4) Calle 13: Infiltrating the System to Destroy It From Within

In the song “Calma Pueblo”, Calle 13 challenged Sony to censure them, both with the song lyrics and the video. However, the song was released, and was critical of the Catholic Church, the USA, the media, ‘popular’ musicians and the music industry.


“…la clase media-baja no recibe Plan Ocho                          (The lower middle class doesn’t benefit from Plan 8*)

Es normal que mi comportamiento no les cuadre              (My behaviour is bound to annoy them)

Y más cuando el gobernador desempleó a mi madre       (Especially when the government sacked my mother)

Me desahogo cuando escribo mis letras francas                                (I vent my anger when I write my honest lyrics)

Pa’ no terminar explotando en la Casa Blanca…”               (So I don’t end up blowing up the White House)


“Mezclo lo que veo con lo melódico                                        (I mix what I see with the melodical)

Yo estoy aquí para contarte                                                         (I’m here to tell you)

Lo que no cuentan los periódicos                                              (What the newspapers won’t)

Es el momento de la música independiente                         (Now’s the time for independent music!)

Mi disquera no es Sony, mi disquera es la gente                                (My record label is the people – not Sony)

Las personas que me siguen escuchan el mensaje            (Those who follow me hear my message)

Por eso me defienden a los puños sin vendaje”                 (That’s why they defend me with bare fists)


“Calma pueblo que aquí estoy yo                                             (Calm down people – here I am)

Lo que no dicen lo digo yo                                                            (What they don’t say, I will)

Lo que sientes tú lo siento yo                                                      (I feel what you feel)

Porque yo soy como tú, tú eres como yo”                             (Because I’m like you, and you’re like me)


“A ti te ofende lo que escribo                                                      (You’re offended by what I write, but)

A mí me ofende tu playback                                                        (I’m offended by your lip-synching)

Que estés doblando en vivo                                                        (The way you dub your voice live)

A mí me ofende cuando tu sobornas a la radio                   (The way you bribe the radio stations)

Con plata, con dinero pa’ que te suenen a diario…            (With cash, so they play your tracks every day)

Esto lo puede ver hasta un bizco                                               (Even a cross-eyed person can see that)

Tú vendes porque tú mismo                                                        (You sell so much because)

Te compras tus propios discos…                                                                (You buy your own CDs)

A mí no me ofende que                                                                 (I’m not offended because)

Por hablar mucho me llamen loco                                            (You call me crazy for talking so much)

Tú dices poco porque sabes poco”                                            (You say little because you know so little!)


Yo uso al enemigo, a mí nadie me controla                         (I use my enemies – no-one controls me)

Les tiro duro a los gringos y me auspicia Coca Cola           (I diss gringos but Coca Cola sponsors me)

…Mi estrategia es diferente,                                                        (My strategy is different,)

Por la salida entro                                                                           (I enter through the exit)

Me infiltro en el sistema                                                                (I infiltrate the system)

Y exploto desde adentro                                                               (And explode from the inside)

Todo lo que les digo, es como el Aikido                                   (Everything I say is like Aikido)

Uso a mi favor la fuerza del enemigo…                                   (I use my enemy’s force against them)

Pa’ cambiar al mundo, desnuda tu coraje                             (To change the world, undress your courage)

La honestidad no tiene ropa ni maquillaje”                          (Honesty doesn’t wear clothes or make-up)


“No me hablen de carteles ni de los Soprano                       (Don’t talk about cartels or the Sopranos)

La mafia más grande vive en el Vaticano                              (When the biggest mafia lives in the Vatican)

Con el truco de la fe se cogen a la gente                                 (With the trick of faith, they fool people)

Se cogen a cualquiera que piense diferente                          (They fool anyone who thinks differently)

A mí no me cogen, yo creo en lo que quiera                          (But not me, I believe in whatever I want)

Creo en la gente, creo en mi bandera                                      (I believe in people, I believe in my flag)

Creo que los que me señalan con el dedo                              (I think those waving their fingers at me)

Me tienen miedo porque yo no tengo miedo”                     (Are scared because I’m not scared!)


*Plan Ocho = “Programa Sección 8”, or “Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8)”, is a US program of housing subsidies for families with very low wages that also applies in Puerto Rico.


Although this track doesn’t tell us too much about Calle 13 that we wouldn’t have already known from previous songs, almost each line packs a punch, with Residente trying to make it clear that Sony does not own the group. He tries to emphasise that, quite to the contrary, the group has crawled inside the beast in order to destroy it from within. Here we see a pretty clear mission statement from the group, and a hint that they are far from finished!


Calma Pueblo – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RiO6PpiTows


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 4) Calle 13: Infiltrating the System to Destroy It From Within

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

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