Known for his social-minded themes and political lyricism, Calle 13’s Residente put together a new album inspired by his ancestors—or his genetic makeup. “I am Residente. I decided to make music based on my DNA, so I traveled the world discovering sounds and uncovering stories. We are all residents in the spaces that confine us. Only here, there are no borders,” he announced back in December.
After taking a DNA test and plotting his transcontinental travels soon thereafter, the Puerto Rican rapper set out on a globetrotting mission, during which he recorded music with local artists with whom he shares DNA.
In a recent interview, the man born René Pérez Joglar mentioned recruiting Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda for the opening of the upcoming album, later revealing the Broadway maestro is a newly discovered cousin of his.
“Residente asked Mr. Miranda to introduce Calle 13 at a concert in Puerto Rico, and when Mr. Miranda met Residente’s family there, Residente’s mother instantly recognized the face of his grandfather in his,” wrote Jon Pareles of the New York Times. “Residente and Mr. Miranda turned out to be third cousins.”
Miranda went on to tell Pareles perhaps what most in the same scenario would have thought. “It’s not every day you find out you’re related to one of the most famous rappers in the world.”
Residente’s first solo album – not yet titled – is due in March.