As promised, in the days following the resignation of disgraced Puerto Rican Governor Ricky Rosselló, Residente and Bad Bunny have finally released their track “Bellacoso” which is the first single from Residente’s forthcoming album. Both musicians flew down to San Juan to join in solidarity with the protesters on the streets, who called to an end of corrupt, offensive, and incompetent leadership of their island. The release of “Bellacoso” is an aptly-timed pivot, a cathartic summertime track that reminds us to open our hearts (and perhaps unbutton our shirts) to celebrate with some love.
Residente explained to Rolling Stone last week that his sexy song is ultimately about consent. “It’s about being horny without harassment — it’s consensual. If everybody wants to go all the way, whether you’re a twosome, threesome, or foursome, everybody has to consent.” The music video for “Bellacoso” is an inclusive celebration, featuring music video babes of all shapes, colors, and genders; at one point, they literally have arranged themselves in what is a rainbow of skin tones that expresses the full range of Puerto Rican color.
He filled the publication in on the inspiration behind the composition of the song itself: It’s based on Bad Bunny’s brainwaves. “The brain frequencies, you change them into numbers,” he revealed to Rolling Stone. “Then you can change those numbers into sounds, rhythms and patterns.” Other tracks on his upcoming album will also feature EEG-inspired rhythms. “I am focusing on the frequencies that connect us as humans to then develop a sound, lyrics, and concept.” His ultimate goal is to process and present how connected we all are, to offer a balm in divisive times. The new album is set to drop in October.
The Rosselló protests delayed the release of “Bellacoso,” but inspired the release of another in the meantime: Residente, iLe, and Bad Bunny released “Afilando Los Cuchillos” in the week preceding the former governor’s resignation, a track that distilled the rage of the musicians and their countrymen into a proper protest song. “This is history, what’s happening in Puerto Rico,” Residente told NPR. “This was the first time that I see so many people, all together, connected by the same fight. This was the first time I go to a protest and I see just one flag and it’s the Puerto Rican flag.”
Residente has consistently used his platform and talent to amplify the voices and stories that need to be heard. It’s an artistic commitment that has won him accolades beyond his formidable collection of Grammys and Latin Grammys. In 2012, he was honored as an Emissary of Awareness by Amnesty International. A few years later, he received a Nobel Peace Summit Award, a recognition of his lyrics as well as the work he does as an ambassador for human rights; he’s been a UNICEF ambassador since 2011.