately reminds viewers of the man on fire, now alone, running toward the sea, which starts and finishes the video. Other shots show Bad Bunny in a Houdini-esque glass cage, slowly filling up with water until he can no longer breathe, perhaps symbolizing his loneliness or desperation as he acknowledges that he is part of the problem in his toxic relationships. The lyrics alone show maturity and a greater understanding of self than “Amorfoda” or “Si Estuviésemos Juntos,” but the queer themes and cinematic motifs also highlight Martinez’s artist development. Overall, the song and video are a great break-up ballad, but also an impressive expression of growth in a three-year arch of Valentine’s Day videos for Bad Bunny.

 



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