Ten Thousand Puerto Ricans Want to Stop Tito El Bambino from Performing on Saturday

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A report by Jhoni Jackson for Remezcla.

Fast reaching its goal of 15,000 signatures is this Change.org petition: Cancel Tito El Bambino’s ‘En Vivo desde su casa’ Concert.

“This Saturday, April 18, at 3 p.m., the phone company Claro Puerto Rico plans to torture the world with a performance from Tito El Bambino,” reads the description of the petition, which was started by David Vega.

On Twitter, he describes himself as a San Juan content producer and editor. But he is also, apparently, a virtual crusader. (REMEZCLA has reached out for comment; no response yet.)

“If there is one word that describes the Puerto Rican people, it’s resilience,” the petition continues. “But almost three years after Hurricanes Irma and Maria, #RickyRenuncia, the Treason of Rey Charlie, the earthquakes in the south and Covid-19, this ruthless company aims to destroy the peace of our country with this threat to the island’s mental health.”

Why the hate, though? Is Tito El Bambino aka El Patrón not a beloved, much-revered Puerto Rican artist? Is he not still at least respected for “Gata Salvaje” and the other 2000s classics churned out alongside Héctor el Father? Was “Siente el Boom” not an important song of the #RickyRenuncia protests? (It was.)

What some, especially those who don’t follow Puerto Rican politics, might not be aware of is that Tito El Bambino, unfortunately, has taken a politically cringey path.

Almost as viral as the petition itself is a Facebook post compiling images of the singer-songwriter with one of the most detested figures in recent Puerto Rican history: Former Governor Ricardo Rosselló, who you’ll remember resigned last summer amid historic mass protests, after a really gross and offensive chat among his closest pals was leaked.

Beyond his ties to Rosselló, though, he is, in general, a supporter of the conservative Partido Nuevo Progresista (New Progressive Party) to which the former governor and his current, unelected successor, Wanda Vázquez, belong. Fans tried pressuring him to run for office at one point—on a PNP ticket, of course—and he didn’t completely shoot down the possibility, but instead, postponed it: Maybe after he turns 50, he said. (That’s 12 years from now, for anyone who’s concerned.)

Beyond political affiliations, though, there are other reasons folks are signing. Tito El Bambino is annoying, some say.

The petition is actually directed to Claro, presumably in charge of this event, and many Puerto Ricans actively dislike the company—signal issues and related complaints are constant among users of its services.

Still, we know the reality is that his current status does not equal a total shunning: When “Siente el Boom” or any of his hits with Héctor el Father—who retired in 2008, is now a Christian pastor and has publicly stated regret for the “erroneous path” of his past—comes on, we know most everyone’s into it. Neither of these artists is widely #canceled. Y’all are all still perreando to their older songs.

There is now a counter-petition, also directed to Claro, for the performance to go on as scheduled. Less than 400 people have supported the plea for Claro and Tito El Bambino to bring the public “music, happiness, and peace.”

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