On the last Tuesday of September, the Colombian singer and producer, J Balvin, began a crusade against the Latin Grammy for what he considered a disparagement of the urban genre, after the nominees for the 22nd edition of the awards were announced.
Balvin, despite competing in three categories, said that the Latin Recording Academy needs them but does not value them. That it is they, the musicians, who give it ratings, but who do not receive the credit they deserve. The discharge, through their social networks, included a kind of call to boycott the ceremony.
However, his words, far from what was expected, placed him at the center of criticism. Particularly from your own colleagues. Li Saumet, vocalist of Bomba Estéreo, faced Balvin for “saying that things are not right because they are not as you want.” It was just the first:
“To understand, why am I lost José. If the Grammys don’t value us, then why do I have 31 Grammys? I’m not urban, I don’t rap? What genre are we talking about? ”, The former Calle 13 Residente sought him out with the right dose of irony.
Then he listed the ten Latin artists who were nominated and told him that the award, this year, will honor the artistic career of Rubén Blades. But it was far from stopping.
“I would believe you about the boycott if, I don’t know, last year when you were nominated 13 times, you didn’t go to the Grammys,” the Puerto Rican artist stressed, “but there you didn’t ask for a boycott. You surely had a change of clothes for each award. But since you won only one Grammy out of the 13 nominations, now the boycott is back ”.
Don Omar, reggaeton legend, was in charge of hitting for the last time:
“So the least that gets him of all is the leader of the revolution? There is no worse darkness than ignorance ”, he wrote on his networks.
But J Balvin’s most difficult days did not end there.
Macho, racist and misogynist
“The lyrics of the song have direct open sexist, racist, macho and misogynistic expressions that violate the rights of women by comparing them to an animal that must be dominated and mistreated, with expressions that are not worth repeating.”
This is just an excerpt from the letter that the Vice President of Colombia, Marta Lucía Ramírez, and Gheidy Gallo Santos, Presidential Counselor for Women’s Equity, wrote to denounce J Balvin’s latest video clip, “Perra”.
The recording, published at the beginning of September, shows the artist walking through the streets of Medellín with the rapper from the Dominican Republic Tokischa. What caused the authorities annoyance, however, comes later, when Balvin walks two Afro-descendant women by the neck, adorned with dog ears and noses, as if they were their pets.
Ramírez and Gallo Santos best describe the scene:
“The artist uses images of women and people of African descent – population groups with special constitutional protection – whom he presents with dog ears. In addition, while walking, the singer carries two Afro-descendant women tied with neck chains and crawling on the floor like animals or slaves ”.
In the letter, in addition, the authorities ask Balvin and the music industry “to sign a pact that includes various commitments to promote the rights of women in music and prevent violence against them.”
Finally, they argued that “we will promote on social networks and together with women’s organizations the use of existing complaint channels to report and reject this type of thing.”