I was sitting around one morning having breakfast with some friends when I got a twitter notification from McDonald’s that read:
I was super confused and caught off guard and made sure this was even a real tweet. I use twitter every now and then, mostly to link my blog posts but, nonetheless, I clicked on their page and sure enough it was the official Twitter page for McDonald’s. “Hmm, I thought, maybe they’re trying to send me a gift card or some coupons for some free nuggets or something that would be tight.” Who would turn down free food? Not me. So I followed their page and replied to the tweet with a direct message… “Hi.” I wrote. “Just replying to y’alls @.”
This is the message I received back:
“How did McDonald’s find me? And why did they choose me to to be their guest at the Grammy Awards? This is definitely better than some free nuggets.” A million questions ran through my head and I remembered that I had spent last year in Vegas at the Latin Grammy’s with some new friends, one of them who would be performing at the show. I felt so inspired by the whole experience and remember thinking to myself “I want to be here next year, but I want to be invited myself, I don’t just want to be here tagging along.”
After watching my new friend perform the Spanish remix of his smash hit “Unforgettable” at last year’s show with J. Balvin, all that ran through my head was “man, I don’t think people really understand the impact that Latinos are about to have on music and overall pop culture.” I had barely just started listening to Balvin and Bad Bunny and I don’t think any of my friends even really knew who they were at the time, but I just knew that Spanish music (particularly Reggaeton and Latin Trap) was about to explode. That performance was so memorable for me because, well, Latin Trap and Hip-Hop are my two favorite genres and how crazy that the superstars of the game were beginning to collaborate.
I talked endlessly to all my friends about Bad Bunny and J. Balvin and other stars like Ozuna, whose last album Odisea spent 45 weeks at number one on the Latin Billboard charts. As excited as I was to tell them things like “oh my gosh Cardi and Ozuna just did a song together” I couldn’t blame them when they looked at me with a confused look followed by a “Cardi and who?” or a “His name is Bad Bunny? Like a rabbit?” I was so frustrated trying to explain to my friends that these Spanish artists were basically talking about the same topics rappers highlighted in their songs, and which Spanish songs were gonna blow, that I decided to just start a blog and start writing my thoughts down so that I didn’t continue annoying everybody with all my nonsense.
I wrote when I felt inspired and slowly began gaining traction. Almost a year had gone by since I started my site and I had just been hired to reach out to to Spanish media outlets for Mala Luna Fest, a mostly Hip-Hop festival produced by my friends over at Scoremore. This would be the first year that they would be including Latin acts so they reached out to see how I could be of some help. I posted coverage from the event on October 29 and received that tweet from McDonald’s almost a week later. I realized that my coverage from Nicky Jam’s set at Mala Luna was what came up in their search for who to invite. My hard work, my prayers, and God’s timing were all starting to make sense…
I received an email with my itinerary, found the perfect dress for the awards after a two-day search, and packed for my trip. Upon arrival to Vegas, a car service was made available and I was briefly checked into my room at the MGM Grand where the show would be taking place. I received a text from Marie at the Boden Agency who had been handling logistics stating that she had a little gift for me… I opened my door and there she was with this extremely thoughtful care package… A personalized robe, a McDonald’s gift card, a Beats By Dre pill, a portable charger, bath salts, a face mask, and this incredibly sweet personalized note.
I got ready for the event, and met the rest of the group downstairs where we were handed our tickets to the show.
The rest of our group included dancer and choreographer Chachi Gonzales and Manolo Gonzalez Vergara, son of television and film superstar Sofia Vergara.
We had some more fun taking photos before walking into the awards, and before we knew it, production had started. I got to see some of my favorites that had inspired me to start writing… El Fantasma, Ozuna, Bad Bunny, and one of my favorites, Karol G, who took home best new artist.
Afterwards, we were greeted with a limo and taken to the afterparty at the Hard Rock Hotel, where the official McDonald’s afterparty would be taking place.
We were greeted with hot and fresh food from McDonald’s (thank God because I had just endured a three-day juice cleanse to fit my skin-tight dress and I was starving). I scarfed down everything from nuggets, to a cheeseburger, to fries… I actually think I ate two of everything, disregarding my growing food baby lol. Next up was a quick meet-and-greet with Nicky Jam who would be performing next…
The venue filled up quickly and we danced until 2 in the morning as Nicky Jam ran through all his hits that all of us knew by heart… Before I knew it, we were headed back to our rooms, greeted again with some gifts from McDonald’s… An airplane pillow, a personalized champagne flute, some customized ear pods, and a Noche Latina t-shirt. I have never felt so appreciated and it’s fair to say that the hospitality was A-1 and something I will never forget. Thank you so much to McDonald’s and Marie at The Boden Agency who made this so memorable.