Fans are fuming after Bad Bunny’s ‘Safaera’ disappears from Spotify

Spotify took down Bad Bunny's song "Safaera" from its platform on Thursday.
Spotify took down Bad Bunny’s song “Safaera” from its platform on Thursday.
(Chris Walker / For The Times)

Fans of Bad Bunny woke up late this week to find the Latin pop star’s viral reggaeton hit “Safaera” was taken down on Spotify. And they’re demanding answers.

The track had spawned a TikTok challenge in which users documented their parents or grandparents listening to the track for the first time, paying special attention to candid reactions during a particularly raunchy phrase in Bad Bunny’s lyrics. The song appeared on the star’s latest album “YHLQMDLG,” a abbreviation of the Spanish “Yo hago lo que me da la gana.” (Roughly, “I do whatever I want.”)

Update: Spotify brought the track back to the service Friday, saying in a statement, “We are happy to report to Bad Bunny fans that Safaera is once again available to stream on Spotify. The track was temporarily unavailable because of a claim that a sample in the track was not properly licensed.”

After the removal of the track on Thursday, the Puerto Rican singer addressed the subject with Residente of Calle 13 on Instagram Live, but he didn’t explain much, according to Remezcla, saying only that he didn’t want to fuel the situation. In a Twitter post that same night, Bad Bunny was even more cryptic, saying: “diablo que safaera !!!” (Devil that safaera!!!).


Twitter fans were so upset that the social media platform turned their reactions into a story for Twitter Moments.

“Safaera,” a Puerto Rican expression meaning promiscuity or debauchery, dropped in February and features reggaeton stars Jowell & Randy and Ñengo Flow. An instant hit, its popularity morphed onto TikTok as the Abuela Challenge, which became popular in March when the pandemic quarantines started. The idea is this: Fans play the song for their Spanish-speaking grandmothers and parents, and document reactions to a portion of the sexually graphic lyrics.

Some irate Twitter fans — many of whom threatened to cancel Spotify if it didn’t bring back the raunchy track — speculated that the song was removed because of its explicit nature. A Spotify representative did not comment on the reason, but the streaming service addressed some questions on Twitter.

“We hear you,” Spotify’s support Twitter page responded to an upset fan. “Just a heads up, sometimes content gets temporarily removed because of licensing changes. Hopefully we’ll have it available again soon.”

According to Spotify’s help page, music and podcast “availability can vary over time and between countries, depending on the permissions from rights holders.”

A Bad Bunny representative and Rimas Entertainment, which released “YHLQMDLG,” did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Times.


“Safaera” is still available on YouTube and Apple Music.

Bad Bunny may be the ultimate 21st-century global superstar: a bilingual singer, rapper and style icon with progressive social views who releases songs whenever he wants.