Atrévete te-te – Calle 13

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Puerto Rican step-brothers, Residente and Visitante, are no strangers to accolades.  Together their revolutionary group, Calle 13, has two records and five Grammys.

I had the pleasure of hearing them for the first time during a commercial break in one of the 2006 World Cup matches, when I changed the channel to Mun2 – mundos, like worlds, get it? – and saw a row of women dressed in identical white outfits dancing in perfect tempo to the 4/4 time of Cumbia.

Immediately the Colombian in me took to the tune, Cumbia having originated on the Caribbean coast of Colombia, where I lived during my youth.  When the song credits appeared near the end of the video, I learned that the women in white had  been dancing to Atrévete te-te.  Although I knew that I did not understand the meaning of the song, Residente’s lewd voice embedded in Visitante’s traditional beats hypnotized me into becoming what I am today:  a die-hard Calle 13 fan.

In this smash hit, Residente not only flows with such practical rhymes as “mojan el arroz con un poco de aguacate/pa’ cosechar nalgas de 14 quilates”, which translates into English as “they wet their rice with a bit of avocado/to grow 14 karat asses”, but he also takes on the role of director for its internationally famous video.

Atrévete te te salte del closet,
destápate quítate el esmalte,
deja de taparte que nadie va a retratarte
levántate ponte hiper,
préndete sácale chispa al estalter
préndete en fuego como un lighter
sacúdete el sudor como si fueras un wiper,
que tu eres callejera street fighter.

Dare to jump out of the closet,
Uncover yourself, take away the nail polish
Stop covering yourself, nobody is gonna take your picture
Get up, get hyper
Turn on, spark the starter.
Catch fire like a lighter
Shake off your sweat, as if you were a wiper
You are a street fighter, “street fighter”

Cambia esa cara de seria,
esa cara de intelectual de enciclopedia
que te voy a inyectar con la bacteria
pa’ que des vueltas como machina de feria,
señorita intelectual
ya se que tienes el área abdominal
que va a explotar como fiesta patronal
que va a explotar como palestino.

Change your serious face
That intellectual face, encyclopedia face
I’m gonna inject you with the bacteria
That’s gonna make you spin like a ferris wheel
Miss intellectual, I know that you have
The abdominal area that’s gonna explode
Like a town festiva
That’s gonna explode like Palestine

Yo se que a ti te gusta el pop rock latino
pero este reggaeton se te mete por los intestinos por debajo de la falda como un submarino
y te saca lo de indio taino
ya tu sabes en taparrabo mama
en el nombre de agueymana no hay mas na’,
para na’ q’ yo te voy a mentir
yo se que yo también quiero consumir de tu perejil
y tu viniste amazónica como Brasil
tu viniste a matarlas como Kill Bill
tu viniste a beber cerveza de barril
tu sabes que conmigo tu tienes refill

I know that you like Latin pop-rock
But it’s just that reggaeton gets into your intestines
Under your skirt, like a submarine
And brings out the Indian in you
You know, in a loincloth, mama
I know that you like Latin pop-rock
But it’s just that reggaeton gets into your intestines
Under your skirt, like a submarine
And brings out the Indian in you
You know, in a loincloth, mama

Atrévete te te salte del closet
destápate quítate el esmalte
deja de taparte que nadie va a retratarte
levántate ponte hiper
préndete sácale chispa al estalter
préndete en fuego como un lighter
sacúdete el sudor como si fueras un wiper
que tu eres callejera street fighter

Dare to jump out of the closet,
Uncover yourself, take away the nail polish
Stop covering yourself, nobody is gonna take your picture
Get up, get hyper
Turn on, spark the starter.
Catch fire like a lighter
Shake off your sweat, as if you were a wiper
You are a street fighter, “street fighter”

Hello, deja el show
súbete la mini falda hasta la espalda
súbetela deja el show mas alta
que ahora vamos a bailar por toa las altas
ahora nena quieres tu zipi,
no importa si eres rapera o eres hippie
si eres de Bayamón o de guaynabo city
conmigo no te pongas picky
esto es hasta abajo cójele el tricky
esto es fácil, esto es un mamey,
que importa si te gusta green day,
que importa si te gusta cold play
esto es directo sin parar one way,
yo te lo juro de que por ley
aquí toas las boricuas saben karate
ellas cocina con salsa de tomate,
mojan el arroz con un poco de aguacate
pa’ cosechar nalgas de 14 quilates

Hello, stop pretending.
Lift your miniskirt
Up to your back
Raise it, stop pretending, higher
Now we are going to dance through the whole yard
Hey, girl, want a sip?
It doesn’t matter if you’re a rapper or a hippie
If you’re from Bayamon or Guaynabo City
Don’t get picky with me
This is low, get tricky
This is easy, it’s a piece of cake
Who cares if you like Green Day?
Who cares if you like Coldplay?
This is direct, non-stop, one way
I swear, that around here all the Puerto Rican woman know karate
They cook with tomato sauce
That wet their rice with a bit of avocado
To grow 14 karat asses

Atrévete te te salte del closet
destápate quítate el esmalte
deja de taparte que nadie va a retratarte
levántate ponte hiper
préndete sácale chispa al estalter
préndete en fuego como un lighter,
sacúdete el sudor como si fueras un wiper
que tu eres callejera street fighter

Dare to jump out of the closet,
Uncover yourself, take away the nail polish
Stop covering yourself, nobody is gonna take your picture
Get up, get hyper
Turn on, spark the starter.
Catch fire like a lighter
Shake off your sweat, as if you were a wiper
You are a street fighter, “street fighter”

January 13, 2009 11:54 am

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