Puerto Rican singer Benito Martínez Ocasio — better known by his stage name Bad Bunny — has jumped on the rise of the Regional Mexican genre, a category that includes styles from different parts of rural Mexico and the southwestern United States. On Monday, Bad Bunny released a collaboration with Grupo Frontera — a group originally from the United States that has made a name for itself in the Regional Mexican genre. The song, called Un x100to, is a Mexican-style cumbia, similar to the music of Mexican band Bronco and Tejano star Selena.
On the track, the Puerto Rican artist sings about breakups and heartbreak, which has become one of his most common themes, as heard on his hit album, Un verano sin ti (A Summer Without You). This same melancholic feeling is heard in Un x100to, where the group sings in the chorus: “I have just one percent [of battery] left and I’ll use it just to tell you how sorry I am.”
Musically speaking, it’s a shift from Bad Bunny’s typical style, which combines Latin trap and reggaeton. The singer opens with the lyrics “a long time ago” in a style reminiscent of his other songs such as Ojitos Lindos. From there, he moves into the classic rhythm of Grupo Frontera’s Mexican-style cumbia. According to music historian Luis Omar Montoya, cumbia — which is originally from Colombia — took off in Mexico in the 1950s. “Mexico is the one that sets cultural trends in Latin America, it is the largest consumer market, a cultural powerhouse,” he explains.
Grupo Frontera emerged in Texas but the group’s six musicians — Adelaido “Payo” Solís, Julian Peña, Carlos Frontera, Alberto Acosta, Carlos Zamora and Juan Javier Cantú — all have Mexican roots. Texas has had a great influence on the Regional Mexican genre, giving rise to artists such as Bobby Pulido and Los Palominos.
Grupo Frontera’s collaboration with Bad Bunny comes as the band continues to top the charts in Mexico. At the time of publication, the Mexican group has five songs on the Top 50 Spotify list in Mexico, four of which are collaborations. This is not the first time Bad Bunny has ventured into the Regional Mexican genre. In 2019, he released the song Soy El Diablo with Natanael Cano.
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