In typical Bad Bunny fashion, he made the announcement on his social media accounts, hours before the album dropped. And, he also spoke exclusively with Billboard, so we have the scoop for you.
X100PRE features 15 tracks, most of them brand new and most of them featuring Bad Bunny solo. It includes three collabs, however: “Mia,” featuring Drake; a track with Dominican Republic’s El Alfa; and a track with Diplo, which Bad Bunny describes as “a trap, a real club banger.”
The album also includes Bad Bunny’s most recent single “Solo de mi,” which he dropped just last week.
“Real, real, real, real, I finished the album three days ago,” said Bad Bunny (real name: Benito Antonio Martinez Ocasio) on the phone from his home in Puerto Rico. “At that point I said I wanted to release it in Christmas. I didn’t want the year to end without releasing the album. I wanted to close 2018 with it.”
Bad Bunny says he’s been working on the album for the past six months, since the release of “Estamos Bien.” And ironically, “the last song we finished producing in the studio is called ‘Como antes’ [As Before]. And that was the very first song we recorded, back in the summer, before ‘Estamos Bien.’”
At that point, Bad Bunny had more than enough tracks to make an album. In 2018, he had six entries on the Hot 100 and 26 entries on Billboard’s Hot Latin Songs chart, the second-most this year, only behind Ozuna, who had 43.
But he wanted to do music that has evolved along with his career and himself. That more introspective side can be heard on "Solo de mi," a minimalist trap whose video shows a woman singing (in Bad Bunny's voice) the words, "Don't call me baby again. I'm not yours or anyone else's. I only belong to me."
“I feel these past two years I’ve done as much as I could according to what the business required," he told Billboard. " I have other goals, another vision. I have the space and liberty to create.”
That liberty goes in many directions. The release of "Solo de mi," for example, was accompanied by a lengthy post on Bad Bunny's Instagram account where he spoke out against all genre violence.
"When are we going to give priority to what really matters?" he WROTE. "We always want to blame everyone except the one who really is to blame. IT'S TIME TO TAKE ACTION NOW! [...] Respect women, respect men, respect your neighbor, respect life! LESS VIOLENCE, MORE PERREO (AND IF SHE DOESN'T WANT IT, LET HER PERREAR ALONE AND DON'T BOTHER HER."
On Sunday (Dec. 23), the rapper gave gifts to 30,000 children in Puerto Rico through his newly established foundation.
"I've never said my music is for children [...] but I know a lot of children follow me. And even those who don't. This is something I wanted to do."
As for Bad Bunny himself, what would he like for Christmas? "A jet ski," he said, after some thought.