Welcome to my rant.
Look, I try to not be the kind of human who gets offended by every little thing but sometimes you see something so idiotic that an entire blog post about it is absolutely necessary.
Justin Bieber is featured on Latin Artist Luis Fonsi’s new single, “Despacito”; in the song Justin sings the hook in Spanish (a hook that he definitely didn’t write but had to sing). So far I have seen two videos of Justin performing this live and in the first he’s standing alongside Luis Fonsi (with a playback track going strong) and you can see him stumble over the words and essentially just mumble into the mic as he proceeds to ask the audience to sing along. Justin is standing next to the man he “collaborated” with and still hasn’t memorized his tiny hook; I know it will take more than this to make his fans see the error in his ways. Look, I get it, Spanish is a new language for him; Julie COMPLETELY understands (I apparently speak in the third person when I’m extremely angry) because she has been trying to learn Italian for a year now and so far all she can remember is TI AMO and Mi Chiamo Julianna. I understand the difficulty in learning a new language; what I don’t understand is the audacity one must have, as a young artist, to stand on a stage and refuse to even pretend to know the lyrics to a song you’re asking your fans to buy and a song which is currently sitting at Number 1.
The second video that I saw is Justin Bieber at a NYC night club, he’s singing the song and I would like to make this clear; he seems to be under the influence and this wasn’t an official performance. It looks as though Justin grabbed the mic and decided to sing along to the track that was already playing. The problem is that he still doesn’t know any of the words except for “despacito” and he chose to replace the actual lyrics with “blah blah blah”, “burrito” and “Dorito”. According to THIS beautifully written piece, there’s also an Instagram video somewhere where Justin pulls the same “burrito” crap.
I have no qualms about disliking Justin Bieber but his feature to “Despacito” was a step in the right direction for me. He was a “Pop Star” featured on a Latin song and he was singing in SPANISH; big win in the Latin Music world. I mean literal big win, the song went to #1 which apparently is the first Spanish-language song to do so since “Macarena”. My irritation comes with Justin’s consistent disrespect and mockery of the Spanish language and the Latin artists the he has collaborated with. To use “burrito” and “Dorito” as replacements for the actual lyrics is frankly: absolutely ignorant.
I’d like this to be a lesson for Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee and every other Latin artist; choose your features carefully. Justin brought nothing more than his name to the song, he added nothing extra to “Despacito” the song without him is just as catchy and just as great. In terms of business, I understand why Justin was chosen to be on the song but as a community we must stop allowing people to come in and take control of something that WE have created.
The Spanish language is beautiful and we have more to offer as a community than Burritos and Doritos because (I may be taking this too emotionally) I can’t help but feel like that is all Justin sees us as. I write all of this fully aware that his fans will refuse to see the error in his ways but I just needed all of this to be said. Again, I need to make it clear; I comprehend not knowing the Spanish language but I refuse to accept the mockery of it.
I urge you to listen to the original version of “Despacito”, I promise it’ll make you want to dance just as much as the Justin Bieber version one does.