J Balvin has been criticized for his “Perra” music video. Even the reggaeton star's mom asks: “Where is the Josésito that ns know?” (Emma McIntyre/Getty pictures for global Citizen VAX LIVE)
J Balvin apologized previously this week for a music video clip that featured Black world whose facial functions were changed to do them look like dogs, including two black color women who were shown as being walked on a leash through the reggaeton star. Doubters of the “Perra” video clip include the vice chairman of Balvin’s indigenous Colombia — that co-signed an open letter the the song’s lyrics, and video feature “misogynistic expressions that violate the legal rights of women” — and also the singer’s very own mother, who told a Colombian news regimen that the video clip prompted her to contact her son to asking “Where is the Josésito that ns know?”

Balvin’s apology, posted in his Instagram stories on Sunday, arrived roughly a main after the video quietly disappeared native YouTube. “I want to say i m really sorry to whomever felt offended, especially women and the black color community,” Balvin stated in Spanish. “That’s not that I am. I’m about tolerance, love and also inclusivity.”

The music video is the latest dispute for the “Mi Gente” singer, who has actually been criticized throughout his career for culturally appropriating from black artists and also making tone-deaf statements about race. Amid extensive protests end racial justice critical year, Balvin to be slammed for posting a video clip of him dancing with a black color woman together the black Lives issue hashtag. (He later on pledged to “do better”.) but the outcry end “Perra” — which attributes rising Afro-Dominican rapper Tokischa — also highlights long-standing problems in the genre that made Balvin a popular music star.

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Reggaeton grew out of predominantly Black communities in Panama and also Puerto Rico decades ago, but its surge up the pop charts in current years has positioned White or light-skinned artists as its most visible stars. In his apology, Balvin listed his desire to support Tokischa, “a woman that supports her people, her neighborhood and additionally empowers women,” and also other up-and-coming artists.

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Tokischa’s involvement in the song and also video, where she appears on all fours in a doghouse, has actually sparked controversy on society media, with some defending her company as an artist and as a woman embracing her sexuality in a male-dominated genre; others available criticism, citing her function as just another example that a non-Black reggaeton artist favor Balvin using a black color woman for commercial clout.

For her part, Tokischa safeguarded the “Perra” video clip as “conceptual,” in one interview through Rolling Stone. “If you, as a creative, have a track that’s talking around dogs, you’re walking to create that world,” she said. “I understand the interpretation world had and also I’m truly i m really sorry that world felt offended. Yet at the exact same time, art is expression. It’s producing a world.”

Tokischa’s manager, Raymi Paulus, that directed the “Perra” video clip told Rolling stone that the dog theme was supposed to evoke “the realities” the life in the Dominican Republic’s “barrios.” “Our an innovative process never aimed to promote racism or misogyny,” Paulus added. “The Dominican Republic is a country where most of the population is Black, and also our Blackness is primary in underground scenes, wherein the filming took place, and also which was the topic of the video’s inspiration.”

Tokischa added that she to be not component of the decision to remove the video, and also that she had approached Balvin come collaborate v her top top the track. “He came right here to record with me and to re-publishing his platform with me,” she said. “Now I’m prefer ‘What walk I obtain Jose in?’”

Balvin has arised as a defining figure in reggaeton, specifically following his 2017 teamwork with Beyoncé, ~ above a remix that “Mi Gente,” and also subsequent Coachella performance. That has become a champion the the genre and also of Latin artists, even as his career has embodied plenty of of the disparities in ~ the industry.

In recent years, Balvin has been amongst a cohort that reggaeton artists boycotting the Latin Grammys for relegating the Latin pop genre come urban and specialty categories. However that thread of criticism, i m sorry Balvin echoed after this year nominations were announced last month, falls short to identify the black color artists — including numerous of Balvin’s partners — whose work has actually been repetitively overlooked by the Latin recording Academy.

In his apology video on Sunday, Balvin straight addressed his mother. “Mom, i’m sorry,” that said. “Life gets better each day. Thank you because that listening come me.”

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