Puerto Rican rapper Residente, co-founder of Calle 13, slammed his country’s national anthem for its references to Christopher Columbus.
Speaking to Nuria Net during Univision's very first U-Lab podcast earlier this week, Residente criticized references to the Italian explorer and colonizer.
“If you listen to all the other national anthems, they’re great. And our anthem is like, talking about Christopher Columbus, admiring our beaches, like, so fucking stupid,” Residente said.
“For me, it’s a shame.”
La Borinqueña, Puerto Rico's national anthem, includes a verse that says “when at her beaches Columbus arrived, he exclaimed full of admiration: Oh! Oh! Oh! This is the beautiful land that I seek.”
The verse, according to Residente, gives too much credit to a historical figure who is responsible for the mass deaths of Indigenous peoples across the Americas.
The rapper recently released a track called “Hijos de Cañaveral,” which he said hopes to give Puerto Ricans an alternative to “La Borinqueña,” Remezcla reports. The track, he said, put politics aside and focused on what would unite his community.
“It talks about our history,” he said.
“The second verse is more like the present, a bit, you know, but in a weird, beautiful way, and then, the future and what we should do.”
Residente's new solo album includes “Hijos de Cañaveral” and other thought-provoking tracks. The Puerto Rican rapper is notorious for producing progressive songs about struggles of the oppressed in Latin America and across the world.