Bad Bunny, Residente, and iLe dropped a blistering protest anthem “Afilando Los Cuchillos” aimed at Puerto Rico governor Ricardo Rosselló on Wednesday. The song has already amassed more than 1.2 million views on YouTube.
The track, which means “Sharpening the Knives” in English, is a timely musical evisceration of Rosselló in the midst of widespread protests for the official to step down. Public demonstrations in San Juan have swelled in response to nearly 900 pages of leaked texts between Rosselló and others in his administration that were homophobic, misogynistic, and mocked the victims of Hurricane Maria.
The artists behind the song, who all hail from Puerto Rico, call out Rosselló by name and describe him as a homophobe and a dictator. The song includes the lyrics: “We are sharp, like knives/Sparkling up to the edge/Weed must be removed from the plantation/So that none of them take advantage of what is mine.”
Residente, whose real name is René Pérez Joglar, told NPR the knife is a symbolic instrument used to cut through the systemic corruption on the island. Bad Bunny, born Benito Martinez Ocasio, recently announced on Twitter and Instagram that he would be putting his European tour on pause to join his fellow Puerto Ricans in protesting the government. He is among other high-profile figures like Ricky Martin and Lin-Manuel Miranda who have also demanded Rosselló to step down.
“I am going to go down to the island and I would like to see you all join me and those who have already taken to the street,” Bad Bunny previously tweeted in Spanish. “These people think that we are afraid and we will demonstrate to them that they are wrong!!”
Rosselló refused to resign during a news conference on Tuesday, saying that his acts were “inappropriate” but not illegal.
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