Calle 13’s Residente Says His Politics Are Just “Social Causes”

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After the incident at Los Premios, Calle 13 had a concert cancelled. Fortuño publicly critized Residente, saying he had disrespected Puerto Ricans. Pérez, however, seemed unfazed by the backlash.

"I've managed the criticisms, the controversy," he said. "Calle 13, we are very clear with our messages, our personal constitution, our convictions." 

And, at the end of the day, Residente says he never intended to be an activist. However, being in the spotlight provided him with a platform to speak out on behalf of those with no voice.

"It started when one person at a concert, a long time ago, asked us to talk about something on the stage -- to let people know about a problem. I don't even remember what it was, but then it happened again, and it was two people. Then it happened again, and it was dozens!" he said. "Then we had hundreds and thousands of people asking us to bring awareness to a social issue in their country."

The musician and activist hasn't stopped working on behalf of others since then. His next project? His and his stepbrother, Eduardo Cabra Martínez (aka Visitante), are headed to the Ecuadorian Amazon to help villages get damages from oil giant Chevron. 

"We want to educate ourselves about what has happened, what is happening, and how we can help, perhaps with a social campaign or through our music." 

For Residente, intertwining music and social activism seems natural... and it's something he plans to do for a very long time. 

What's your stance on his political activism? Do you agree, or do you wish he'd stick to music? 


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About this author

Cristina Arreola, Associate Editor

Cristina Mari Arreola is the Associate Editor. Originally from El Paso, Texas, she earned her degree at the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University before moving to New York City. In her downtime, you can usually find her scouring the city for the most authentic Mexican food (still looking), scaring herself silly watching horror movies, or frantically reading a novel from her (extremely lengthy) reading list. See what she's reading now on Goodreads, and follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

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