Bad Bunny continues fighting for Puerto Rico while growing into a global music phenomenon.
On Sept. 14, 2022, Bad Bunny came through the Bay Area and turned a 60-degree Oakland night at the Coliseum into a Puerto Rican beach party as only Santo Benito can.
Then two major events happened.
In the music world, Bad Bunny’s videos are an event, and he dropped “El Apagón” two days after rocking the mic with his global brand of reggaeton in The Town. Beyond the music, “El Apagón” veers into documentary discussing neo-colonial issues devastating Puerto Rico, from climate crisis and power outages to displacement exploiting the island through gentrification. It’s no coincidence Bad Bunny dropped the music video-documentary hybrid five years after Hurricane Maria first hit, ravaging Puerto Rico, and intersecting with the issues “El Apagòn” discusses.
As all this occurred, Hurricane Fiona, the latest major storm to strike the island, actually shut down Puerto Rico’s power grid before it made landfall. Puerto Rico’s energy grid has been called the worst in the United States, a monument to how American colonization lends itself to a familiar pattern domestically or abroad–high-cost government contracts get awarded to underperforming, corrupt, even dangerous companies. With Hurricane Fiona passing through, the island began suffering no power and no water due to Hurricane Fiona’s impact, while still dealing with extreme heat. Even as Hurricane Fiona has moved on from Puerto Rico, power has not been restored.
The human suffering is incalculable.
Justice for Puerto Rico has to weather this literal storm yet again amongst continued American indifference to its territory, while the U.S. and UK’s mainstream media entities prioritize coverage of Queen Elizabeth II’s death. This stark contrast expresses a devotion to power contrasted with the moral obligation to witness and help, not neglect Puerto Ricans, or Pakistanis, who are enduring historic flooding at this moment, also ignored in Elizabeth’s shadow.
See El Tecolote’s photos from “The World’s Hottest Tour” stop in Oakland, watch the music video-documentary “El Apagón,” find donation links to help Puerto Rico below, and see what social media has had to say about this chapter in Puerto Rico’s history.
Do NOT donate to the Red Cross. Here are direct funds that benefit people on the ground.
— The Debt Collective 🟥 (@StrikeDebt) September 19, 2022
The entire island of Puerto Rico is without power or potable water. 3+ million US citizens are facing a massive humanitarian disaster and the entire US news media is fixated on the funeral of the queen. It’s absolutely disgusting.
— Alejandra Caraballo (@Esqueer_) September 19, 2022
Imagine an 100% blackout in your country in the year 2022. Now imagine you are controlled by the richest country in the history of the world.
— Marlon Bishop (@MarloniousThunk) September 19, 2022
#PuertoRico has no power but American news media has told us that a funeral of a monarch is 1,000 times more important.
— Julio Ricardo Varela (@julito77) September 19, 2022
Puerto Rico: **has no power or potable water**
Every cable news network: “Was that?….yes, I believe a spider just crawled across the queen’s coffin”
— Laura Bassett (@LEBassett) September 19, 2022
The US media should be covering Puerto Rico more than the Queen’s funeral. The diaspora here deserves to know what’s happening on the island.
Journalism > ratings.
— Nina Turner (@ninaturner) September 19, 2022