Chavista Venezuelan dirty cash behind rise of big-name rapper 'Bad Bunny' and a $300-million Sony payout?
At Billboard magazine, they are reporting that Sony is in talks for a $300-million buyout deal for a big record label, Rimas, that manages, records, and produces a slew of top rappers, including the big one at the moment, someone who raps under the name "Bad Bunny":
[S]ony Music Corp. is in the process of helping Bad Bunny manager Noah Assad — the CEO of Latin music label and management company Rimas Entertainment — buy out his partner, Rafael Ricardo Jiménez Dan, a former Venezuelan government official who has a 60% majority stake in the company, sources familiar with the matter tell Billboard.
Rimas — which manages, records and publishes Bad Bunny — also has a label and management roster that includes Arcángel, Eladio Carrión, Jowell & Randy and Tommy Torres. The company was founded in 2014 in Puerto Rico and now has about 100 employees.
According to Cuban-American pundit Orlando Avellano, writing at El American:
Rimas Music is today one of the most powerful record companies in the world. Despite being founded recently (in 2014), the label has a lineup that any other entity would envy. In fact, it is in charge of the distribution of the work of Bad Bunny, who is recognized by Bloomberg as the most successful and biggest artist today (no other musician comes close to his success).
That's quite an accomplishment for a guy who laid down a $2-million investment and in the buyout is expected to take out more than a hundred million dollars. Jimenez's majority ownership in Rimas was revealed in the wake of a lawsuit by an angry ex-wife of Jimenez's partner, Noah Assad, who wanted a greater share of the divorce spoils. She argued in her case that Jimenez paid Assad's debts and shelled out $2 million in the startup from 2014, so she was entitled to a share of that stake, too. Seems he served as the sugar daddy, and the proceeds were sweet, indeed.
It's passing strange that this guy is a Chavista, a guy who hated America with a purple passion all his life, yet somehow came to the place he hated and made massive amounts of cash.
Jimenez is identified as a former vice minister of security, no less, in Venezuela's Ministry of Interior Relations during the time of Hugo Chávez, from 2006 to 2013. The ministry was named what it's named as of 2013, but he obviously was in some version of it before that.
Jimenez is a little-known figure who appears to have been rather big in that brutal regime, a shadowy figure serving on an at least nominally equal rank as vice minister top Chavista functionary, Rafael Ramírez, who was well known for his corruption.
Ricardo Jiménez Dan is a Venezuelan member of the armed forces who, from being Vice-Minister of Security in Hugo Chávez's Ministry of Internal Relations (between 2006 and 2013), went on to live as a rich man in Weston, Florida. He was an official of one of the most corrupt governments in history, accused of Human Rights violations and drug trafficking by the Department of Justice.
This is what the lawsuit says: "In 2014, Assad met a Venezuelan national by the name of Rafael Ricardo Jimenez Dan, a former vice minister in the government of Hugo Chavez, who at the time had just left Venezuela."
"Co-defendant Jimenez Dan loaned and/or invested money to open a recording studio. That same year, Rivera and Assad were able to make one of their dreams come true when Rimas Entertainment, LLC was founded with additional money contributed by the Venezuelan Jimenez Dan."
First question: Where'd he get that $2 million from as a vice minister on a vice minister's salary in inflation-wracked Venezuela?
According to a prominent Venezuelan intellectual, Luis Ball, he did have involvement in Venezuela's corrupt food programs:
A high official at the Ministry of the Interior (the ministry in charge of the police), and later a food contractor for the Maduro food program? He’s certifiably a crook at Al Capone levels!— Luis H Ball (@ball1_ball) April 22, 2023
The looting of Venezuela's treasury by the Chavista elite is well known, measuring in the hundreds of billions of dollars. Was Jimenez, with his spare $2 million for a rap startup just a year after he left that ministry, one of those, and if so, why wasn't he sanctioned and his assets frozen? That's pretty mysterious, unless, of course, everything was on the up and up.
Second question: Who the hell let him into the U.S.?
Sure, he could have been a defecting informant who got let in for helping U.S. intelligence understand all the dirty dealings going on in Venezuela. I looked into potential evidence of that, and I doubt it: normally, people like that go under the radar and change their names. They don't buy multiple residences in Weston, and Miami Beach, Florida, living visibly, and to paraphrase Jenny from the Block, getting loud. There's no evidence Jimenez was ever a dissident, either, loudly denouncing the regime for its death squads, corruption, drug-dealing, flaming anti-Americanism, and human rights violations.
That means, brimming with hate for gringo, as his military master Hugo Chávez taught, Jimenez came to the states and made a killing, selling cultural rot to America's minorities.
Could I be misreading this? Maybe he was just a small fry, unimportant as a Chavista functionary, who somehow got let through the U.S. visa process (assuming he is here legally) and, not having any respectable field he could go into, went into the rap music business, where he would have felt comfortable.
That is questionable, too. While Jimenez was a shadowy figure, Venezuela's interior ministry was no benign agency. The agency is listed as the first and by implication most important agency in Venezuela's vast Chavista bureaucracy on Venezuela's government roster. According to this United Nations report, it runs or effectively runs the secret police, the prisons, the colectivos (violent street gangs), the death squads, and the introduction of Cuban agents into every corner of Venezuelan life. It's noteworthy that Venezuela began to really go downhill starting in 2006–2007, with the shutdowns of private television stations and the imprisonment of dissidents, which was right about when Jimenez arrived on the job from the Chávez's beloved Venezuelan military. In 2010, his interior ministry invited in Cuba's top torturer to run the then-failing electricity services — which of course made things worse. And this guy was the security guy, so one can just imagine what he was involved in. If Jimenez wasn't directly involved in some of these activities, he was awfully close to them, close in leadership position in a totalitarian dictatorship's inner circle, where very few are trusted. I find it significant that based on the U.N. report, his agency had quite an advisory role with the colectivos, the filthy street gangs who violently threaten the red-shirted locals in the slums with their guns and motorcycles, menacing rap and reggeton music all around them. (I saw them up close when I was in Caracas in late 2005.) I suspect Jimenez knew that "scene" well, which could explain why he was so successful in that kind of music here. He may have had "street cred," the real kind, to make the millions happen.
This raises questions as to what he was doing, why he was investing millions in degenerate music that only seems to encourage mass lootings, social disorder, misogyny, street violence, transgenderism, and other social pathologies.
Here's a look at the Rimas company's top performer, Bad Bunny, according to a University of South Florida, Tampa stately feminist analysis:
Bad Bunny has skyrocketed to fame in the past few years, gaining worldwide recognition as one of the best reggaetoneros of his time. His self-promoted image as an ally to women's movements and the Queer community has garnered him the recognition of being a role model for youth and as an anomaly in the misogynistic genre of reggaeton. However, few have looked beyond the assertion of allyship to see if his work truly does support women and anti-gender violence ideology. While scholarship on reggaeton has well documented the prevalence of gender violence in the lyrics, videos and overall culture of reggaeton, it has overlooked the silencing and erasure of women as a key part of the male domination of the genre. This thesis centralises silencing and erasure in Bad Bunny's work to show how he is "purplewashing", or using feminist ideologies to cover up the misogynistic aspects of his music. Further, this purplewashing is defined as an act of gender violence as it seeks to draw our attention away from the dangerous sexist ideology that is disseminated through his work.The two main songs and videos that are analysed...
The other characters on the Rimas roster come up with similar findings, and I googled some of their lyrics and couldn't disagree. What we see is misogyny, social disintegration, the promotion of lawlessness and other social diseases entirely inherent in this popular form of music. Want to know where the mass lootings and street attacks on Asians come from? This and other gangsta rap–type music is a good place to look, based on the values promoted.
This raises the question as to whether this was a lucky accident that Jimenez was so successful here — or a cynical Chavista operation to corrupt America's urban and minority youth into hating America, hating its values, twisting its morality, destroying its social capital, creating a culture of victimhood (which matches the Chavista one) and promoting social disintegration, all the while using capitalism and living like Plutus, or rather, the nomenklatura in communist countries. The Russians and Chinese have their operations into the States, but Chavistas may have the lock on promoting cultural rot throughout the broader U.S. society, which is very much part of the Gramscian or Marxist-Leninist picture, too.
Cuba expert Jason Poblete notes a Cuban parallel:
It's the same question some have asked about certain Cuban "artists" who went from Communist Party court jesters and propagandists to lucrative money-making machines in the US. Certain American politicians welcome these people. Follow the money. Contrition before forgiveness.— Jason I Poblete (@JasonPoblete) April 22, 2023
It makes me return to the essential questions: how'd Jimenez get his money? Who let him into this country? What's he doing here, and why?
Image: Meme, Twitter screen shot.