Pays : Puerto Rico Label : 5020 Records Genres et styles : Hip Hop / rap Année : 2024 / 2024

Residente – Las Letras Ya No Importan

· par Michel Labrecque

Puerto Rican Residente, aka René Pérez, forms half of the rap-reggaeton duo Calle 13, reinventing hip hop in Spanish for two decades.

His second solo album is called Las Letras No Ya Importan – the words no longer matter. Don’t think that’s what Residente thinks.

This album is copious, inventive, and rich in committed lyrics, collaborations and personal introspections. An hour and a half of music and words.

Residente remains a rapper who plays originally with the rhythms and sounds of the Spanish language. Musically, he explores, visits and juxtaposes multiple musical genres: classical strings, Arabic sounds, Cuban bolero, South American folklore, Mexican norteño, electro, etc.

His previous self-titled album from 2017 explored all the cultures he came from, according to his DNA test. This time, René Pérez makes a broad introspection of the Spanish-speaking and American world. In the play This is Not America, he warns us: “America is not the United States, it goes from Tierra del Fuego to Canada.” You have to watch the video for this song, which is an express course in American violence.

In this opus, there are tons of collaborations, with the Spanish Penelope Cruz and Silvia Pérez Cruz, the American from the USA Busta Rhymes, the two Franco-Cuban sisters Ibeyi, the Mexican singer Christian Nodal, the Cuban rapper A12 El Aldeano. The most surprising collaboration is that with the hyper-commercial Puerto Rican singer Ricky Martin, a sort of musical antipode. It’s called “Quiero Ser Baladista,” I want to become a ballad singer.

Residente embraces very broadly, perhaps sometimes a little too much, but it offers us a fantastic journey into Latin American culture and even beyond. We talk about, among other things, politics, baseball, artificial intelligence, death and rebellion. In the title piece, we hear numbers and letters pronounced in several languages ​​including French.

This disc includes pieces written over several years. René Pérez talks about it as a transitional album. Towards what? Movie theater? Literature? New music? Residente continues to surprise us. In the meantime, there will be a world tour this fall, which will pass through New York. But not in Canada. 

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