Last night, the Colombian reggaeton star J Balvin won the Best Urban Song Latin Grammy for “Con Altura,” his collaboration with Rosalía. He wasn’t there to collect it. Balvin, upset at how the Latin Grammys had shut him and his fellow urbano stars out of most of the major categories, boycotted the show. (Rosalía performed “Con Altura” without him.) Instead of coming to the show, Balvin did something else last night: He released an absolutely bugged-out video for an extremely catchy new song.
“Blanco,” the new Balvin jam, is a sticky and uptempo sex song with a giant clomp of a reggaeton beat. It leaves Balvin plenty of room to flex his deadpan charm. So it’s a good song. But the real selling point is the song’s video, from director Colin Tilley. Much like Tilley’s video for the Balvin/Bad Bunny collab “CUIDAO POR AHÍ,” it is a wonderful and absurd spectacle.
Much of the “Blanco” video recalls the late-’90s moment when every rap and R&B video seemed to take place on a spaceship. But the visual pallet is Stanley Kubrick via Hype Williams — dizzy and vivid images of white on white. Balvin wears white face-paint, or clown makeup, or insane sunglasses while floating through space with a white cat, a polar bear, and an albino bull, along with a crew of mime-contortionist backup dancers. It’s wild shit. Watch it below.
“Blanco” is out now on the streaming services.