HomeArts & EntertainmentMusicResidente Puts the Music Industry on Blast in Intense, Bloody Short Film...

Residente Puts the Music Industry on Blast in Intense, Bloody Short Film Featuring Ricky Martin

Residente is no stranger to making controversial art. On Wednesday, the Puerto Rican rap star released his intensely graphic short film for “Quiero Ser Baladista,” or “I Want to Be a Ballad Singer,” in which he calls out the commercialism of the Latin music industry with the help of Ricky Martin.

The video opens with the rapper being shot in an elevator as his killer places a hat with his signature [R] logo back on his head. Somber violin plays in the background, and quickly, the rapper continues dropping bars even as he’s dragged on the floor, seemingly dead: “They call me Cesar Millan sometimes, because when Residente talks, these dogs obey,” he spits.

Midway through the visual, Residente pulls a kidnapped man — played by Afo Verde, the chairman of Sony Music Latin Iberia — out of a car and seats him as Residente begins to sing and sardonically declares that “he wants to be a ballad singer” and a pop star who doesn’t ruffle feathers. Residente then — in a silly wig and a dress shirt and jacket — attempts to convince the executive to sign him as he performs a cheesy slow song and does silly choreo poking fun at empty balladeers.

After his performance (and after the label head shakes his head that he won’t sign him), the rapper removes his wig and shoots the executive, before a masked man (played Ricky Martin) shoots Residente from behind and takes on Residente’s personality as he puts on his [R] hat.

Wearing the cap, Residente’s voice overtakes Martin’s body. Matin launches into spitfire verses, name-checking Bad Bunny with the lyric: “I just recite my lyrics and they get thrown out like the phones Benito throws.” In another lyrics, he also seems to tease Maluma and his message of world peace.

Ricky Martin transforms back to his own pop persona and sings in the style of his album Pausa with mostly meaningless lyrics: “You’re missing what I have here/I’m missing what you have there/And if you can’t come here, well close your eyes there/Imagine yourself here with me.”

Along with serving as commentary on Residente’s own career and the perceptions surrounding his art, the video takes aim at the Latin music industry and how it often prioritizes superficial pop music that’s disguised as emotional or heartfelt.

The video comes just a day after he released a video called “La Ruptura,” or “the breakup,” where he’s seen speaking to someone offscreen as he asks the other person for space, saying that they “take out the worst from me.” By the end of the video, the camera pans to show that Residente was having a conversation with his [R]-emblazoned cap.


Earlier this week, Univision gossip show El Gordo y la Flaca shared an audio note seemingly sent to Residente by Alejandro Sanz where the Spanish singer tells him, “Don’t come to the world of ballads and pop to create conflicts, please. I’m asking you. Don’t come for Ricardo Montaner or others.” It’s unclear if the audio’s publication was part of Residente’s promo plan.

Residente’s work has a long tradition of challenging injustices and calling out commercial interests in Latin music and pop culture. In 2022, he feuded with J Balvin, describing Balvin’s music as “a hot dog stand” and his own as a Michelin star restaurant in one diss track. Later that year, he released a sharp rebuke of American exceptionalism and imperialism titled “This Is Not America.”

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