Review : Calle 13 - Los De Atras Vienen Conmigo
RollingstonesThe rapping is in Spanish; the music is from Puerto Rico, Macedonia and Nigeria; the sensibility is from Mars. Grammy-winning duo Calle 13 have no analogue in U.S. hip-hop: They're pop-savvy hitmakers with globe-trotting tastes and a riotous sense of humor. Here, they flaunt their cosmopolitanism, collaborating with Mexican rockers Café Tacuba ("No Hay Nadie Como Tu") and spicing their songs with Afro beats, polka and, on "Fiesta de Locos," Balkan brass. Spanish-speakers will love Residente's witty raps, but you don't need to know a word to grasp his message: a plea to bury geographic boundaries under an unstoppable groove....full text
NewmusicreviewsOn its sophomore album “Residente o Visitante,” Puerto Rican rap duo Calle 13 veered from sophomoric humor to outright perversion, an explosive combination that raised more than one eyebrow. On its follow-up, the jokes remain, but they are paired with—gasp!—uplifting messages like that of the first single, “No Hay Nadie Como Tu,” featuring Café Tacvba. The wickedness is tempered with more humor than morbidity, as with opener “Que Lloren,” which hilariously mocks sell-out reggaetón acts and other hypocrites. Calle 13 also made a conscious effort to expand its musical boundaries, experimenting with candombe, banda (at times reminiscent of Akwid) and tropical beats that add a touch of world music to the mix. But the lyrics —irreverent, incisive and unfailingly intelligent—remain the core of an act that has set a high bar for what Latin rap can aspire to. —Leila Cobo...full text
BlenderOn this wickedly clever manifesto, Calle 13 portray the dons of reggaeton as crybabies and sex-obsessed dolts who’ve been harrumphing over the exact same beat since the craze erupted in 2004. Lest he be seen as just another hater, the duo’s fast-talking satirist Residente (30-year-old René Pérez Joglar) marches reggaeton to the high road—his commentaries about the harshness of life in Latin American barrios resemble those of the great singer Ruben Blades, one well-deployed guest here. The album title translates as The Ones Left Behind Are Coming With Me and the stated goal is to “plant a seed in a couple of hollow heads,” but after a few tracks, you get the sense that this snapping, highly addictive amalgam of funk and folk song, hip-hop and Old World cumbia will reach quite a bit further. Consider reggaeton redefined....full text
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Do you believe in love at first sight?