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The 21-year-old rapper studied music for years, and even expanded his knowledge in many other settings, but his newfound passion for rap was the missing piece of the puzzle. 

From the Bottom to The Dog Pound

Christian Alejandro Montañez Acevedo first encountered music while playing percussion in his family’s on-going church at a very young age. Ever since he knew he was destined to become a musician, his mother encouraged him to enroll, for seventh grade, in La Escuela Libre de Música in Hato Rey.

His musical knowledge was strictly built upon jazz and music theory, due to his participation in the school's own jazz quartet from tenth to eleventh grade. However, he transferred schools twice: first, to Francisco Oller School in Cataño, where he fell in love with literature at 16; and then, to Cacique Agüeybaná High School in Bayamón, where he learned about cinematography and composing music for short films.

But it wasn’t until he finished school that he found his true passion: rap music.

“So, that’s when everything collided, because, while researching for a short film, I started taking writing classes with Mayra Santos Febres [a renowned Puerto Rican writer and poet] and that’s when I decided to become a rapper.”

Although Montañez Acevedo applied to the University of Puerto Rico in 2017, it took him two years to realize he wasn’t doing what he truly wanted. “I told myself: ‘Wow, I want to be a rapper and I’m not doing anything [about it].’”

At that moment, LAPERRERA was born. His first appearance was a tiraera to Puerto Rican former governor Ricardo ‘Ricky’ Rosselló during the summer of 2019, when Rosselló resigned after the public release of the now infamous Telegram chat, in which he, alongside members of his cabinet, partook in misogynist and homophobic comments. On the track, titled “RENUNCIA,” he collaborated with seven artists, including his producer and friend, Aurelio Adasme.

LAPERRERA’s music is part of a bigger movement. Even if it’s classified exclusively as “urban alternative,” he considers this label as a broad term for all Black and/or Latinx music without a label: “Reggaetón and dembow are part of [the genre], but it also includes trap and many more different sounds. They all share that space.”

Photo via @laperrerapr

En la unión, está la fuerza: being authentic and open

Christian Alejandro’s interest in rap was always present. He sees Calle 13 as one of the first rappers he followed and who “blew his mind.” He was aware of their brand and the freedom they channeled lyrically. “Rappers didn’t care about what [people] said about them, and, in Puerto Rico, reggaetón was explicit and taboo.”

If something is missing in today’s local music, Christian adds, it’s the confidence creators used to have in their work. “Stop consulting your ideas or stop fearing to share something because of your image,” the 21-year-old expressed. “I think everyone is doing their own thing in a different manner. Be authentic.”

LAPERRERA was clear on his artistic proposal towards innovating within traditional Puerto Rican music to “respect its essence, and make it digestible while maintaining its native sound.” He also wants to communicate emotions with his projects and “cure the apathy” in today’s society.

On his debut album, PALIS, he mixes two local concepts. One references Puerto Rican poet Nemesio Canales’ Paliques, a compilation of short essays that portray social critics about the Island, published in 1913. The other references the Puerto Rican slang word for Xanax. PALIS is a conceptual trap album, where every song is considered a palique about his personal experience with different elements in his life, such as alcohol, drugs, sex, and many more.

“The bigger the project, the better.” The development of LAPERRERA’s production is through collaborative efforts. He sees himself as both a facilitator and a director in leading every element to create one unified vision. Every track on PALIS has at least one collaborator.



A post shared by LA.PERRERA (@laperrerapr)

Photo via @laperrerapr

One Day at a Time: A Trip to Stardom

To build hype within the local music scene while working on his other albums, Christian Alejandro decided to introduce his new concept, 365LP, through social media on October 19th. The proposition revolves in “releasing a musical idea, per day, on many different platforms, in a year.”

As a whole, 365LP portrays Montañez Acevedo’s life, as every song on the record is intertwined. His plans with the project include to collect all of his recordings and release a bundle and merch on his soon-to-be webpage. Nonetheless, he would like to film his creative process and upload it everywhere to “document what I’m creating at the moment.”

Sharing his day-to-day through freestyles, rapping written verses, full previews, and unreleased songs, interludes, and collabs, LAPERRERA wants to connect with his audience, something he would’ve enjoyed from his favorite artists when he was younger.

When asked about his blooming career, Christian Alejandro mentions how every single step he took led to where he’s currently standing. He credits Santos Febres for being his mentor in writing, acknowledges the discipline that comes with studying music theory, how the film industry monetizes art for its benefit, and lastly, and how his life experiences gathered stories to tell through music.

“That was the path, and all roads are important because they were all the different skills I learned,” he shared.

Speed round questions:

After every interview, we ask artists about their current taste in music and inspirations from their own local scene.

Last song you heard:

I was listening to this US rapper that I like a lot called Action Bronson & the Alchemist. He has an album called Lamb Over Rice.

Favorite song ATM:

Right now, I’m so hooked on a Snoop Dogg album called Bush, produced by Pharrell Williams, and I like two songs: “California Rolls,” with Stevie Wonder, and “Peaches N Cream,” with Charlie Wilson.

Most awaited album:

Most awaited album? Wow… Honestly, my two upcoming albums (laughs). I’m crazy to finish them, but, BUT, la clear, one of my best friends, and who produced PALIS, Aurelio Adasme, who I consider a big brother, has one on the way without a title yet, but it’s a project he’s working on. Aurelio is one of my favorite artists and my friend… Like, what’s coming, it’s going to be wild. And I’m going to name one more! Villano Antillano, everything Villano releases is pure gold, I’m crazy to work with them. 

Favorite local artist:

ME! (laughs) There are many good ones, but… I would say that I like the proposal from a corillo called Piquete. They only have one single from 2019, called “Fluir,” but hearing them live, those guys crush it. They’re extremely talented; [their proposal] is street plena, but mixed with a lot of sounds. And! I’ll give you another one called El Batajohn, very similar to Piquete, mixing plena with urban, which fascinates me because it’s what I said about innovating Puerto Rican traditional culture. They are so ahead of our time. And, what the fuck? If I’m at it, I’ll give you one more artist, the last one, and it’s Ifé. It’s all that [I said], but at its maximum power, because they play Cuban rumba and Afro-Caribbean music with electronic beats, and it’s so algarete. You hear them and it’s so different. I’ve never heard anything like it, and they’re from Puerto Rico. They inspired me a lot.

Which artist would you like to collaborate with?

Villano Antillano, Piquete, el Batajohn, Los Pleneros de la Cresta, with SieteNueve, and my favorite artist, who’s Puerto Rican and very requested, Miguel Zenón. He’s a jazz player who does his thing, on fire. He’s my number one inspiration. If I see him down the street, I’mma lose my shit.

First song you’d like to hear hanging out after quarantine:

I think I want to listen to what comes out at the moment, man, because, who knows when we will be able to hang out again?

Your musical inspirations:

Miguel Zenón, I very much like Edgar Abraham (another Puerto Rican jazzist)... Thing is, I like jazz players for all the time they spend practicing, you know? To become a jazz player and a composer at the level of those two, it takes twenty to thirty years of obsessive rehearsing, without detaching from your instrument, and I admire that discipline. But also, [I look up to] many other rappers. As I said, Sietenueve, the Calle 13 project, Tego Calderón (for being different), Snoop Dogg, Pharrell Williams, Tyler The Creator, Kendric Lamar, Action Bronson. 

Guilty pleasure:

I really enjoy listening to Kanye West, and there’s a lot of people who don’t like him as a person, but his music is cool, so…

Photo via @laperrerapr

With 365LP, Christian plans to keep releasing snippets and full songs on Instagram, Twitter, and SoundCloud under @laperrerapr. Although the production of 365LP is currently paused, he’s currently working on two albums, both dropping later this year.

He plans to release Villa España first, a collaboration with producers 91Mirage and Zenside, focused on sampling local legends in Puerto Rican culture. Meanwhile, an untitled project is in the works for LAPERRERA’s brand new album, with the help of producer Pingüino. LAPERRERA is just getting started! 

Ricardo A. Santana Fonseca is a fifth-year Communication undergraduate student from UPR Río Piedras campus. He's a pop-culture enthusiast, wanna-be music, film, and TV critic, and vocal advocate for Black LGBTTQ+ rights.
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