It started with a call to boycott. The Latin Grammy nominations were announced on September 28, and J Balvin took to twitter to call for a boycott of the Latin Grammys in response to what he perceived as lack of urban representation in the nominations (Last year, Balvin was nominated for 10 awards; this year he’s up for three).
But that boycott call had surprising consequences. Here’s what happened.
9/28: Balvin posts on Twitter: “The Grammys don’t value us, but they need us. It’s my opinion, and nothing against other genres, because they deserve all respect. But the trick is getting old. We give them ratings, but they don’t give us respect.”
9/28: In a later tweet, Balvin adds: “Those who have power in the genre, NOT ONE SHOULD GO!! Meaning everyone because we’re a movement.” Both posts have since been deleted.
9/28: Cuban rapper Yotuel posts a video on Instagram, addressed to Bavin, where he says: “This genre didn’t begin with you.” The video has since been deleted.
9/29: Rapper Residente, who just released a new track with Don Omar, posts a long video on Twitter titled “Querido José,” calling out Balvin on multiple fronts. “On top of everything, this year is dedicated to Ruben Blades,” he said, a nod to the fact that Blades is the 2021 Person of the Year.
“You’re telling urban artists to boycott the awards and not celebrate the artistic life of Ruben Blades, cabrón, a man who marked the history of Latin music,” Residente continued. “It’s as if a hot dog cart got offended because he couldn’t earn a Michelin star […] your music is like a hotdog cart. Almost everybody likes it, but when those people want to eat well, they go to a Michelin-starred restaurant.” (Residente also took a jab at Billboard as an award that recognizes popularity and sales). Residente’s video has also been deleted.
Por su respuesta a J Balvin pic.twitter.com/BhAFU049C1
— ¿Por qué es tendencia? (@porquetendencia) September 30, 2021
9/29: Cuban rapper Yotuel posts another long video on Instagram following a conversation with Balvin that he describes as “one of the best conversations I’ve had in my life… Thank you to Jose for this call. Thank you for listening to me, and being honest. As I said in the call, Grammys are that window that help us artists [from different countries] tell the stories of what happens in our countries.”
Yotuel concluded by saying: “There is no polemic. There is no fight.”
9/30: Balvin posts a photo of himself behind a dog cart with the caption “Sal y perrea,” which coincidentally, or not, is the title of his new remix with Sech and Daddy Yankee (hot dog in Spanish translates to perro caliente).
9/30: Residente posts a video on his Instagram of a man at a hotdog cart, holding a hotdog in one hand and a can of his own Residente beer in another. He takes a swig and says: “For every hotdog, there’s a Residente.”
10/2: Balvin’s father, Alvaro Osorio, reposts a two-year-old video spoof by Residente and his brother where they mock a similar call to boycott the Latin Grammys. “JBalvin meant to echo what Residente said two years ago,” wrote Osorio, perhaps taking the original video literally. “The truth will set you free,”
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10/3: Residente posts a blistering nearly 6-minute video in response to Balvin’s merch post. “Not everything in life is business; not everything is money,” he says, critical of Balvin’s decision to post after both had, according to Residente, agreed to take down their respective posts and not post further. In terms of the original post that sparked the dispute, “He didn’t give an opinion,” says Residente of Balvin’s boycott call. “He made a call to action to boycott the only mass media many artists have to promote their music.”
By the way, Residente reposted his original video.
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