On this night, Bad Bunny would become the first-ever Latino to win the Artist of the Year award at the MTV VMAs, a prize he accepted live from the stage at the Yankee Stadium in a speech entirely in Spanish. “I always knew that I could be one of the biggest artists in the world without changing my culture, my language, my slang,” he said. For a generation of Latinos who’ve been told they have to strip their native languages off their tongues to climb to the top, Bad Bunny is a model of cultural pride. As such, the conejitos marched into Yankee Stadium carrying their cultures with them: Puerto Rican flags, baseball caps from the Dominican Republic, bikini tops bearing the Brazilian flag. The night before, when I attended the concert, I sported a T-shirt featuring the face of Puerto Rican salsero Frankie Ruiz and a leather jacket with the Puerto Rican flag on its back, a look that, just as Bad Bunny said onstage during his speech the following night, screamed, “From Puerto Rico to the world.”

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