Residente Responds to J Balvin’s Latin Grammys Boycott: “If [They] Don’t Value Us, Why Do I Have 31 Grammys?”
Puerto Rican musical pioneer Residente doesn’t agree with J Balvin’s recent thoughts on the Latin Grammys. He wasn’t shy about letting the “In Da Getto” artist know how he felt about the importance of the awards show and asking him to evaluate his complaints.
Earlier this week, Balvin posted cryptic tweets saying that “The Grammys don’t value us, but they need us” and encouraged other Latine musicians who were nominated not to attend the ceremony in November. Residente responded with a now-deleted video captioned “Querido José,” asking the question: “If [they] don’t value us, then why do I have 31 Grammys?” He also spoke out against Balvin for calling for a boycott of the Latin Grammys, especially given that the legendary Panamanian musician Rubén Blades will be honored at this year’s event.
“Are you telling people of the urban genre to boycott the awards and not to celebrate the artistic life of Rubén Blades, cabrón?” Residente asked. “[Blades is] a guy who marked the history of Latin American music; a guy who, unlike you, writes his songs and feels them?”
Residente was far from finished. It seems he also compared Balvin’s music to a hot dog cart. “Don’t get me wrong, José, everyone likes hot dogs,” he added. “Understand [that] your music is like a hot dog cart, which many people or almost everyone may like. But when those people want to eat well, they go to a restaurant that… earns Michelin stars.” In the culinary industry, the Michelin Guide is an influential system used to rate restaurants. Viewers were shocked at the apparent diss on Balvin’s music quality — and almost immediately, #CarritodeHotDog became a hashtag.
Puerto Rican rapper Don Omar also commented on Balvin’s thoughts about the Latin Grammys: “There is no worse darkness than ignorance,” he chimed in on Instagram.
Balvin responded to Residente about an hour after posting the video, commenting “Respect your opinion.”
Residente wasn’t the only artist to speak out against J Balvin’s call for a boycott. Cuban musician Yotuel — nominated for Song of the Year for “Patria y Vida” — also posted a video on his Instagram. In the video, he calls on Balvin to reflect on his comments and adds, “The day you talk about Colombia in a song, that you put yourself in the shoes of the Colombian people in a song, and stop thinking about numbers and visits, then you and I are talking about an urbano movement.”
It seems the messages we’re heard loud and clear from Balvin who deleted his original tweets calling out the Latin Grammys and asking on artists to not attend. The 2021 Latin Grammys take place November 18 and will air on Univision.