"René", Residente's introspection that will make history
He composed it in one of those moments when you either come out of the water go down forever. What was the singer from Calle 13 looking for? The answer: "To be me again."
"The most important song" of his life. This is how the singer and founder of Calle 13, one of the most important modern Latin groups, defined his newest song released last Friday.
It's a deep portrait and painful journey to the roots of Puerto Rican Rene Perez Joglar, known as Residente. The song aims to be the top composition of his career and at the same time, a show of generosity to his fans by revealing what he holds in his heart and is so often wrapped in a shell.
"Since I was a child I wanted to be a baseball player, I didn't make it," René surprises us with sincerity from the first verse.
Shortly after, you hear a female voice asking: "What part of the body did the Taino Indians play ball with?"
The song, which is named for its composer, is a confessional hymn born from the life of crisis he led.
"One night I felt very bad, I was in Mexico, the stadium waiting for me, and I didn't want to leave the hotel. I called Mommy a scumbag and threw myself off the balcony and I didn't know why. That night a friend came and stayed with me. The next day I started writing this song," he wrote on his Twitter account to introduce the topic.
From childhood to the present, through his political activism and problems with alcohol ("I write well sober, but I write better drunk"), one can recognize in "René", the artist's search for the meaning of his malaise. He searches the bad, like a childhood marked by the ghost of a stepfather ("The fights with my stepfather when I lost control / I resolved them with him by watching a baseball game / He invited me to fight a couple of times / I ran away from home a couple of times"), and his confrontations with the Puerto Rican governor, and the good like cleaning house with his brothers listening to Ruben Blades or "seeing Halley's comet with my mommy again."
In his attempt to find René below Residente, he confesses that it is not the tours, the records or the Grammys that matter most. It's the essentials.
He sums it up in his final verse: "I want to be myself again."
It is not often that a musician openly gives us a glimpse of his discomfort in times of identity crisis. For this reason, and because of the sincere lyricism of this song, there is no doubt that "René" is pure synesthesia, more than a musical composition that can be heard, and a light that shines on us all.