Music & Entertainment

Calle 13 “Multi Viral” Video Album: Politics, Media Manipulation and Palestine

We feel the need to help achieve change in the music industry, a favourable change, that is. Artists must remain in control to the extent that this is possible”

René Perez, Lead Singer and Composer of Calle 13

Timothy Alexander Guzman, Silent Crow News – Puerto Rico’s Calle 13 Collaborated on a new album with Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine (RATM) and Palestinian Singer Kamilya Jubran. Other tracks on the album feature author of Open Veins of Latin America, Eduardo Galeano. The album called ‘Multi_Viral’ against news manipulation and political repression is to be released this coming March. It is political and indeed very interesting. It is a new generation of protest music that will grab worldwide attention. According to an online magazine

Multi_Viral is Calle 13’s first album under their own record label, El Abismo (The Abyss), allowing them to have more creative and artistic freedom than ever before. “An artist should have control over their art in every way possible”, says René, vocalist and songwriter of the band. It’s this state-of-mind that has set Calle 13 apart from the reggaeton genre pushing boundaries with satirical lyrics and social commentary about Latin American issues and culture

Julian Assange, the editor-in-chief and founder of WikiLeaks, a non-profit news organization that gained worldwide attention when they released 250,000 US classified documents to several news outlets which exposed the U.S. government’s global agenda. Julian Assange is currently residing in an Ecuadorian embassy in London, England after Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa granted him Diplomatic Asylum. Tom Morello from Rage Against the Machine (RATM), An American rock band known for their political views, critical of the US government’s policies which reflect in their music. It also features Kamilya Jubran who is a Palestinian singer born in Akka, within the State of Israel. Kamilya was Sabreen’s lead song performer, and player of several oriental instruments including the Oud and the Qanoon among others. In her official website it says “From 1982 to 2002, Kamilya along with Sabreen represented the voice of resistance; struggle for freedom, and a deep and dynamic artistic-political process that created a new style of a modern Arabic song.”

The Buenos Aires Herald wrote a story called ‘Calle 13 multi-viral trend’ and said that “Calle 13 will then take its vigorous message through the Caribbean, the US, Europe, Asia, Australia and Canada. Highlighting its true commitment to social and political issues, band members René Pérez and stepbrother Eduardo Cabra go by the most telling nicknames of “Resident” and “Visitor” respectively.” Calle 13 is releasing a new album that exposes the mainstream media. “After seven years on the road and releasing no albums with new material, Calle 13’s Multi-viral was published under its own label, El Abismo. In keeping with its spirit, Multi-viral was cowritten by René Pérez and Julian Assange to address the manipulation of information in the media” the report said. The Associated Press reported on December 2013 on Rene Perez’s comments on Palestine’s political situation in comparison to Puerto Rico ‘Calle 13 singer says Palestinians like Puerto Rico.’ It said:

Speaking to the Associated Press in Bethlehem, where he is shooting the band’s latest music video, Rene Perez said Puerto Ricans were linked to Palestinians “because we are a colony of the United States. Here you have the situation with Israel.

Perez, also known as Residente, added that Puerto Rico and the Palestinians both have “cosmetic” governments. “Here most people want to be free, they fight for their country,” he said in the West Bank city, the traditional birthplace of Jesus. “It would be good to start building bridges between Palestine and Puerto Rico

The Associated Press also reported that Calle 13 is anti-establishment:

Perez, who performs along with his step-brother Eduardo Cabra, has emerged as a leading antiestablishment rapper and is a strong supporter of the Puerto Rican independence movement. Calle 13 has a long history of lacing social messages over bass-thumping beats

Perez said he chose to come to the Palestinian territories to shoot the majority of the band’s latest video, “Multi Viral.” He said the song is about manipulation of the media and how it distorts information. He said he worked on the song with Tom Morello, a former guitarist with Rage Against the Machine, and Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. 

“I think music never stops being music. It always keeps being music and the message can be social, political, anything,” Perez said.

Recently the New York Times published an article about Calle 13’s new album ‘Still Rebels, Even as Maturity Looms’:

Multi_Viral,” Calle 13’s fifth album, is the work of a duo reckoning with both its global perspective and its contentious artistic impulses, determined to maintain a rebellious spirit even as maturity looms. Mr. Pérez described his new lyrics as “more existential” than previous Calle 13 efforts.

“Suddenly I’ve started to be more aware, or worried, about living and dying,” Mr. Pérez, 36, said. “I thought, maybe I can do something bigger than politics”

It is much bigger than politics; in fact it is about exposing what the media conveys to the public as truth. It also exposes other Global issues the world is facing.

Multi-viral music video is in Spanish, English and Arabic.

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