For the past year, Bad Bunny has become increasingly more vocal about his politics, particularly when it comes to his native Puerto Rico. It was only a matter of time that he’d team up with fellow Puerto Rican rapper and activist Residente to collab on either a song or a movement. However, very few people expected that their first collaboration would look like this.
In the middle of the night early Friday morning, the two rappers went to La Fortaleza, the official residence of Puerto Rican Gov. Ricardo Rosselló while he was sleeping. Bad Bunny recorded their attempt via Instagram Live on Residente’s account. After discussions with several different guards, they eventually were able to gain entrance and meet with the governor around 2:30 a.m.
Residente and Bad Bunny posted photos from their respective Instagram accounts about the event in the early morning. They met and spoke about crime on the island, education, the Financial Oversight and Management Board and auditing Puerto Rico’s debt.
This meeting happened in the midst of several larger conversations, including one in the Puerto Rican artist community. Don Omar, Farruko, and Residente are just a few of the names who have spoken out calling on their fellow artists to stop glorifying violence in their music. On Wednesday a top FBI official declared that Puerto Rico was in the midst of a crisis of violence with homicides and crimes taking place all across the island over the past month. On Thursday, openly gay Latin trap artist Kevin Fret was shot and killed in Santurce.
While there are some who thank Residente and Bad Bunny for using their platform to talk about bigger issues such as these, there are many who feel like this was a poorly planned publicity stunt. Activist groups such as The Colectiva Feminista en Construcción and university students in the University of Puerto Rico system have actively been protesting Rosselló for months due to his corrupt politics. While the artists may have been trying to accomplish something good, they should have used their platform to give those who have been doing the work day in and day out a voice.
Hopefully this is something that both of the artists can learn from and do better in the future.