Friday, December 4th, 2020

Bad Bunny x Jhay Cortez – Dákiti

Cortez in the hat; a rabbit out of the hat…


Wayne Weizhen Zhang: Bad Bunny blessed 2020 with three(!) albums this year, doing God’s work in a time when most of us were too paralyzed with anxiety to even get our normal work done. “Dákiti” wouldn’t be my top choice for a single — this year, he’s had more ambitious works, more nostalgic tracks, more political statements, more compelling collaborations, and more sonically divergent adventures — but what he puts on the table here is solid and satisfying, picking up right where he left off with fellow Puerto Rican Jhay Cortez. This is a straightforward, sexy, airtight club track, a well-earned celebration of being at the top at a time when no one else can claim to do what he’s been doing. 

Leonel Manzanares de la Rosa: El Conejo keeps exploring the atmospheric/nostalgic aspects of his sound, as he did with “Callaita”, but there is something about the muffled beat and subaquatic production that recalls what it actually feels to live the autumn season in the Caribbean. The weather is still warm, but the sun sets earlier and everything feels beautifully desolate. “Dákiti” feels more like the sorrow of a wasted summer — we haven’t gone to the beach in a year because of the lockdown — in which all you’ve got left is the memories of brighter times.

Crystal Leww: God damn it if the way those big boom hits in the chorus don’t hit squarely in the center of the skull. Ultimately, both Bad Bunny and Jhay Cortez are urbano artists, but this feels less suitable for the reggaeton club night than it does for the giant, pitch-black room that’s flashing strobes.

Nortey Dowuona: A whistling flute moves frightened above the stretched, drenched synths and prowling bass. Bad Bunny places kicks around it, allowing Jhay to create a wind tunnel and the flute to escape as synth lunges hit the kicks. As the flute flees down the tunnel, it begins to feel more and more free — synth plushes pad the walls and then the bass, crawling on a million tiny marching legs of percussion. Synths lunge at the flute, but grasp only air as it flits into the sky, unencumbered.

John Seroff: Even a decade after the fact, I never got inured to Drake’s nasal whine or his multi-hyphenate, culture-pervasive, hyper-capitalist, dick-waggling nihilism. While the language barrier allows me the benefit of mostly avoiding the peacock lyrics, the same remains true for Bad Bunny. Why you gotta make partying on the beach with an entire model agency and diving in a deep sea submersible sound so sadboi boring?

Jacob Sujin Kuppermann: The problem with Bad Bunny is that everything he makes is a Bad Bunny song — all of them, whether they are romances or club bangers, are burdened with the massive weapon that is his voice. The booming aesthetics of his beats, whether he makes them or whether he’s outsourcing to Tainy et al, merely serve to accentuate his bigness of sound — he makes prestige TV reggaeton, bursts that can be exciting on the single unit level but tiring over the course of an album or discography. His features serve as the only way to balance his sound — here, Jhay Cortez’ combination of nasal and gravelly sounds cut through his partner’s baritone well enough to reveal an electric (if perhaps over-serious) come-on beneath.

Thomas Inskeep: Fair or not, Jhay Cortez sounds like the scrappy sidekick to Bad Bunny’s star power on this hypnotic single which alternates between spare, airy verses and choruses with heavy, almost goth-like synth chords, and a coda that feels like it’s underwater. Bunny knows well how to make seductive records that pull you under their spell — especially when singing about women — and this is a prime example. He’s having his Imperial Phase right now, and we’re lucky to be living through it, as he spins off hits like a less glossy late ’90s Puff Daddy.

William John: The metronomic shuffle recalls a motif from Bella Boo and Axel Boman’s “Do The Right Thing”, a hypnotic dance track that mimics the drifts in and out of consciousness at the beginning of an afternoon nap. “Dákiti” is, of course, not nearly so leisurely; it’s the thumping victory lap at the end of a huge year for the Puerto Rican star, who released three albums, performed at the Superbowl, and came up trumps in the battle of the #Sp*tifyWrappeds. Here, he wields all of that achievement into portentous braggadocio, as though us listeners are still only glimpsing the outlines of his full power.

Reader average: [7.33] (3 votes)

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