The single from his fifth studio album contains lyrics about a female dog in heat.
J Balvin has issued an apology after being subjected to weeks of criticism for advocating misogyny and racism in his music video for “Perra”.
The track, released in early September and featuring Dominican model and rapper Tokischa, is out of his fifth studio album, Joseph.
The all-Spanish single has a chorus about female dogs in heat, and the word “perra” translates to “bitch”.
But what got the most setbacks was the song’s music video. Directed by Raymi Paulus, the image depicts Balvin controlling two black women on a leash, several black artists in dog-like prostheses and masks, and Tokischa posing inside a dog house.
On Sunday, Balvin spoke out about the controversy for the first time, admitting that he removed the video from YouTube more than a week ago.
“I would like to apologize to the person who felt offended, especially to the black community,” Balvin said in a Instagram history. “It’s not who I am. I’m about tolerance, love and inclusivity. I also like supporting new artists, in this case Tokischa, a woman who supports her people, her community and also empowers women.”
He continued: “As a form of respect, I removed the video eight days ago. But because the criticism continued, I’m here with a statement. Mom, I’m sorry too. Life gets better every day. Thank you for listening to me . “
But in an exclusive interview with Rolling Stone, Tokischa opened up about the intent behind the video and the number, which she was inspired to write while having sex.
“If you as a creative have a song that talks about dogs, you’re going to create that world,” she explained. However, she also apologized for how the video was perceived: “I understand the interpretation people had and I I’m really sorry that people felt offended. But at the same time, art is expression. It’s creating a world.”
Director Raymi added in an email statement to the business that the decision to portray black actors as dogs was in line with the “realities of the barrio”. He shared: “Our creative process was never intended to promote racism or misogyny. The Dominican Republic is a country where the majority of the population is black and our blackness is prevalent in underground scenes where the filming took place and which was the subject of for the inspiration of the video. “
“‘Perra’ was a video recorded in the neighborhood with people from the neighborhood, and the use of colored people in ‘Perra’ was nothing more than our people’s participation in it,” he continued, adding that he also felt the video was “taken out of context. “
As for Balvin, this is not the first time that the Colombian artist has been criticized for being insensitive to race. Last year, the singer received backlash for not understanding the Black Lives Matter movement, sharing a hashtag #EveryLivesMatter. He has also been accused of cultural appropriation for exploiting black aesthetics in his video for “In Da Ghetto,” starring Skrillex.
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