J Balvin and Tokischa’s “Perra” Music Video
J Balvin and Dominican artist Tokischa collaborated on the song “Perra,” which translates to “It’s a doghouse.” The song appears on the singer’s new album, Jose. It’s a 24-track opus that blends sexy reggaeton with personal reflections on mental health and upbringing.
As the video for “Perra” was circulating social media, it triggered outrage, especially since the visuals were a blatantly anti-Black representation of the music industry. The video features Black actors wearing masks, prosthetics, and even walking on leashes. This led to calls for the music video to be taken down. However, it wasn’t until October that it actually was pulled from YouTube.
In an interview with Rolling Stone, the Dominican rapper said that she was not responsible for the decision to remove the music video, although she emphasized the importance of the video in terms of its sexual inception. She also explained the song’s visual allusions.
For example, the video depicts two Black women on leashes while a man walks them. Although the video is clearly meant as a satire, it also draws a clear message that a woman is unable to defend herself against misogyny. Another example of the video’s message is the “Perra” lyric, which is about a female dog in heat. Several people have taken the video apart in their own ways. Some have uploaded the video’s original footage to their websites, while others have uploaded videos that are similar but not identical to the song.
Despite the fact that the video was criticized for its content, J Balvin released the song on his own label, and then announced it would be removed from YouTube. Initially, it wasn’t known whether or not the video had been pulled because of continued criticism, but it eventually proved to be the case. Ultimately, the video was removed as a form of respect.
On Friday, however, Bad Bunny, a queer-positive perreo purveyor, released his own version of the song, titled “Yo Perreo Sola.” He twerks alone, while dressing up in drag. Along with promoting sexual diversity, the rapper is also an advocate for women’s rights. During the Black Lives Matter protests, he spoke out in support of the cause.
Before the controversy, the “Perra” music video was a well-received hit. It was featured in the Rolling Stone’s top 10 video of the year list, and it was featured in the top 100 songs of the decade by Billboard. A video of the song was even nominated for the Grammy Award. That’s not to mention its success in the UK, where it reached the top ten.
The video for the song “Perra” is an important one, as it addresses anti-Black issues in the world of reggaeton. The song reaches fever pitch when Balvin walks two Black women on all fours on leashes. While the video has been removed from YouTube, the audio-only version is still available on the singer’s website. At the time of this writing, there are no plans to re-release the video, but its existence is still an example of the importance of taking a stand against racism.