Column | Bad Bunny, Grupo Frontera seamlessly blend genres in ‘un x100to’

Promotional image for un x100to

Courtesy of Genius

Promotional image for “un x100to”

By Lisa Chasanov, Staff Writer

Bad Bunny’s most recent release, “un x100to,” features an experimental sound that fuses modern Latin pop with regional Mexican musical traditions.

The track, a cumbia-reggaeton ballad that resulted from an unexpected collaboration between Puerto Rico reggaetonero Bad Bunny and norteño band Grupo Frontera, was released on April 29.

The track’s title, “un x100to,” is a stylized version of the phrase “un por ciento,” which means “one percent” in Spanish. 

“un x100to” has reached the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Global 200,

Since 2019, Bad Bunny has appeared in the top 10 of the Hot 100 charts nine times, but for Grupo Frontera, “un x100to” is a first top 10 hit. Previously, Grupo Frontera received some acclaim with their track “Bebe Dame,” peaking at No. 25 on the Billboard Hot 100. 

Get The Daily Illini in your inbox!

  • Catch the latest on University of Illinois news, sports, and more. Delivered every weekday.
  • Stay up to date on all things Illini sports. Delivered every Monday.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.
Thank you for subscribing!

Grupo Frontera’s music is often categorized under the label “norteño,” which describes a genre of music that developed in northeastern Mexico and has been influenced by traditional Mexican music and Austrian-Czech polka. 

The song was released at a time when Mexican regional music was gaining traction on the global charts, with “La Bebe” and “Ella Baila Sola” by Peso Pluma also being featured in the top 10 of Hot 100.

In an interview with Zane Lowe, Grupo Frontera explained that they didn’t know Bad Bunny would be featured on the song until the music video shoot.

“un x100to” begins with a characteristic norteño ballad vocal line over wistful indie guitar, introducing a cumbia beat just as the singer first admits feelings of longing. 

Lyrically, the song reads like a desperate text message from an estranged ex-boyfriend who hopes to atone for whatever misstep ended the relationship. Translated from Spanish, the protagonist laments “maybe I did you a favor when I left your side/ drunk, looking at your photos, it hurts to see that you have gotten better,” which is only made more impactful by the following section, wherein he explains that if he’s seen at a disco with another woman, he’s just “wasting time” with her.

The instrumentation and folky two-line vocal harmony in the first half of the track harken to a traditional norteño style.  The following section, which is introduced by a somber exclamation of “ey” by Bad Bunny, contrasts this with an electronic sound more reminiscent of the artist’s reggaeton roots. Even as the cumbia beat is reintroduced under Bad Bunny’s vocals, the song’s feel remains modern. 

The track’s approach to genre fusion provides glimpses into the collaborators’ styles  individually before combining them at the end. The track can serve as an introduction to Grupo Frontera and norteño sound for uninitiated Bad Bunny fans.

Bad Bunny has participated in no shortage of features and collaborations, releasing tracks with the likes of Jennifer Lopez, Gorillaz and Cardi B, but “un x100to” stands out because of its unique homage to Latinx folk music. 

Grupo Frontera is currently on their “El Comienzo” tour of the United States and will perform at the Allstate Arena in Chicago on Oct. 20.


[email protected]