René Pérez Joglar — also known as Residente — is arguably one of the most emblematic voices from Puerto Rico. Since his start with Calle 13, his music has moved people on dance floors and in political protests.
Bring him up with your peers, and you’ll most likely converse about his bold statements about artists he’s had beef with or about the Puerto Rican government in general.
In a recent interview, Residente mentioned how he wasn’t going to spend all his life answering to all “these people,” yet just a week ago, he was involved with another feud. And this isn’t his first rodeo, per se.
Here are five notable ways that Residente has proven he’s not someone to play with — because if he is known for anything, it is for his ability to make his voice heard.
This is the latest tiraera — and with reason too. The two have been involved in ongoing beef throughout the years but kept neutral due to their management history with White Lion Records. Pero, that’s over now. Cosculluela released his first diss towards Residente, to which Residente replied with this almost 10-minute long song. What can we say? He’s not one to play with.
Unlike Cosculluela, J Balvin stayed quiet when he was involved in a sour situation with Residente. The “This is Not America” singer roasted J Balvin earlier this year with the Bizarrap’s Music Session #49. He criticized the Colombian reggaeton singer’s poor choices, such as walking Black women like leashed dogs in a video and even called him out for using mental health issues to his advantage. Since the roasting in March, J Balvin has remained quiet. Ouch!
His political critiques
His critiques don’t stop with colleagues. Residente also talks loudly about Puerto Rico’s politics and how they involve the United States. In a recent interview, he spoke of how the nation colonized certain terms to fit a narrative. “Everyone is American on this continent,” Residente told NPR. “And it’s how they took the word and made it for them. It’s like another way of colonization.” Furthermore, his latest music video for “This is Not America” portrays the violence that the United States causes to Latin America.
His indirect messages
Besides being frank about situations, he also hits matters indirectly. For instance, when the first Cosculluela song came out, Coscu was transphobic by misgendering Villano Antilano. In the verse, he says: “El sandwich de salchicha con leyenda,” misgendering Villano to the max. In an indirect response, Tokischa posted a photo of her and Residente sticking their tongues out towards a picture of Villano. She captioned it: “El sandwich de salchicha.”
His overall, unapologetic attitude to whoever, whenever
If these aren’t enough reasons to not cross the man, then I don’t know what is! His unapologetic mood is something we should all learn from when people out there dare to test our authenticity.