El dúo de Reggaetón y Hip Hop de Puerto Rico, Calle13, está integrado por René Pérez, conocido como Residente, y Eduardo Cabra, que se hace llamar Visitante. Sus curiosos apodos provienen de la identificación que tenían que dar al guardia de seguridad para entrar a su casa en Trujillo Alto.
René es cantante y compositor y Eduardo canta en coros, además
de escribir y tocar el piano; su hermana Ileana Cabra llamada
PG-13 participa en algunas canciones con voz femenina.
En el año 2005 se dieron a conocer con su disco debut homónimo, que desprendió de inmediato éxitos como ¡Atrévete Te-Te!, Vale To-To y Querido FBI.
La canción dirigida al FBI fue escrita por Residente, y el dúo fue severamente criticado porque según la letra promueve la violencia contra las autoridades, a lo que ellos alegan que la canción no debe ser interpretada tan en serio.
El Gobernador de Puerto Rico, Aníbal Acevedo Vila, en diciembre del 2006, afirmó escuchar al grupo después que su hijo le grabó algunas canciones. Con esto lo llevó a invitarlos a La Fortaleza y pedirles que grabaran una canción contra los disparos al aire, lo que es una práctica común durante las celebraciones de despedida de año.
En octubre del 2006 ganaron el premio MTV Video Music Awards Latinoamérica en México, por artista promesa. Días más tarde ganaron los premios a Mejor Artista Nuevo, Mejor Album de Música Urbana y Mejor Video Versión Corta en la séptima entrega anual de los Latin GRAMMY, que se realizó en la ciudad de Nueva York.
Para el 2007, Calle 13 regresa con el disco Residente o Visitante, cuyo primer sencillo, Tango del pecado, fue producido por el afamado argentino Gustavo Santaolalla.
It took the Puerto Rican duo Calle 13 about a year to catch on, after quietly debuting stateside in 2005 on White Lion, a small reggaeton label in partnership with Sony BMG, but catch on they certainly did. By the end of the following year, Calle 13 had become the hottest new artist in popular Latin music, garnering Grammy attention as well as widespread critical notices and steadily mounting album sales. Comprised of vocalist Residente (born René Pérez Joglar) and producer Visitante (Eduardo José Cabra Martínez), the duo isn't a standard reggaeton act, which partly explains why the pair went unnoticed for a while. Make no mistake, though. To a degree their music is reggaeton -- the unmistakable "dem bow" rhythm often anchors their songs, and Residente does rap over the beats as you might expect -- but there's much more to it than that. For one, the beats of Visitante are inventive, incorporating aspects of hip-hop and characteristics of electronica, and are a world apart from the norm (e.g., Luny Tunes). Secondly, the raps of Residente eschew reggaeton clichés, showcasing a healthy sense of humor and an almost clownish approach to sarcasm (à la Eminem) -- again, a world apart from the kingly bravado of most reggaeton vocalists, and the obligatory glimmers of misogyny and violence that accompany such streetwise swaggering. Moreover, no doubt he does flirt with sex a lot, albeit playfully, if not outright jokingly, rather than commandingly or, worse, violently. All of this, along with some creative and fun-filled videos, made Calle 13 a refreshing alternative to the onslaught of reggaeton overtaking Latin music in 2005. In essence, Residente and Visitante offered a style of reggaeton that was both hip and unique -- one that was OK for women to embrace without a guilty conscience, one that critics (as well as the Grammys) could uphold as trailblazing, and one that was just plain fun.
Pérez and Cabra first met at the tender age of two, when the former's mother married the latter's father. The parents would later divorce, yet the stepbrothers remained close over the years. Their moniker, Calle 13 (13th Street en inglés), arose from their living situation: because Cabra came to visit his brother regularly at his residence (i.e., 13th Street), rather than vice versa, he was the "visitor," whereas Pérez was the "resident." The brothers were always artistic; Residente even went so far as to earn a master's degree in fine arts stateside, while Visitante studied music formally since age six. They began recording music together in 2004, with the idea of hosting their work on a website, beginning with two demos ("La Tripleta" and "La Aguacatona"). Within a year's time, they began shopping for a record label to release their music commercially. White Lion was a logical choice, for it was the home of Tego Calderón, whom the two admired. Elias de León, the owner of White Lion, was forwarded the tape and realized immediately that there was something special about the music. He called Residente, who was working as an architectural draftsman at the time, and the two men met the following day.
White Lion signed Calle 13 soon afterward, and the label financed the duo's first video, for "Se Vale To-To," which Residente shot and edited himself with the help of his cousin at the cost of $14,000. Furthermore, de León hooked up Residente with established reggaeton vocalist Julio Voltio, who was also signed to White Lion, and the two collaborated on the song "Chulín Culín Chunlfy," which became a sizable hit. After generating some buzz on Puerto Rico radio with lead single "Se Vale To-To," White Lion released Calle 13 in November 2005. The album opened well, at number six on Billboard's Top Latin Albums chart; however, the sales were heavily Puerto Rican in basis (the self-governing island is a U.S. commonwealth and therefore eligible for Soundscan computation) and subsequently languished until late summer 2006, when a second single, "¡Atrévete Te, Te!," began getting stateside airplay, beginning in southern California. Another boost came when Nelly Furtado, concurrently riding high on the chart-topping success of "Promiscuous Girl," invited Residente to collaborate with her on a new version of "No Hay Igual" that would be released to Latino markets as a single and video.
The buzz continued to build month by month, partly fueled by the September 2006 announcement of three Latin Grammy nominations, for Best New Artist, Best Short-Form Video, and Best Urban Album (all of which would be won). In addition, there was the announcement of three nominations for MTV Latin America Awards; the duo was invited to perform with Furtado on the awards show, too. In fact, the Furtado affiliation proved quite fortuitous, as MTV also invited Calle 13 to accompany the pop singer for the world premiere of the new MTV Tr3s channel targeting Latinos and acculturated Americans in the age 13-25 demographic. By this point, toward the end of 2006, Calle 13 were the hottest new group in popular Latin music. The duo's year-old debut album had become a Top Ten success, as the pace of its sales grew week by week, and their videos were exceptionally popular Internet streams. All the while, Calle 13 continued to gain recognition in additional Latin markets such as Mexico and Spain.
Residente and Visitante released their second album, Residente o Visitante, in 2007. It garnered a lot of attention upon its release, dethroning Jennifer Lopez from the number one spot on the Latin album chart. By this point, critics were well attuned to the group, and on another front, MTV Tr3s supported Calle 13 passionately, continuously airing the video for lead single "Tango del Pecado," among other promotional spots. In effect, the release of Residente o Visitante became an event, one that was observed closely by many in the Latin music industry. ~ Jason Birchmeier, All Music Guide