Will Smith recently upload a video of himself half-singing, half-enunciating a cover of “La bamba” on what looks like an old person’s cruise ship. It’s probably not an old person’s cruise ship because Will is a millionaire, and he probably owns the yacht he’s seen in, but in the video he does appear to be doing old-person-on-a-cruise shit, such as dressing in white, singing nonsensically, and probably drunkenly.
Here’s the video:
Yes, the Fresh Prince of Veracruz is having a great time, but he very clearly doesn’t know the lyrics to the song. Comments left on the video immediately instructed Agent J to learn the words, stop making bad superhero films, and to keep trolling his annoying son, but he’s only gotten around to the first suggestion.
Which is why Guillermo re-recorded a video of himself singing “La bamba” with a full Spanish introduction:
That’s cute and all, but Getting Mexican With It should have flown in Esai Morales to film him, pet his face while he sings, and pan the camera towards himself at the end of the video ends so that he can dramatically scream “Ritchie!” for us, the fans, one last time.
Now that would have been some amazing marketing, Big Willie.
Anyway, this is not the first time Mr. Pinkett has been caught
murdering dabbling in la lengua de Cervantes. Two years ago he did that guest, uh, remix, or whatever, with Colombia’s Bomba Stereo.
I respect that Will is looking past American culture for inspiration — that’s truly fresh. José, too, was down for the sentiment, but he didn’t love the execution:
“It’s pretty terrible, and like a great deal of remixes (which are the ‘movie reboots’ of pop music if you think of it), worse than the original.
Good old Will — a fellow this blogger has nothing against, either — mentions the name of the band at the beginning of the song (good start, Hollywood star!), and then proceeds to grab his moment under the spotlight around the minute mark. He says an awkward ‘Hola!’ (not so good, buddy) and then falls squarely on the culturally offensive side of the matrix by rapping ‘Hola mamacita! Go get me a birra!’ before jumping into some generic and rather forgettable rapping.”
Pope Francis dropped the sickest mixtape ever, and nobody noticed it
Titled Pope Francis: Wake Up!, Jorge Mario Bergoglio, aka the Dope Pope, dropped the sickest mixtape the streets of the Vatican will ever produce, and nobody noticed it.
No, you won’t hear Francis doing a trap version of “Spirit in the sky.” Jorge is darker. On his street-wise LP, Sir Preach-a-lot churns out hard-ass monologues, all of which have been written and recorded with various collaborators:
“Under the art direction of Don Giulio Neroni, who also curated other albums for Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI, various Italian artists and producers also contributed to the music like Giorgio Kriegsch, Mite Balduzzi, Giuseppe Dati, Lorenzo Piscopo, the orchestral director Dino Doni, and former member of Italian progressive rock band Le Orme.”
Sure, Bergoglio is not producing his own tracks à la Dr. Dre, but that doesn’t make Pope Francis: Wake Up! any less incisive, penetrating, and epic — like, Cradle of Filth level of epic.
Take “Wake up! Go! Go!” — sadly, it’s not a Wham! cover — but a fine prog rock track that’s been mixed with a horn section from the middle ages. On “La fe es entera,” Francis tells his listeners that “it’s scandalous that God arrived and became one of us — it’s just a scandal. The scandal of the cross is… well, still a scandal.”
But the real scandal are the Pope’s rhymes, which are quite somber. On “¿Por qué sufren los niños? [why do children suffer?], Bergoglio, true to Catholic dogma, preaches all the hard truths, such as “this world needs to cry more.” Why? Because Catholics mustn’t have any happy thoughts without feeling terrible about it. Doing so is like pounding ten rusty nails into Jesus’ already-mangled appendages.
Perhaps not sonically, but thematically Pope Francis: Wake Up! makes Bauhaus’ “Stigmata martyr” sound like “Despacito.” Not all of it, of course. “Pace! Fratelli!” sounds like an Enya-penned track that’s been produced by Giorgio Moroder, but sung by castrated monks.
Letters to Rictus: “My girlfriend supports #MeToo, but loves reggaeton. She’s tripping, right?”
Doña Rictus, my girlfriend is smart, young, fun-loving Latina. She’s college-educated, has a good job, pays her taxes, and comes from a relatively conservative family, like most Latinos.
She’s cultured and politically active. Earlier this year she participated in the Women’s March and, when she’s not going to design fairs, or some indie rock concert, she’ll digest all the lefty publications.
Then she gets drunk. After she sips on the Devil’s nectar, she turns into a Sábado Gigante model who’s been hypnotized and asked to sweep the floor with her ass. She’ll scream “¡Hasta abajo!” and “¡Dale con todo!” and other shocking phrases our Bernie Sanders-voting friends always reel from.
As a progressive, and as a woman, she’s obviously very supportive of the #MeToo movement. But we’ve gotten into arguments over how reggaeton has always been at odds with true feminism. She’s not a silly Maluma apologist yet, but I’m afraid she may turn into one soon, and that’s a strain our relationship can not handle.
– Yo También Quiero Que Te Respetes
*Takes off reading glasses*
Curiously, dear Rictus reader, NPR’s Alt-Latino published a podcast about this subject earlier today. In it, the participants discussed the advances “el género” (reggaeton) has made towards being less misogynist.
Most people will probably agree that old-school reggaeton is, without a doubt, extremely misogynist. New reggaeton has been sanitized for mass consumption. It’s less offensive, but calling it “feminist” would be like calling Don Francisco “entertaining.”
In fact, besides a few female performers, such as Ivy Queen, women still have almost no representation in reggaeton (see #7 here).
Some disingenuous people have been trying to pass “Despacito” as an achievement for women because it was co-written by a woman, but the harsh truth is that Luis Fonsi’s song is still about a guy who aggressively hits on a girl, and the lyrics leave a lot to be desired:
“Si te pido un beso, ven dámelo (If I ask you for a kiss, come give it to me)… Quiero, quiero, quiero ver cuánto amor a ti te cabe (I want to see how much of my love you can fit in)”
But talking about misogyny in music — or life, really — remains an uncomfortable subject. Even Roxanne Gay, a very smart, popular, and beloved feminist, has conflicting feelings when it comes to enjoying hip-hop, reggaeton’s first-world cousin:
“It’s really difficult. You hear some hip hop, and it’s just such great music, or great lyrics, or a great beat, and it grabs your interest. Then you pause and you listen to the lyrics, and they’re really damaging, or unnecessarily misogynistic. And you’re like, ‘What do you do?’
If you’re so principled that you decide that I’m going to have a zero-tolerance policy, the reality is that you’re not going to be listening to anything.”
I do have an idea, mijo. Wisin, a popular reggaetonero, revealed that women used to make up over half their audience, even when their music was at its most offensive:
“In the early days [of Wisin & Yandel], our lyrics were much more explicit and a lot of times it came across as offensive to women, who found it degrading. But women still made up about 60 or 70 % of the people buying our music, not just physical albums but digital sales.”
Considering those high numbers, it’s very much within the grasp of Latinas to influence the music industry through their buying power.
So fuck misogynist reggaetoneros. Next time your girlfriend gets wasted, begins to mop the floor with her butt, and starts shouting those aggressive phrases the Bernie Bros don’t know what to do with, put on some Mula, not Maluma.