Bad Bunny’s song Efecto (“Effect”) has been popular since its release on 6 May 2022 and led to curiosity among fans as to the meaning of the Spanish vulgar slang word “popola”.
Effect came out almost two months ago but social media users on TikTok and elsewhere have been keeping it relevant.
Benito Antonio Martínez Ocasio – his real name – is a Puerto Rican rapper and singer, whose Spanish-language album El Último Tour Del Mundo was the first to top the US Billboard 200.
He’s since been credited with “putting Latin trap on the map”, but what does Bad Bunny mean by his reference to “popola”, and what do the rest of the song’s lyrics mean?
What does ‘popola’ mean in Bad Bunny’s Efecto?
According to a forum on the word ‘popola’ on translation website ProZ, it is a Spanish colloquial term for ‘vagina’.
It’s apparently a less profane term than some alternatives, although it is definitely a colloquial – and vulgar – term rather than a polite one.
The entry on WordMeaning adds that it is a name given to the watermelon plant and its fruit, Latin name Citrullus lanatus. And, in “various parts of the Caribbean”, it is a “very vulgar way” of referring to the female sexual organ.
What about the rest of the song’s lyrics?
The full lyrics of Bad Bunny’s Efecto, which means “Effect” in English, and containing the vulgar slang word “popola”, are available to read on Genius here.
In the chorus, the rapper says his “world is screwed” and he feels “perfect” – “because you are here, moving like this”. That’s according to Google’s translation.
The line containing the word ‘popola’ occurs towards the end of the first verse. The lines either side of it read: “Your picket is cool / I’m a fan of that popola / Plus the picky, the endo, the / coca and the rola”.
So Bad Bunny’s declaration he is a “fan” of “that popola” means simply he feels positively towards the sexual anatomy of a particular human female – or human females in general.
Which other artists have used the word ‘popola’ in songs besides Bad Bunny?
You may have heard La Popola, by Puerto Rican reggaeton recording artist Glory. It’s the penultimate song on her debut album Glou, which came out on 28 June 2005.
In the Dominican Republic, La Popola was banned by the country’s National Commission of Public Entertainment in late 2004. The reason for the ban was the song’s vulgar lyrical content.
PR Web published an article in June 2005 about the song. It describes Glory’s single as “highly sexual and with a bit of a twist”.
The piece also noted the single, although “tremendously popular with her fan base” – including in the US – was “banned by a few Latin American countries” because of its lyrics.
What do Twitter users think of Ocasio’s lyrics?
Bad Bunny’s real name is Benito Antonio Martínez Ocasio. Born 10 March 1994, he’s a 28-year-old recording artist from Puerto Rico.
In the last few weeks, people have been posting to social media about the lyrics to his song Efecto. The part where Bad Bunny says he is a “fan” of “popola” is a particular talking point.
One Twitter user described him as “stupid”. They meant it affectionately, however, by adding: “I love him”.
Naturally, a significant portion of his fan base are Spanish speakers. Hence, one writes, “Te amo bad bunny”, after quoting the lyric – meaning, “I love you, Bad Bunny”.