Longtime activist and Calle 13 alum Residente had a busy 2016. In March, he teamed up with Rosario Dawson to show support for former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders during a Bronx rally. He’s been actively campaigning for the freedom of Oscar López Rivera, Puerto Rico’s last political prisoner, meeting with officials like Rep. Luis Gutierrez. He even appeared on Lin Manuel-Miranda’s buzzy Hamilton mixtape alongside Snow Tha Product, delivering a scorching Spanish-language verse on “Immigrants (We Get the Job Done).”
But even young Residente fans know that it’s been two years since we’ve heard any original material from René Pérez Joglar, who announced a Calle 13 hiatus last year to the dismay of many longtime followers. But the wait is over: just yesterday, Residente announced a massive 360 deal with Fusion Media Group. According to Billboard, the five-year agreement encompasses Pérez’s first solo album, a feature-length documentary, a world tour, a website, and more, including “television and digital content, as well as merchandising, sponsorships, and endorsements.” Phew.
Addressing the tricky relationship between corporate support for music and independent culture, Residente celebrated the opportunity the Fusion agreement affords him. “In a system that cannibalizes true art, this partnership is a real oasis – it places art and creative freedom at its center, and I can’t wait to start sharing my first pieces over the coming weeks,” Residente told Billboard.
More details are sure to emerge, but at least this deal means we’ll finally get a sneak peek at the solo album Pérez has been teasing since 2015, a project he’s worked on in Russia, Siberia, and China over the past year and a half. Whatever it sounds like, we’re looking forward to the next chapter of Residente and the Calle 13 story.