Calle 13 picked up a record nine awards at last year’s Latin Grammy Awards, including song and record of the year awards for “Latinoamerica,” a tune that celebrates la cultura latina. And, now the Puerto Rican urban act has been recognized for their global influence.
The hip-hop duo, comprised of step brothers Eduardo Cabra and Rene Perez, has been honored by Argentina’s National University of La Plata for its contributions to popular communication and culture.
“It’s a very big honor” to receive the Rodolfo Walsh prize, which “many musicians in Argentina and Latin America deserve as much or more than I do,” said Perez, a.k.a. Residente, after receiving the award Friday in a ceremony at the university’s School of Journalism.
The 34-year-old Perez, who said he feels like an “Argentine at heart,” received the prize.
“Don’t be afraid. The social networks and a ton of mechanisms now exist for getting the truth out. Like (slain writer) Rodolfo Walsh said: ‘Journalism is either free or it’s a farce,’” the artist said at the ceremony.
“We reward popular expression, popular culture, the defense of Latin America and therefore we’re acknowledging Calle 13, which is not just another band: it’s a group that stands up to the powerful with its rhythms and uses alternative communication channels,” the school’s dean Florencia Saintout said.
The band, which has won a record 19 Latin Grammy awards, is known for its outspokenness on socio-political issues and favors Puerto Rico’s full independence from the United States, a minority position on the Caribbean island.
Rodolfo Walsh was an Argentine writer, leading critic of the country’s 1976-1983 military regime and one-time militant who died on March 25, 1977, in a shootout with government commandos who ambushed him on a street in Buenos Aires, one day after publishing his bitter “Open Letter” to the military junta on the first anniversary of the armed forces’ seizing power.