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Puerto Rico: Calle 13 Reach New Heights with Music Video

With more than 2 million views since being uploaded to YouTube a week ago, music group Calle 13′s new video “Latinoamérica” [es] has found widespread acclaim online and around the world.

The clip, co-directed by Jorge Carmona and Milovan Radovic, begins with the Puerto Rican duo of brothers René Pérez Joglar (Residente) and Eduardo José Cabra Martínez (Visitante) visiting a small Peruvian radio station in the mountains, where they are introduced by a Quechua-speaking discjockey. It then alternates between clips of Latin American people and landscapes, as well as several animated segments which allude to the lyrics “vamos dibujando el camino” (we are drawing the way as we go) [es].

A couple of blogs from the Puerto Rican blogosphere have commented on the video. Ivonne Acosta Lespier, from the blog Sin Mordazas [es,] wrote:

En lo alto de los Andes, en tierra Inca, nuestros embajadores de buena voluntad René Pérez (Residente) y su hermano Eduardo Cabra (Visitante), censurados en su propia tierra, cantan lo que quisieran que nuestra gente escuchara a “las caras más bonitas que he conocido” que resultan ser los olvidados del mundo en la era del capitalismo salvaje.

In the heights of the Andes, in Inca land, our ambassadors of good will René Pérez (Residente) and his brother Eduardo Cabra (Visitante), censored in their own land, sing what they wish our own people could hear, to “the most beautiful places that I have known,” which are the world's forgotten people in the capitalist era.

She adds:

El estribillo podría ser un himno para cantarle a los desarrollistas preferidos por este Gobierno que se canta “verde” pero destruye la naturaleza de nuestra Isla para venderle terrenos, incluyendo los que antes estaban protegidos, al mejor postor y ganar millones.

The lyrics could be the hymn to sing to the favorite developers of this government, who call themselves “green” but destroy our island's nature to sell lands, including those lands that before were protected, to the best bidder and to win millions.

PuertoRicoIndie.com, which recently posted an essay [es] comparing Calle 13′s ‘Latinoamérica’ to a song by the ever-popular Mexican rock group Maná, that shares the same name, had this to say about the video:

Una colaboración entre los directores Jorge Carmona y Milovan Radovic, el vídeo captura la diversidad del continente, encontrando su esencia entre su gente y sus paisajes. Logra esto con la misma efectividad que lo hacen la música y letras del tema – René Pérez y Eduardo Cabra reconocen que el tema es más grande que ellos dos y que el trabajó está en documentar. Tampoco se trata de sorpresas, si no de un reflejo – de la historia, de la realidad, de la actualidad.

A collaboration between directors Jorge Carmona and Milovan Radovic, the video captures the continent's diversity, finding its essence among its people and landscapes. It achieves this with the same effectiveness as the song's music and lyrics – René Pérez and Eduardo Cabra recognize the song is bigger than the two of them and that their job is to document. It's not really about surprises, but of creating a reflection – of [the continent's] history, of its reality, of actuality.

René “Residente” Pérez, who has spent the week actively promoting the video through his Twitter account, @Calle13Oficial [es] proudly proclaimed to his millions of followers:

el video de #Latinoamerica en menos de 1 semana llegara a los 2 millones de views,sin sonar en la radio.

The video for “Latinoamérica” in less than a week will reach 2 million views, without the song being played on the radio.

He later added:

El video de”Latinoamérica” llegó a las 2 millones de visitas..Gracias a VEVO por nada..jeje..

The video for “Latinoamérica” reached 2 million views… Thanks for nothing, VEVO!

The video for “Latinoamérica” was uploaded directly to YouTube by the group, eschewing the popular music video syndication platform VEVO, which is used by many international artists and is co-owned by Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group, and Abu Dhabi Media.

Calle 13 was recently nominated in a record-setting 10 categories for the 2011 Latin Grammy Awards, including “Song of the Year” and “Record of the Year” for “Latinoamérica.

*Post co-authored with César Santiago.

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