Keepin’ It Musically Real in San Juan’s Barrio

January 15, 2010 at 12:35 pm | Posted in Caribbean/Bahamas/Bermuda, Puerto Rico | Leave a comment
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by Tripatini staff

This past fall, the Latin Grammys were swept by a boricua duo of stepbrothers; tattooed René Pérez (aka “Residente”) and bearded Eduardo Cabra (“Visitante”) were nominated for and walked away with five awards including best urban album and recording of the year. Their act named after their family’s street in the Hato Rey section of Puerto Rico’s capital, the pair started getting major play on island radio in 2005 with a mix of hip-hop, reggaetón, and cumbia; they’ve also become known for their lefty, pro-independence politics. La Perla, winner of best short-form video, was filmed in the eponymous slum alongside Old San Juan and features an appearance by Panamanian salsa legend Rubén Blades. In it, Residente boasts, “I’ve had attitude since I was five,” and “I’m the black sheep of the entire flock.” Yo, yo, no kidding — but clearly, these dudes’
work has struck a nerve, and it’ll be interesting to see if they cross over like other less gritty Puerto Rican acts such as Marc Antony and Ricky Martin.

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