Hurray For The Riff Raff’s Music Video For ‘Pa’lante’ Is As Heartening As The Puerto Rican People It Represents

credit: Hurray for the Riff Raff / Kristian Mercado Figueroa

Folk-blues band Hurray for the Riff Raff dropped the official music video for “Pa’lante,” a ballad poetically speaking to injustice and resistance in Puerto Rico, and the visuals — representing a post-Maria Borikén — are as heartening as the people they represent.

“Pa’lante is such a strong saying in Puerto Rican culture about moving forward,” Kristian Mercado Figueroa, who directed the video, said in a statement. “[It’s] a philosophical idea that if something bad happens, you still need to move forward. That runs across Latin America but I feel like Puerto Ricans have always carried that in their vernacular. If someone tells you pa’lante, you instantly know what they mean.”

As Nuyorican singer Alynda Lee Segarra references violent and dehumanizing moments in the island’s history, from lasting colonialism to the sterilization of Puerto Rican women, the video offers a look into the working-class struggle many are currently facing. On the island, “The Florida Project’s” Mela Murder plays Milagros, a mother wrestling to work and raise two daughters — played by her own child and niece — while in New York, her children’s father, Manuel, played by Kareem Savinon, works several low-paying, laborious jobs to send money back to his family.

The painful, yet familiar, story of injustice and perseverance is driven by heart-rending shots of ripped flags, shattered homes and debris-covered beaches as well as hopeful visuals of joyous domino games and bomba dancing.

The vibrant video for “Pa’lante,” Hurray for the Riff Raff’s latest single from their 2017 album “The Navigator,” aims to spread awareness of the crisis that is still impacting millions of Puerto Ricans, who face a distressing hurricane season in June, and support the PRIMA Relief Fund, created by Buscabulla and Ani Cordero with the goal of helping Puerto Rico’s independent music scene post-Maria.

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