Social (In)Justices: Calle 13 & Multi_Viral

Recently LatinoUSA published an article on Calle 13’s latest album Multi_Viral highlighting the duo’s musical maturation heard through their fifth album containing songs with more serious underlying political, social and cultural themes.

They gained attention for their alternative take on reggaeton, characterized by over-the-top sexual humor and smart punch lines. Over years and albums, their music became more serious and socially engaged, addressing topics like poverty, migration and social justice in Latin America…

After reading the article and checking out the video featured below, I decided to listen to the rest of their album despite not having really listened to much of their music since one of their freshman hits “Atrevete Te Te.” Don’t get me wrong, the song is catchy and fun to rap along with a group of friends or a la solo-dolo, but listening to their latest album I can definitely see their musical growth. The duo has really reached another level in bringing a lyrically charged and refreshing sound in today’s music scene where I feel artists have lost their empowering voice, and their music is often diluted with negative stereotypes and an obsession with materialistic possessions.

Among the many, the first who comes to mind is *drum roll*: Kanye West. Whatever happened to The College Dropout days that creatively produced thought-provoking tracks including”Alls Falls Down” and “Jesus Walks” or his first several albums . His witty rhymes, tenacious style and sensible outlook on life are what made him stand out; however, his recent public display and what he has produced are questionable. Where before I used to anticipate and respect his work now I am indifferent (go ahead “Yeezus” supporters, hate on), so hearing Calle 13’s Multi_Viral awoke a new sense of appreciation for their music. Instead of jumping onto the latest trends artists set, let’s start to question the artistic value their work has on and in society.

Check out Calle 13’s video for “Adentro,” the album’s eighth track, that touches upon social & political struggle and violence around the world stemming from greed. René (Residente) even goes onto rap about his own struggles and weaknesses. Listen to their full album for free here.

*English lyrics

original LatinoUSA article written by Marlon Bishop (@MarloniousThunk

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