By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Abel Folgar
By Kat Bein
By Jacob Katel
By Karli Evans
By Jose D. Duran
By Pablo Chacon Alvarez
Calle 13 isn't all politics, though. The duo also talks sex and religion, and even employs a dark sense of humor to combine all three. But in a world full of problems, Residente and Visitante's ideal of American hip-hop, that which is worshipped by kids around the world, has been tarnished by its vapid commercial excess.
"I don't like the elite thing about hip-hop. I'm bored," Resi explains. "They don't talk about anything besides all the shit they have and the way they rhyme. They are always talking about how they come from the ghetto.
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"Are you fucking kidding me? The ghetto in your country is like the middle class in mine. A ghetto is a kid in Saudi Arabia with an AK in his hand and one leg, and he's waiting to shoot a Marine 'cause he killed his family. Ghetto is when you wanna steal food from a store but you can't because there is no food in your country. That's a problem. That's fucked up.
"I'm not saying you don't have problems in your country," he concedes. "But there are so many things wrong in the rest of the world. I don't know why hip-hop is not talking about that."
And for a group that has battled reggaeton stereotypes throughout its career, Calle 13 is full of surprises. Like the Alejandro Jodorowsky tribute in the duo's music video for "Pal Norte." Want art film? Watch Jodorowsky's Holy Mountain. Want remix? Watch Calle 13's overhead shots of Inca chicks tribal dancing on the endless cracked earth of the Salar de Uyuni in the Andes.
Then watch the video for "Latinoamérica," Calle 13's most ambitious track to date — a musical, visual, and lyrical exploration of Latin American cultural identity as filtered through the conscience of a country that's deprived of it.
The bottom line: Residente and Visitante are coming, and America better listen. They don't want our government, and they're bringing Latinoamérica with them.