Residente is one of those legends we know because he's extremely straightforward, he says what people are too afraid to say, and he does it in catchy rhythms and melodies that get everyone dancing. Thanks to Residente, speaking up has become easier, more peaceful, and more bonding, as people unite over his music.
It's easy to believe he leads a perfect life. He's at a point where we'd think he doesn't really need to work much as his music has transcended time and is still relevant and popular to this day. He can afford to pick and choose the projects he gets involved with, sit back, and enjoy the outcomes of his efforts.
Yet he still continues creating, getting involved with his community — if you don't remember, he was front and center during the protests to oust former Puerto Rico governor Ricardo Rosselló last year — and growing constantly as his lyrics become deeper, more powerful, and more poignant. As he released his new single and music video, "René," we learned why.
It was his way to go back to who he was before fame, to reconnect with René (his real name), and get away from the emotional rollercoaster that being an artist is. Residente used this seven-minute track to give us a glimpse of his real life, while advocating for mental health, which is still a taboo in Latin American societies, especially among men.
"This song helped me get out of a place that I didn't want to be in," Residente said in a press release. "I needed to go back to my hometown and house to reconnect with my friends. I needed to go back to being me, René."
In the song, he sums up his entire life starting from his early childhood, his relationship with his mom, stepdad, and siblings, his dream of becoming a baseball player, and his best friend Christopher and how he was killed by four police officers.
"Mi alegría sigue rota, se apagaron las luces en el parque de pelota," Residente raps while in the video — directed by him — you can see an altar with photos, memories, and candles honoring his friend.
He also touches on his recent divorce, how he was banned from Puerto Rico for four years after publicly insulting Luis Fortuño, who was the governor at the time, and his feelings of anguish, fear, and loneliness that come with fame.
"When I'm depressed, I tell my problems to the plane window. Stress has me sick, it's been 10 years that I cannot sleep," Residente rhymes in this cathartic song. "I'm sad but I'm laughing. The concert is full, but I'm empty," he also raps in Spanish.
It doesn't matter if you're famous or not: the song will most likely resonate with you because it describes feelings we've all felt at one point in our lives. If you're like me, the voice of Residente's mom at the beginning of the song will get you first, because we know as Latinx, we rely heavily on our moms for comfort, advice, and to make us feel closer to home.
This will start bubbling up all the emotions that are going to come out as you listen to the song, which most likely will leave you in tears — or a full sob fest like me — yet you'll end up feeling inspired as in the end, Residente brings his song Milo in matching baseball outfits, as if he were saying "we can get through this" and "the future looks bright."