The recent SNL host’s Nadie Sabe Lo Que Va a Pasar Mañana completes the hat trick this week, as the new set follows 2020’s El Último Tour Del Mundo and 2022’s Un Verano Sin Ti to No. 1, debuting with 185,000 equivalent album units (while charting all 22 of its tracks on the Billboard Hot 100). Though the first-week number is easily tops for the week, it is down a decent amount from Verano, which bowed with 274,000 units in May 2022.
How does the Nadie Sabie debut compare to our expectations? And where do we rank Bad Bunny among the greatest pop stars of 2023? Billboard staffers discuss these questions and more below.
1. Nadie Sabe Lo Que Va a Pasar Mañana debuts with 185,000 first-week units — easily the top mark for the week, though nearly 90,000 shy of the 274,000 posted in May 2022 by Un Verano Sin Ti in its first frame. Is that 185,000 number higher, lower or about what you expected from the new album’s early performance?
Leila Cobo: Honestly, the number is a little lower than I expected, especially given that it had the most single-day Spotify streams of any 2023 album so far. Having said that, it’s still an enormous showing, and the fact that Benito has managed to score his third consecutive Spanish-language No. 1 on the Billboard 200 is a huge feat, unprecedented in Latin music.
Kyle Denis: I would say it’s lower that what I was expecting. I wasn’t necessarily expecting a bigger debut than Un Verano Sin Ti, but after the unparalleled success of that album, I’m a bit shocked and underwhelmed by a decline of almost 90,000 units.
Isabela Raygoza: It’s possible that the 185,000-unit debut number for Nadie Sabe is slightly lower than some might have expected. However, it’s essential to recognize the remarkable feat of Bad Bunny maintaining a strong and lasting presence in the music industry. Even if the numbers didn’t quite match his previous albums, his influence on pop culture keeps expanding. The fact that he hosted and performed on SNL last Saturday, alongside icons like Mick Jagger and Lady Gaga, is a testament to his ever-rising star. So, while the sales figures may be a bit lower, his overall impact and significance continue to grow.
Jessica Roiz: From the get-go, I didn’t think this album would have higher numbers than Un Verano Sin Ti. I feel that last year, not only were many fans eagerly waiting for Un Verano to drop but it also garnered a whole new wave of curious listeners due to its very experimental titles that included merengue, dembow, bossa nova, and indie-pop. Nadie Sabe, on the other hand, is more niche and mostly all Latin trap, which might not be everyone’s cup of tea. However, one thing’s certain, Bad Bunny is a master at reclaiming his throne.
Andrew Unterberger: It’s a little lower than I expected, though there was definitely a perfect-storm element to Verano‘s debut that I’m not surprised he didn’t quite match a second time. And what really defined the success of that album was more its endurance anyway — including 13 weeks atop the Billboard 200 — so the real test of whether this album can match its predecessor’s impact is still to come.
2. Bad Bunny stayed fairly active as a recording artist in between his two albums, releasing a number of one-off singles and collaborations — a few of which appear on Nadie Sabe, but most of which do not. Do you think those in-between releases helped excitement for the new album, hurt it, or had no major impact on it?
Leila Cobo: Bad Bunny is a maverick when it comes to promoting (or not promoting) his albums. You truly don’t know what he’s going to do, or as he says, “Hago lo que me da la gana”. I think his fans revel in the uncertainty: Will he release an album? Will he not? Is he taking a break? Is he going on tour? Which is a long way to say that I don’t think anything he did or didn’t do affected the performance of this album. Bad Bunny is at a stage in his career where he can do no wrong, where people are eager to hear his music and where he now has broad, universal recognition — not just for his music, but as a cultural phenomenon.
Kyle Denis: I’d say that some of those in-between releases hurt the excitement for the upcoming record. Neither “Where She Goes” nor “Un Preview” did much damage on the charts outside of their respective release weeks, and his crossover collaborations with Travis Scott (“K-Pop”) and Drake (“Gently”) weren’t received particularly well either. In fact, outside of “Coco Chanel” (with Eladio Carrión), Benito’s biggest song of the year is his “Un x100to” team-up with Grupo Frontera, which is rooted in a regional Mexican style that Nadie Sabe mostly avoids. Perhaps more importantly, his romance with Kendall Jenner put a damper on his likability for a significant chunk of his core fans, which could very well have impacted how many of them tuned into the album upon release.
Isabela Raygoza: It’s challenging to determine the exact impact of Bad Bunny’s in-between releases on Nadie Sabe. Each artist has their unique strategy, and what worked for him in the past, like surprise album drops, may not necessarily yield the same results every time. While he did provide fans with a brief heads-up this time (even if it’s 4 days in advance), it’s a departure from the approach of artists who announce their album releases months in advance. So, it’s possible that the in-between releases had some impact on the album’s reception, but it’s difficult to quantify precisely how it affected the excitement for the new album.
Jessica Roiz: No Bad Bunny song can ever be hurtful, IMO. But I do feel that tracks such as “Where She Goes” and “Un Preview,” though they are two of my personal favorite ones in the new album, did not have the impact they should have — at least not on TikTok, where so many of his songs created a buzz in the past. With the former release, fans were uncertain if it hinted at a new album or not; whereas the latter release, because of its title, built real excitement and curiosity that more music was on the way.
Andrew Unterberger: I do wonder if the steady stream of music in between the two albums had a bit of a dampening effect on Nadie Sabe‘s debut — especially since the biggest hit of the bunch, “Un x100to,” was the least likely to be included on this album or even really feel like it’s part of the same era. I wouldn’t mind seeing what Bad Bunny could do on his next album if he released it without any advance tracks and after a (brief) time outside of the spotlight.
3. All 22 of the album’s tracks debut on the Hot 100 this week, led by the No. 5-entering “Monaco.” Do you think it will end up the biggest hit from the album, or is its highest debut mostly due to its top New Music Friday playlist placement and early appearance in the album’s tracklist?
Leila Cobo: I personally love “Monaco.” I love its moodiness and its Charles Aznavour references (who knew??) But I don’t think it will be the biggest hit on the album. I think that will go to one of the more rhythmic tracks that are still finding their way into listeners’ ears, much as what happened with “Tití Me Preguntó” and Un Verano. However, unlike with “Titi,” I’m not clear on what that peak single would be –although I’m a fan of “Hibiki”; I like the dance beats and I think Benito is particularly good on these more melodic, uptempo tracks.
Kyle Denis: The “Dime (Ey; dime), dime, ¿esto es lo que tú quería’?” lyric is already catching on over at TikTok, so I can definitely see “Monaco” growing into a steady hit, and perhaps the album’s biggest single. I would also keep an eye on “Fina” (with Young Miko) and “Perro Negro” (with Feid).
Isabela Raygoza: We were quick to recognize the potential of “Monaco” by ranking it as the album’s second-best track, just below “Acho PR.” “Monaco” stands out due to its lineup of featured artists (De La Ghetto, Arcángel, and Ñengo Flow) and a captivating sample that gives it a timeless quality. We’ve seen that songs with more featured guests tend to generate more streams, but even as a solo Bunny track, “Monaco” boasts a menacing violin riff that immediately grabs the listener’s attention, and his conviction in the track is powerful.
However, it’s also possible that “Acho PR” might gain more popularity over time. In fact, I’m placing my bet on that possibility. The dynamics of music popularity can change, and while “Monaco” had an impressive debut, it’s challenging to predict which track will ultimately become the biggest hit from the album. Both songs have their unique strengths, and it will be interesting to see how their popularity unfolds in the coming weeks and months.
Jessica Roiz: Given that it’s the song he used to announce his new album and it’s the actual focus track of the set, I can see why “Monaco” charted high on the Hot 100 and is No. 1 on Hot Latin Songs. I’ve also seen a lot of people use the sound on social media, mainly drawn by its avant-garde trap fusion backed by the elegant violin and piano melodies heard on French-Armenian singer Charles Aznavour’s 1964 song “Hier Encore.” Now will it remain the biggest hit from the album? Only time will tell. But I do see two fan-favorites already boiling up on social media with the potential of becoming even bigger bangers: “Perro Negro” with Feid and “Fina” with Young Miko.
Andrew Unterberger: I wasn’t sure on it the first time I heard it, but I was sold on “Monaco” from Bad Bunny’s impressively staged and delivered performance of it on SNL last weekend. I dunno for sure if it’ll end up the album’s biggest, but it does sound like a real hit to me.
4. Does Bad Bunny try anything on Nadie Sabe that you find particularly new and/or exciting? What song would you like to hear take off from it in the weeks to come?
Leila Cobo: I think Benito is becoming more and more atmospheric the more his career develops. Case in point is the aforementioned “Monaco,” which really goes out on a limb. It’s a bravado track through and through, but it’s set to an almost romantic beat; it throws you off, those lyrics against that musical backdrop. The tone was set with “Where She Goes,” which also has multiple mood layers.
Kyle Denis: I’m really enjoying Benito’s foray into drill alongside Eladio Carrión on “Thunder y Lightning.” It’s a nice reprieve from the Latin trap that dominates Nadie Sabe, and it would be cool to see drill get some real chart success in Spanish after dominating the Top 40 space with “Barbie World” this summer.
Isabela Raygoza: Bad Bunny’s exploration of new and exciting territory on Nadie extends beyond the album itself. This year, he showcased his versatility by delving into Mexican cumbia alongside Grupo Frontera and releasing “Where She Goes,” a single from the album that incorporates Jersey Club elements. Notably, the music video for the song features a cameo by Lil Uzi Vert, symbolizing a seal of approval from the Jersey Club purveyor. There’s also the Dominican dembow of “Cybertruck.” While the album may not represent a radical departure from his previous work, Bad Bunny’s return to trap is a full-circle moment for the artist who gained fame in 2016 for globalizing Latin trap. If there’s a song I’d like to hear take off it’s the intro track “Nadie Sabe,” a personal statement of Bad Bunny in 2023 that brims with conviction and authenticity.
Jessica Roiz: More than his ever-innovative trap beats (for example in “Monaco” and “Vou787”), what excites me most about Nadie Sabe is its lyrical content. Unlike Un Verano, which was about being in love and summers in Puerto Rico, Nadie Sabe is about the downfalls, the wins, the life lessons. The heartfelt opening partial title track, “Nadie Sabe” — all about the good and bad of being as famous as he is — is testament to that, and “Los Pits” is all about conquering the world and being the best in the game. As for songs I would like to hear take off from the set … without a doubt, “Acho PR.” The track is an honest ode to his Puerto Rican culture and those who believed in him, featuring three artists that paved the way for the new generations: Ñengo Flow, De La Ghetto, and Arcangel.
Andrew Unterberger: Give me the dark, Drive-ready electro-pop of “Baticano.” And while we’re at it, give me a remake of Drive starring Benito in Ryan Gosling’s role as The Driver.
5. Last year, Billboard‘s staff named Bad Bunny the greatest pop star of 2022. We’re not done yet with 2023, of course — but based on his year so far, when we do our 2023 rankings, around where do you think he should fall: still No. 1, in the top 5, in the top 10, or not on the list at all?
Leila Cobo: I think he should definitely make the top five. I don’t think he’ll be No. 1 simply because this is a late-year release, and also because he hasn’t toured in 2023. But Benito has definitely become a staple of pop music and culture.
Kyle Denis: Off his consistent streaming numbers, the deafening buzz for his upcoming tour, and Nadie’s handsome debut, I’d say he’s got a spot in the top 10 secured.
Isabela Raygoza: I’d place him in the top five for 2023. The last few years have undoubtedly been dominated by Bad Bunny, and his consistent success on various mainstream charts is a testament to his influence. The fact that Nadie Sabe is the fourth all-Spanish album to top the Billboard 200 further underscores his achievement. However, it’s important to note that the rise of música mexicana on a global scale, and Peso Pluma’s Hot 100 dominance could present a challenge.
Jessica Roiz: Bad Bunny has achieved historic records that no other artist has in Latin music, and even if he’s on tour or not, releasing music or not, he will always be a force to be reckoned with. But if I were to choose, I think Karol G should be at No. 1 in this year’s ranking, with Bad Bunny in the top five.
Andrew Unterberger: Top 10 for sure, and maybe an argument for top five if he ends the year strong — but tough for him to immediately repeat the dream season he had in 2022.