A controversial Puerto Rican songwriter was honored at a Gracie Mansion reception last night, where he hobnobbed with the mayor and speaker of the City Council.
Residente, a fiery songwriter and activist who sang in Spanish that “the FBI is in trouble, they are screwed, the White House’s fucked,” was invited to a Puerto Rican heritage reception and will be a “king” at the Puerto Rican Day Parade on Sunday, according to a BuzzFeed report.
At the reception, Ms. Mark-Viverito–a native Puerto Rican who has also been very outspoken about her homeland’s affairs–said Mr. Perez and his hip-hop group Calle 13 is a “platform for social justice and humanitarian efforts.”
“When any individual has an added responsibility and visibility, whether you are a politician or whether you are a group, we have an added responsibility to raise our voice,” Ms. Mark-Viverito said. “That is what Calle 13 does.”
Residente, the stage name for René Perez, is prominent worldwide for his music and politics. In a controversial song “Querido FBI” that Calle 13 released after the FBI killed a leader in the Puerto Rican independence movement, Mr. Perez fumed about the American government’s treatment of the slayed nationalist.
“To the federales, I throw stones,” the Calle 13 song, released in 2005, goes, according to English translations. “To all the federales, I spit with diarrhea. I feel nausea, I feel disgusted.” (“Querido FBI” translates to “Dear FBI.”)
This is not the first time Ms. Mark-Viverito has waded into controversial political waters. She has repeatedly called for the release of Oscar Lopez Rivera, a jailed Puerto Rican nationalist (Mr. Perez boasted on social media that he was wearing an Oscar Lopez Rivera shirt.)
Mr. de Blasio’s office did not immediately return a request for comment.