11) Calle 13 on National Pride and Solidarity

In “La Perla”, apart from writing a homage to this troubled but cultural community in his home country, Residente criticises the idiots who ruin communities, whether politicians or gangsters, and dedicates the track to hard-working people who simply want a peaceful, dignified life.

“¡Oye! Esto se lo dedico                                                                 (Listen! I dedicate this track,)

A los que trabajan con un sueldo bajito”                               (To those who work on a low wage)

La policía, que se tira sin pena,                                                   (The police, who shoot without shame,)

Rompiendo mi casa pa’ cobrar la quincena                          (Breaking into my house to collect their pay)

Así que no te me pongas majadero                                         (So don’t mess with me)

Porque yo vengo con apetito de obrero                                 (Because I roll with a worker’s appetite)

Pa’ comerme a cualquiera que venga a robarme lo mío  (To eat up anyone who comes to steal from me)

Yo soy                   el Napoleón del caserío                                 (I’m the Napoleon of the neighbourhood)

Yo no lucho por un terreno pavimentado,                             (I don’t fight for paved streets)

Ni por metros cuadrados, ni por un sueño dorado,           (Nor for land, nor for a golden dream)

Yo lucho por un paisaje bien perfumado,                              (I fight for a nicely perfumed landscape)

Y por un buen plato de bistec encebollado…                         (And a good plate of steak with onions)

Rubén Blades, the renowned salsa singer and songwriter – also passionate about his continent, social justice, and realism in his lyrics – then chips in with his own contribution:

“Aquí no se perdona al tonto majadero                                 (Here, we don’t forgive violent fools)

Aquí de nada vale tu apellido, tu dinero                                 (Your surname and money are worth nothing!)

Se respeta el carácter                                                                     (We respect the character)

De la gente con que andamos                                                    (Of the people we hang with)

Nacimos de muchas madres                                                       (We were born to different mothers,)

Pero aquí sólo hay hermanos”                                                   (But here we’re all brothers)

There are examples of Residente’s lyrics being violent, which are due to the anger he feels at the status quo, both in his country and in the world – whether the world of music, the media, popular culture, or politics. However, this is one of the songs in which he shows his essentially loving, though resistant, nature, along with the spirit of solidarity he feels for all of those who work hard only to be robbed or mistreated by petty criminals, businessmen and politicians (large-scale criminals), or the police.

La Perla – www.youtube.com/watch?v=B0cVKmkYamU


About Ed Sykes

Independent journalist. Co-founder of Phoenix Media Co-operative. Author of Rojava: An Alternative. Ex-Canary editor and writer (2015-2020). Aka 'Oso Sabio' - see @ososabiouk on Twitter.
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1 Response to 11) Calle 13 on National Pride and Solidarity

  1. Pingback: Calle 13: The Ayotzinapa Case Is a Disgrace | Resistance Is Fertile

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