5) Calle 13: Standing with the Workers and Against their Oppressors

In a challenge to his critics, Residente criticises himself in “Ven Y Critícame”, whilst justifying his often confrontational and controversial lyrics by saying that he feels obliged to criticise the things that he sees are wrong with the world. This is yet another track in which he underlines his commitment to working people and to rebelling against the status quo that allows or supports injustice to thrive.

Soy el que nadie entiende, el loco demente, (I’m the one no-one gets – the madman)
La voz del pueblo, el más buena gente,                           (The voice of the people, the nice guy)
Todo lo que yo te hable va a ser desagradable,             (Everything I say is will be unsavoury)
Muy inteligente y supuestamente, poco saludable.”      (Clever and, of course, unhealthy)

“Pero yo soy un tipo tranquilo,                                          (But I’m a calm, cool guy)

Calmado, quieto, bastante pasivo,                                   (And pretty passive)
Con casi nadie me meto, excepto con:                              (I don’t mess with anyone, apart from:)

Los religiosos, reguetoneros, políticos, moralistas,         (The religious, reguetoneros, politicians, moralists)

Puff Daddy, el FBI, la policía y por ahí sigue la lista.” (Puff Daddy, the FBI, police, and the list continues)


“Soy clase media baja, desde la placenta,                       (I’ve been lower middle class since the womb)
Toda mi vida trabaje, para pagar la renta.                      (I’ve worked all my life, to pay the rent)
Ando sin reloj, no tengo calendario,                 (I don’t wear a watch, or have a calendar)
No creo en los modales, ni tampoco en diccionarios.     (I don’t believe in manners, not even in dictionaries)

Creo que a veces me paso de la raya con mi letra violenta, (I think I sometimes cross the line with my violent lyrics)

También creo que no voy a llegar hasta los 40…”          (I also doubt I’ll reach 40 years old)

“Tampoco me importa un carajo si este disco vende,     (I also don’t care if this album sells)
Si yo quisiera vender algo montaba una tienda.                            (If I wanted to sell I’d open a shop)
Prefiero regalarte música, aunque tú no la entiendas,  (I prefer to give away my

music, even if you don’t understand it)

Yo digo 50 malas palabras por segundo,                                        (I say 50 rude words a second)
Porque la verdad es que me gustaría                                               (Because the truth is I’d like)

Cambiar este puto mundo.”                                                               (To change this fucked-up world!)



Residente attacks his critics in the media in the track “A Limpiar El Sucio”, targeting in particular Millie Cangiano from Univision, who apparently called Calle 13’s music satanical.


“Si todavía el residente a usted no lo convence                              (If you’re still not convinced)
Es por que usted tiene la cabeza cerrada,                                        (It’s because your mind is closed)

Cuadrada como un cubo…”                                                                (Square like a cube)

“Tus reportajes son diarrea…                                                              (Your reports are diarrhoea)
Yo sé que voy pa’l infierno                                                  (I know I’m going to hell)
Pero voy contigo…”                                                                              (But you’re going too)

“Porque a mí también me gustan las viejas                    (‘Cause I also like old chicks like you)
Así medio pendejas sin talento                                          (Half-stupid, with no talent)              
Con un 0% de inteligentes pensamientos                         (With 0% intelligent thought)
Culpables del embrutecimiento, causado                         (Responsible for increasing ignorance)
Por comentarios hechos sin base y fundamento”           (With unfounded statements)



In “Los De Atrás Vienen Conmigo”, Residente once again emphasises that he stands with the proletariat no matter what the establishment says about him, speaking from the point of view of a worker at the start.

“Yo vengo de atrás yo vengo de abajo                             (I come from below, and from the back)
Tengo las uñas sucias porque yo trabajo                         (I have dirty nails, because I work,)
Me he pasado toda la vida mezclando cemento            (I’ve spent my life mixing cement)
Para mantener a los gringos contentos                            (To keep the gringos content)
Tú no sabes todo lo que yo cosecho                 (You don’t know half of what I have to do)
Para dormir debajo de un techo”                                      (To sleep at night, below a roof)

“No me vendo ni que me paguen                              (I don’t sell myself, and bribes I don’t receive)
A mi orgullo le puse un candado                               (I’ve padlocked my pride)
Y me trague la llave”                                                       (And swallowed the key!)

“Nos tiene miedo el presidente                                   (The president is scared of us)
Porque el héroe de una nación                                   (Because the hero of one land,)
Es el terrorista de su oponente”                                 (Is the terrorist of his opponent!)


Ven y Critícame – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uvz4SqFwrB0

A Limpiar El Sucio – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x3fyamRu-3U

Los de Atrás Vienen Conmigo – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vsd9-k-e_pM


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 5) Calle 13: Standing with the Workers and Against their Oppressors

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

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