Bad Bunny is exhausted. Dressed in a bright orange hoodie, John Lennon-style shades, a white cap and his trademark single earring, he stands out in the crowd of bundled-up guests at the upscale East hotel on an uncharacteristically chilly day in Miami, but his face remains mostly hidden. He has managed to make it into the hotel’s elevator without being recognized and leans on a wall to close his eyes for a few seconds of rest.
“I haven’t slept in three nights,” he warns as he sits down at the hotel restaurant. “I may fall asleep.”
Lately, Bad Bunny’s life has been moving at an accelerated pace. In 2016, the 23-year-old rapper (born Benito Antonio Martínez Ocasio in San Juan, Puerto Rico) was bagging groceries at a supermarket after dropping out of the University of Puerto Rico to pursue music. He worked and produced beats on the side for other local artists, and uploaded his own songs onto SoundCloud and YouTube. By this past November, he was performing with J Balvin at the Latin Grammy Awards, where the duo were nominated for their hit “Si Tu Novio Te Deja Sola” -- one of 15 Bad Bunny singles to chart on Billboard’s Hot Latin Songs tally in 2017, raising sky-high expectations for his next release.