J Balvin has been at the receiving end of some serious backlash for weeks now, but after trying to ignore it for a while, he’s finally issued an apology.
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In September, J Balvin released a music video for his collaboration with Tokischa, “Perra.” The song’s title translates to “female dog” in Spanish, and the lyrics for the song are about just that, referring to dogs in heat, among other things.
While the lyrics are your reggaeton subject matter, the problem arose when the pair released a video for the track, which showed the Colombian singer walking with two Black women on leashes. His collaborator, who is Dominican and has a fairly dark complexion, was also seen posing in a dog house for the video.
Fans were responding negatively to the video for weeks with no response from Balvin, and last week, the visual was quietly removed from Youtube with no word from the musician or his camp. Over the weekend, though, he finally issued an apology, posting an apology video to his Instagram Stories.
In his video, Balvin says he’s sorry to anyone who was offended, especially women, and especially Black women. He says he didn’t mean for it to be interpreted as degrading, saying he was simply trying to help give some shine to an up-and-coming artist in the Dominican Republic in Tokischa.
The singer went on to say that his work has always been about tolerance, love and inclusivity, and after hearing how it affected people, he felt the need to come on and address it on camera. Balvin even apologizes to his own mother, who was seen expressing her own disappointment for the music video online last week.
Just last month, as “Perra” was released, the rapper did an interview with El Tiempo, where he said that he was inspired to get into reggaeton after finding out that Daddy Yankee was white, literally equating being white to being Latino.
“Because when I listened to Daddy Yankee, I thought he was Black, more or less like Tego Calderòn,” he said in Spanish. “When I saw a picture of Daddy Yankee for the first time, I said, ‘Ah, I can be like him!’ I saw that a path was opened, I saw that Yankee was white. A Latino! Like me.”
The rapper also pulled a Gina Rodriguez, not being able to resist bringing up Latinos during the Black Lives Matter conversations last year…even though *hint hint nudge nudge* Black Latinos exist. While he did post the Black Lives Matter hashtag, he followed that with #Latinolivesmattertoo and #Everylivesmatter in an Instagram post.
Hopefully, following this backlash, Balvin will work on all of the internalized colorism running through his veins.