Calle 13’s new album leaves no one behind

Los de Atras Vienen Conmigo Calle 13 (Sony International)4 StarsOnly a year and a half after releasing their successful album “Residente o Visitante,” Puerto Rican reggaetón duo Calle 13 is back and just as humorous as ever with their new album “Los de Atrás Vienen Conmigo,” (“Those from Behind Come with Me”). Unlike the majority of artists in this genre, they do not rap solely about sex, women and life in la calle, the streets, but about political issues, people and basically anything controversial. Last year, they won two Latin Grammys, Best Urban Music Album and Best Urban Song, and one Billboard Latin Music award for the Best Reggaetón Album. Many artists in the reggaetón genre contested their award, arguing that Calle 13 did not represent the genre appropriately. As a result, their first single from the album, “Que Lloren,” (“So They Cry”), is their way of giving the bird to their competition en el mundo de reggaetón. It is the first song after the intro, and it starts off with tubas in the background and René Pérez, one of the members of the duo, saying, “Esta canción va dedicada a los llorones del género de reggaetón pa que aprendan,” “This song is dedicated to the crybabies of the reggaetón genre so they learn.” In the song, they mock the other reggaetoneros for making up lyrics about how they are so calle, when in reality they are rolling in cash now, sell outs and slaves of the music industry. The duo attacks other artists’ intelligence in the song as well: “Con un tercer grado de estudio/ las rimas no te dan ni para un interludio,” With a third grade education / their rhymes don’t even give an interlude. In the track “Los de Atrás Vienen Conmigo,” Pérez raps from the viewpoint of a Latin American moving to the United States. In the first verse, he says, “Me he pasado toda la vida mezclando cemento/ para mantener a los gringos contentos,” (“I have spent my whole life mixing cement / to keep white people happy”). He also speaks on a political level for all Latin Americans living in the U.S.: “Nos tiene miedo el Presidente/porque el héroe de una nación/es el terrorista de su oponente,” (“We’re scared of the President/ because the nation’s hero/is the opponent’s terrorist”). Perhaps one of the most lighthearted songs on the album is the Spanglish single “Electro Movimiento,”?? Electric Movement, which has an ’80s-techno-meets-reggaetón feel to it, which is actually mentioned in the lyrics: “Vámonos atrás pa los años 80 / pa cuando Madonna era virgin / y John Travolta en el piso daba vueltas, (“Let’s go back to the 80s/when Madonna was a virgin/and John Travolta spun around on the floor”). It’s a cheesy love song, in which he says he wants to grow old dancing with a woman “hasta que se me caigan los dientes,” ( “until my teeth fall out, even if they don’t speak the same language”). In one of the verses, after his lover sings, he says to her, “Yo no entiendo lo que estás diciendo/Yo espero que no me estés maldiciendo, (“I don’t understand what you’re saying / I hope you’re not cursing at me”). Despite the language barrier, he says, “Por ti pesco 500 delfines/y cruzo la cordillera de los Andes en patines,” (“For you, I fish 500 dolphins/and I cross the Andes on skates”). Calle 13 really knows how to woo the women. Whether Hispano or Gringo, everyone can enjoy this album.