Villano Antillano shows us we can have our cake and eat it too. In her case, make-out with it
Transgender Rapper Villano Antillano ruffled a few feathers after a clip of her kissing a woman during a performance surfaced on social media.
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Editor’s note: Statements in this article were redacted by the author due to their harmful nature and use of language. For questions, please contact [email protected]
Puerto Rican rapper Villano Antillano caused a stir after a clip of her and Dominican performer Tokischa showed them kissing during a show last week. The video spread rapidly through social media, prompting backlash from other rappers who also used women as sexual props in their videography.
Antillano, a Transgender woman, became the subject of a cultural conversation spearheaded by two male rappers who took to Instagram to disparage both performers for a public display of a kiss between two women.
“I can’t sponsor this, really. Shameful. Fans and artists who support this can unfollow me and go to hell,” said Omy de Oro, a famed Urbano rapper who regularly portrays women in provocative and sexually charged outfits and scenes in his work.
In a post that is no longer viewable, De Oro responded to the growing backlash and said he is neither “homophobic nor a misogynist. And added that: “Those who know me know this, and I’m at peace.”
Cosculluela, another rapper known for his frequent controversies with other rappers, also had choice words.
“One hundred percent in agreement with [Omy de Oro] (...) The genre looks like a (redacted.) There are too many young people who follow the genre, and we have to set an example, we can’t push this (redacted),” he wrote.
He offered no further statements on the matter, but the artist, who amassed millions of social media followers, brought vitriolic comments towards Antillano, who in turn had her own Instagram banned for “explicit content.”
Antillano, not known for mincing words, took to Twitter and outlined the violent rhetoric that circulated her page following the homophobic comments.
“I want to be clear, with respect and an incredible sense of responsibility, the amount of messages I’ve received telling me I’ll be murdered like Kevin Fret; for being loud-mouthed, for being a whore.” She remarked on the new generation of women focused on producing what she calls “healing love.”
quiero también hacer constar, con mucho respeto y un sentido de responsabilidad increíble, la cantidad de mensajes que he recibido diciéndome que me van a matar como a Kevin Fret; por ser una bocona, por puta y por alzá… solo por haberle contestado a unos macharranes presentaos— La Rachél 🍸 (@villanomalandro) August 24, 2022
Kevin Fret was the first openly Gay male Latin trap artist who was violently killed in a targeted shooting in 2019.
Why it matters
In a VMA performance, Bad Bunny showcased a similar stage gimmick when he pulled in a dancer for a smooch, provoking a national conversation about his sexuality. During a Harper’s Bazaar interview, he was given the opportunity to speak on his fluidity, and how his performance stems from pure, unadulterated enjoyment of self.
Bad Bunny’s (@sanbenito) kiss with a man was monumental but it also needs to be contextualized. It took place barely a few days after Villano Antillano (@villanomalandro) and Tokischa were publicly criticized (to the point of death threats) for kissing at a show in San Juan.— J.Meléndez-Badillo (@jorellmelendezb) August 29, 2022
The reality for on-the-ground artists is very different and unleashes rhetoric unrecognizable from coveted magazine covers and VMA’s. While Martínez Ocasio is certainly transforming the way in which we consume reaguetón, the genre, largely dominated by traditional tropes of masculinity, continues to observe instances of dangerous discourse where women and gay communities are the primary victims.
At the local level, up-and-coming artists must combat long-standing figures in reggaeton long before they break into mainstream airwaves. Transgender artists like Villano Antillano will often be on the frontlines to effect tangible change in the cultural conversation.