One of Latin America's most outspoken rappers is opening up about his collaboration with Bad Bunny and owning his own music

By Alexia Fernández
July 15, 2019 12:00 PM
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Two of Latin America’s superstar rappers are joining forces in a new collaboration.

In a PEOPLE exclusive interview, Calle 13’s Residente opens up about working with Bad Bunny on their new single “Bellacoso,” the first release off of Residente’s upcoming second solo album.

The rapper, born René Juan Pérez Joglar, tells PEOPLE his friendship with Bunny goes back several years and that collaborating together made sense.

“We were very relaxed about it,” Residente, 41, says. “We were hanging out and one day it was, ‘Hey, we can do a song, you know?’ When it’s organic it’s better and we just wanted to have fun.”

The two certainly enjoy themselves in the video for “Bellacoso,” which Residente describes as a “sexual” song that takes place primarily in his and Bunny’s native Puerto Rico, where both artists protested for the resignation of Puerto Rico governor Ricardo Rosselló.

“For this album, I was looking for a concept that allowed me to write with complete freedom,” he says. “So I’m writing about everything that I have in my head.”

Wanting to return to his musical roots in reggaeton, Residente turned toward Bunny, who described the process as “always something creative, [there’s always something] crazy happening.”

Residente; Bad Bunny

The former Calle 13 rapper, who has worked with the likes of Shakira and his cousin Lin-Manuel Miranda, is also open to giving advice to musicians younger than him about any topic — including the recent hotly debated discussion of whether artists should own their masters.

The topic arose again in the news after Taylor Swift revealed Scooter Braun owned her entire music catalog (which comprises her first six albums) — something Residente says happens all too often in the music industry.

“That’s a common thing that’s happened to me too when I first started,” he says. “But I own my masters now. I have a deal where [the label and I are] partners. But when you’re young you don’t know that. And of course, I talked to about 12 [labels] not only owning their masters but about publishing.”

Residente is one of the few artists to regain control of his music, and with a new solo album coming out he’s preparing to release more catalogs of music with more collaborations.

“I have a few [more artists I’m working with],” he says, although he won’t divulge any names yet. “The idea is to release [the album] this year, so in between October and November.”