I haven't seen movement like this with the Billboard Hot 100 in ages. It makes me wonder if this is the 2010s or 1989. Seriously: We've had four different No. 1 songs consecutively. After Ed Sheeran's near-monopolizing of the top spot (a commonality these days), it amazes me how quickly things are shaking up this time. This new one is a doozy.
Last week saw DJ Khaled, a child of Palestinian parents and devout Muslim, get his first chart-topper for his (unfortunately pretty awful) "I'm the One", which was buoyed by Justin Bieber. Now, we have "Despacito" (which according to Google Translate means "slowly"), a song mostly done in Spanish by two dudes, Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee, from Puerto Rico and Bieber in the remix. Shhhh. Don't tell any Trump supporters.
Even if the song is mostly (or for the original, entirely) done in Spanish, the song is catchy and its thoroughly Latin flavor is refreshing. I know that this unfortunately shows what kind of music I listen to these days, but there really hasn't been that much pop music in the United States with such a strong Latin influence. Of course, there have been many stars and hits by Spanish-speaking stars. Hell, you hear one every time Christmas rolls around! Though, much of the time, their hits are either in English, novelty singles, the songs are sung by an English-speaking artist, or their popular hits tend to deviate from Latin influences (though Pitbull also has some strongly Latin-flavored hits as well. With the inclusion of Bieber, that more than anything was the song's gateway into the pop charts. It further solidifies the case that not only is Bieber chart gold these days, but he really is singing better than he ever has.
The remix is only available in audio form on YouTube, but it makes you wonder if the remix is merely the thing that pushed the song to the top. After all, Rihanna's song "S&M" only reached the top spot when a remix with Britney Spears was released to the public. Besides, the video for the original song has close to 1.5 billion views on YouTube! That probably says more about the United States' unwillingness to open up to singers of different languages than it does about the artists themselves. That said, the video is nothing too special, though it's surprising how multicultural Puerto Rico is.
I hope this song reaches even greater heights. I want it to become this year's Song of the Summer. I want Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee to become stars in this country. I want this song to be massively successful. Even if it doesn't alleviate the freakshow that Puerto Rico is going through right now, at least someone from there deserves to be rich. I might be acting petty given all the horrors that minorities are going through right now in the Trump era (though it's clear now that Democrats and liberals aren't much better when it comes to Spanish-speaking minorities), but rarely has an opportunity to rally around a good pop song has had this much potential. If we know what's good for us, we'll play this song every chance we get.