Calle 13 – Latinoamerica

"Latinoamerica" is a song by Puerto Rican band Calle 13, released September 27, 2011, as the fifth single from their fourth studio album, Entren Los Que Quieran (2010). It was written and produced by Rafael Arcaute and Calle 13, and features additional vocals from other Latinoamerican recording artists; Peruvian Susana Baca, Colombian Totó la Momposina and Brazilian Maria Rita. The song won Record of the Year and Song of the Year in the Latin Grammy Awards of 2011. The song is important in that it touches on many underlying historical, social, and political themes present throughout Latin America. See the lyrics in English below.

Calle 13 is well known for their creation of music with strong themes and agendas, in particular music focused on social consciousness. The band has also released a documentary, Sin Mapa. Sin Mapa follows the evolution of Calle 13 as its two main members, stepbrothers Residente (René Pérez Joglar) and Visitante (Eduardo José Cabra Martínez), travel across Latin America. Sin Mapa presents many of the same issues highlighted in "Latinoamerica". "Latinoamerica"'s reflection on historical, social, and political themes acts as a criticism of Western force and influence within Latin America, while at the same time asserting the collective strength of the Latin American oppressed. In addressing the shared history of Latin America, the band exposes the faults that are still a factor in present day Latin America.

The music video for Latinoamerica was filmed on March 23, 2011 (during 29 days) in Perú and was directed by Jorge Carmona and Milovan Radovic. In addition to the new footage shot throughout Latin America, the music video incorporates previously unused footage shot by the brothers from their pivotal trip captured in Sin Mapa.

The video opens to a striking landscape of Peruvian mountains, as the silhouettes of Residente and Visitante are seen crossing the frame. The stepbrothers make their way up dirt roads, to a radio station in the Peruvian mountains, where they are presented to a Quechua- speaking DJ. As the video continues, additional symbolism becomes apparent. The start of the song’s instrumental music contains percussion reminiscent of the sound of heartbeats. The audio image of heartbeats is then synchronized to a large visual image of a beating heart. In the remainder of "Latinoamerica"'s music video there is a wide variety of interesting symbols that play off the song’s lyrics. Nevertheless, for the most part these symbols ultimately tie back to the themes of unity and knowledge.

The song primarily incorporates the Argentine chacarera, which is a style with 6/8 meter and syncopated drum patterns.

Calle 13 was nominated for 10 Latin Grammys in 2011, two of which – Song of the Year and Record of the Year – were for "Latinoamerica".

Song Lyrics:

Radio Announcer:
“Good morning to the beloved listeners of your radio IntiRaymi.
How are you? Are you ok? And, how is everyone in this town of Cuzco? Either way, to everyone outside this town, every person listening, brothers and sisters. Now, I introduce you to the young boys that sing well, they come from the land of Puerto Rico; they are called CALLE 13 and they are bringing us good music. The name of the song is LATINOAMÉRICA (Latin America), Let’s listen…”

Song Lyrics:
I am,
I am what they left behind,
I am the leftovers of what they’ve stolen.
A hidden town in the summit,
My skin is of leather that’s why it withstands any weather.
I am a smoke factory,
Peasant labour for your consumption
Cold front in the middle of summer,
Love in the time of cholera, my brother!
I’m the sun that rises and the day that dies,
with the best sunsets.
I am the development in raw flesh,
a political speech without saliva.
The most beautiful faces I have ever met,
I am the picture of a missing person.
I am the blood in your veins,
I am a piece of land which is worthy
I am a basket with beans,
I am Maradona against England scoring two goals.
I am what supports my flag,
The planet’s spine is my mountain range.
I am what my father taught me,
Whoever doesn’t love their country doesn’t love their mother.
I am Latin America,
A nation without legs but still walking.
You can’t buy the wind.
You can’t buy the sun.
You can’t buy the rain.
You can’t buy the heat.
You can’t buy the clouds.
You can’t buy the colours.
You can’t buy my happiness.
You can’t buy my pain.
I have lakes, I have rivers.
I have my teeth for when I smile.
The snow coating my mountains.
I have the sun which dries me and the rain which bathes me.
A dessert drunk on peyote and a drink of pulque to sing with the coyotes. Everything I need.
My lungs breath clean air.
The suffocating altitude.
I am the molars of my mouth chewing coca.
The autumn with its fainting leaves.
The verses written under a starlight night.
A vineyard full of grapes.
A cane plantation under the sun of Cuba.
I am the Caribbean Sea looking after the little houses,
Performing rituals with blessed water.
The wind that combs my hair.
I am all the saints that hang from my neck.
My fight is not fruitless,
Because the manure of my land is natural.
You can’t buy the wind.
You can’t buy the sun.
You can’t buy the rain.
You can’t buy the heat.
You can’t buy the clouds.
You can’t buy the colours.
You can’t buy my happiness.
You can’t buy my pain.
You can’t buy the wind
You can’t buy the sun
You can’t buy the rain
You can’t buy the heat
You can’t buy the clouds
You can’t buy the colours
You can’t buy my happiness
You can’t buy my pain
You can’t buy my happiness
You can’t buy my sadness
You can’t buy the sun.
You can’t buy the rain.
(We draw the path, we walk)
You can’t buy my life.
I work hard but with pride.
Here we share, what’s mine is yours.
This nation doesn’t drown with the waves.
And if it collapses I rebuild it.
I don’t even blink when I look at you,
So you’ll remember my last name.
Operation Condor invading my nest,
I forgive but never forget!
(We walk)
Here struggle is perceived.
(We walk)
I sing to be listened.
Here we stand
Long live Latin America!

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