It has been well-documented throughout history the US-colonial neglect of Puerto Rico, which is why internationally-acclaimed hip-hop artist Residente knows our current sitting president’s failure to aid the commonwealth in the aftermath of hurricanes Irma and Maria isn’t unique to his shortcomings.
“The failure [of the government’s response to Hurricane Maria] would have been the same whether we had Trump or Hillary or Obama as president. All of them would have failed equally, because no US president in history has really cared about our situation,” said the Grammy-winning rapper in a scathing interview with The Nation.
Hardly one to adhere to industry conformity, Residente is once again using his stage as a political podium following the 60th annual Grammys ceremony no less. After winning best Latin rock, urban or alternative album for his self-titled DNA-informed studio project, which he dedicated to “all the true artists,” Residente is speaking out on the perpetual negligence of Puerto Rico under the historical colonial grips of the United States. What’s more, he’s bringing to light a new awakening that’s happening on his native island as we speak.
“There’s this awareness growing on the island right now at ten times the speed as before, and that’s promising for us because we have to improve internally before we can recover economically,” he told The Nation. “Our self-esteem has to grow and we have to feel like we can do things for ourselves — that’s something that [the US] tried to take out of our system. That’s the recovery that’s going on right now. The people who lived on a cloud, thinking that being a colony was better, are realizing that it’s not, and that we need a new alternative … This isn’t a war cry, but a call to consciousness.”