There was more to Bad Bunny’s 2023 Grammy performance than just him performing his most recent single. Bad Bunny presented important facets of the cultural history of Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic to audiences with “Después De La Playa,” one of the most well-known songs from the international sensation’s most recent album, Un Verano Sin Ti.
The musician performed a rare all-Spanish set to open the Grammy Awards on Sunday, February 5th, at 8 PM EST.
To the beat of a Plena, one of Puerto Rico’s native genres, born in Loza, a town and municipality on the northeastern coast of the Caribbean island, she danced down to the stage with an entourage of performers wearing two-piece folk dresses and accessorized with La Amapola, a flower to wear in her hair.
The singer also brought the Cabezudos, century-old tradition full-head puppets produced by artists that celebrate historical personalities during the Fiestas of San Sebastian Street and symbolize the variety of the island.
“It was very exciting and beautiful,” folklorist Sheila Osorio, founder of the on-the-beach dance school, Taller Nzambi, told HOLA! USA about the presentation. “I love when our culture, dance, and first rhythms are valued and that other people learn about our roots and our evolution.”
“Each generation bring music and new traditions and that makes us different,” Osorio added.
After then, the lights started to fade and Bad Bunny started to sing “Después De La Playa” slowly until all of a sudden, the güira, drums, and horns started to fill the arena. The crowd started to feel the inevitable excitement Latinos feel when listening to merengue mambo, merengue urbano, or simply mambo, the urban variant of merengue.
The precise beat and tune caused Mary J. Blige to clap and grin like never before, and which caused Taylor Swift to sway her hips to the left and right. It is a song with merengue influences that was partially written by Dominican musician Dahian el Apechao.
Regardless of one’s musical preferences, Bad Bunny’s 2023 Grammy presentation was a success for culture and should be praised.