Calle 13 have released a video for their activist song "Multi_Viral," which features guitarist Tom Morello, vocals by Palestinian artist Kamilya Jubran, and a spoken word contribution from WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Running just over four urgent and eye-opening minutes, the clip was shot on the West Bank in the city of Bethlehem and in Beit Sahour, a Palestinian village. It follows an embattled schoolboy who discharges in a rooftop "music is the weapon" fantasy with Morello.
"Your weapons reveal your fear for all to see," Assange intones. "From Cairo to Quito a new world is forming the power of people armed with the truth."
Interviewed during the video shooting in Bethlehem, Calle 13's provocative frontman Rene Perez, also known as Residente, told The Associated Press that he sees similarities between the political situation in Palestine and his native Puerto Rico: "We are a colony of the United States. Here you have the situation with Israel.
"Here most people want to be free, they fight for their country," he said. "It would be good to start building bridges between Palestine and Puerto Rico."
"Multi_Viral" is the first song from Calle 13's new album, which will be released March 1, the same day Perez and his stepbrother Eduardo Cabra kick off the Latin American leg of the duo's planned international tour in Buenos Aires. Concert ticket buyers will have free access to a digital download of the album.
"Multi_Viral" is Calle 13's first independent release after splitting from Sony Music Latin. Calle 13's previous albums have sold a total of 464,000 copies in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, according to Nielsen Soundscan. The duo has won 19 Latin Grammy awards, the record for a group.
Kacho Lopez Mari, who like the members of Calle 13 is from Puerto Rico, directed the video.