Rappers’ music has an important place in popular culture in the world. We forget that there aren’t just rappers in America. Jose Alvaro Osorio Balvin is better known as J Balvin. He is from Medellin, Colombia, and is known as the “Prince of Reggaeton”, a form of Latin Rap music. He is the voice of his people.
This film starts at a huge concert that Balvin is doing in Medellin, Colombia. It eventually goes back in time to five days before the concert and depicts the events leading up to this big night which is the last on a worldwide tour for Balvin. When he gets back home, he doesn’t realize what he’s come back to. Colombia is amid political strife for its leadership of its people.
The filmmakers show Balvin traveling around his hometown and country visiting various friends and family members. He’s eating at restaurants, working out, and taking pictures wherever he goes. He feels like it’s his civic duty to take all the pictures he can with his fans. It’s them who made him by coming to his concerts and listening to his music. He’s definitely a man amongst the people when he’s back home in Medellin, Colombia.
When you’re a celebrity, you have a responsibility to be more than a musician, athlete, or actor. You have to be somebody who represents something and somebody. In Bavin’s case, his people need a leader to speak for them because they are going through a tough time right now. Balvin doesn’t know if he has it in him to be the leader they need or not. Social media says otherwise. Other rappers come out to criticize him on his stance or lack thereof on the country’s problems.
Colombia is known for its drug cartels and their leaders. That was decades ago though. The country has had a good run in the last couple of decades. It’s been prosperous and its people have been happy, until recently when hundreds of thousands of people have been in the streets protesting education, medical benefits, and other human rights. That’s where Balvin has to step in as far as his people think.
I’m not a fan of this kind of music, but this film made me a fan of this man and his position on these events in his city/country affecting his people. The way the filmmakers decided to tell this story was very effective in getting the message across about this man and his standing in this society. He’s a very important person for his people and his country. His music platform also gives him a voice that can help those in need. The concert was the perfect way to do this and get his message across.
Dan Skip Allen
Founder/EIC disappointment media