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Antillean Villain: “I am not afraid, no matter how much hate you see, I receive triple the love”

Darkness and then light. A woman dressed in white suddenly appears. She emerges from an ethereal zone, where everything seems to exist in the highest degree of purity. The cloak that rests on her head and the sharp features of her face make her look like a divine being. Her big dark eyes have the depth of a thousand galaxies.

The bottle in front of her contains a dark substance foreign to the innocence of space. At first, the woman observes her carefully, then pours some of the liquid into a glass glass and brings it to her lips. The woman falls, trembling, to the ground and her world changes in an instant.

Red. Scarlet red. Red wine. Blood red.

Space has been transformed into a realm of intense fire. The woman has abandoned her white cloth for black clothing and the innocence of her gaze has been replaced by malice. In the place of a divine being, a sorceress queen has emerged, who begins her coven with the verses of a poem.

“I wanted to be as men wanted me to be:

an attempt at life;

a game of hide and seek with my being.

But I was made of presents,

and my feet flat on the promising land

They couldn’t resist walking backwards,

and they kept going, going,

mocking the ashes to reach the kiss

of the new trails.”

When the music begins to play, the queen has already become the owner of all the souls that have come to visit her.

***

It is a Sunday night and the creatures of the night are preparing to respond to their teacher’s call.. Spirits, ghosts, witches and demons have come here, seduced by a power that shakes their most primitive instincts. As they enter the hall, many settle near the platform from which the high priestess will be presented in the flesh.

The first concert of Antillean Villain In Puerto Rico it will forever be marked in history. In a relatively short time, the rapper has become a symbol and her music has become a banner of justice. The success of her career has been due to hard work, perseverance and a fair amount of tolerance in an industry that can be as cruel as it is fruitful. Through thick and thin, as she sang in her introduction to NPR’s “Tiny Desk,” the Villain has forged her own path.

“I see Villana as a person who is erasing stigmas and putting the name of trans people in the world. And you can see how many of us are here to support our girl. I feel like it’s about liberation,” he says. Aura, a young woman who has arrived dressed as “Shego”, a character from the popular animated series “Kim Possible” and, obviously, one of its villains. Just a few days away from “Halloween,” the vast majority of concertgoers have arrived in costume.

Hundreds of fans came to the venue to celebrate and enjoy Villana’s successes. (Josian Bruno Gómez)

Next to Aura, dressed completely in shades of pink that have nothing to envy of “Barbie”, is Isis Aphroditewho has also come to the venue to celebrate everything the rapper represents.

“I think he is a figure with political power, too. He is like a light at the end of the road. It is a figure that in its lyrics can be very powerful and striking for different sectors, because it can impact others in a negative way, as they say, but it gives us empowerment because we know that in this country they make us invisible and even kill us. . But we are here and for me she represents a very important figure, because we, people of trans experience, also need those platforms where these figures are and speak things as they should be spoken.”explains Isis.

The young women then join the rest of the devotees who wait in the sand for the arrival of the queen. It is there too Marielle De Leondressed in a sensual red outfit.

“This moment is so historic, because we have always been so close to reaching these heights, like when we had figures like Kevin Fret. And we have seen other artists outside of Puerto Rico reach these levels. This was needed so that there would be bigger things later. She has been with us, she has been part of this community since the beginning of it. Many of us here have known her since she did shows at El Hangar or El Local. It’s like ourselves being up there,” she says and at that precise moment her words are drowned in the screams of the public that alerts everyone that the spell is about to begin.

***

The show begins with a short film in which Villano Antillano comes out dressed in white and his world is then transformed into a universe of red. While the film plays out, you can hear the verses of the poem “I myself was my route,” by Julia de Burgos, recited by Villana. When the rapper finally appears on stage, she does so dressed in a suit with an extremely short skirt and performing “Hedonism,” one of the songs from her most recent production.

“Against wind, tides and storm, I have come to praise you, Jehovah,” she chants, briefly and jokingly, before an audience that roars as she sees her stroll across the stage.

Did they give you the propaganda outside that you are going to burn in hell for being here?“asks the artist, in reference to a group of religious people who came to the entrance of the venue to distribute papers against the concert.

“See you there,” he says with a Machiavellian laugh.

The “set list” of the night includes songs such as “Hello Kitty”, “Cuero”, “Coconut Shell”, “I Have a Boyfriend”, “Mujerón”, “Vendetta”, “Puesta”, “Cruel”, “ Kaleidoscopic” and “Vice”.

One of the most anticipated moments of the evening is the performance of one of the songs that marked a clear before and after in the music produced by and for queer people in Puerto Rico. When Ana Macho emerges and joins Villana to sing “Muñeca,” the hundreds of souls present chant the stanzas and verses with such force that they practically cover up the artists’ voices.

Babilonia concert by the Puerto Rican rapper and singer Villano Antillano
Babilonia concert by the Puerto Rican rapper and singer Villano Antillano (Josian Bruno Gómez)

A brief intermission is marked by the presence of several members of the collective Laborivoguewho transform the stage into a large catwalk on which they dance in the “ballroom” styles, culminating their presentation with a large banner that reads “Dogdom is political.”

The second part of the concert begins in a similar way to the first, with a video of Villain in the World in Red in which she recites part of an iconic part of the novel “Dune” by Frank Herbert.

I must not fear. The fear kills the mind. Fear is the small death that leads to total destruction. I will face my fear. I will allow it to pass over me and through me. And when it has passed, I will turn my inner eye to scrutinize its path. There, where the fear has passed, there will be nothing. It will only be me”.

The segment has the presence of RaiNao, to give voice to the song “Un amarre”. Another long-awaited moment comes when Villana begins to rap the song that made her international almost overnight with a track by the Argentine. Bizarre. During “Mala mia”, once again, the voices of the witches, ghosts and demons present echo throughout the room as they sing each verse alongside Villano Antillano.

The evening ends its musical part with the song “Mujer”, which features the presence of Ileana Cabra to close the evening with a message of female empowerment.

Although he Coca-Cola Music Hall It is not a venue the magnitude of a Colosseum, the passion of the public present makes the space feel like the largest music festival. The outfits have been carefully planned, the ‘jayaera’ is the spirit that possesses the night. The most faithful devotees of Villano Antillano have come this far. Countless people have come this far with life stories that they see reflected, in one way or another, in the person who sings to them from the stage. There is no purer connection or more powerful magic than that..

But the night doesn’t end with the music. The sorceress queen still needs to invoke the most important spell of the night.

“This community that is here is based on love, tolerance, respect and everyone knows it.”"said the artist.
“This community that is here is based on love, tolerance, respect and everyone knows it,” said the artist. (Josian Bruno Gómez)

Now I’m going to quit“, he anticipates, before giving way to a monologue of almost eight minutes in which he mercilessly attacks all the evils of the world.

“You know that I have been under unimaginable scrutiny and political persecution for more than a month. And I want to make something clear: I have received death threats, I have received confrontations, I have received a thousand things that I don’t even want to mention to you. Do you know why? Because when a political party dares to promote hatred the way they are doing, they give crazy people ideas. To begin with, it seems crazy to me that government representatives have the audacity to persecute citizens. It seems inconceivable to me. Most of all, political representatives who cover up the abuse of religious priests who rape children,” she says.

“This community that is here is based on love, tolerance, respect and everyone knows it. All Puerto Rican families have a son, a daughter, a cousin, an uncle, an aunt, a grandmother, a mother, a father who are queers, whether they say it or not, why assume this life, walk this path , It is very difficult. “I don’t condemn anyone who stays in the closet for the rest of their life, because enduring what we put up with is bastard.”

But I’m not afraid. I will continue standing here and I will continue standing on all the platforms, because when I go out into the outside world and little boys and girls come from all over the world to hug me and cry with me for what I mean to them, that is worth more than anything. There are many bad things that are said out there, there is a lot of verbiage that is thrown around, but always remember that no matter how much hate you see, I receive triple the love.”.

The sorceress’s words echo like thunder in the hall, while her followers delight in the inescapable ecstasy of the spell that their ears and hearts have just witnessed.

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