Culture

Why Are Whataburger’s Hardcore Fans So Angry About The Recent Sale Of The Chain To A Chicago Investment Firm

Just days ago, iconic Texas burger chain Whataburger announced that Chicago-based firm, BDT Capital Partners, LLC, will acquire a majority share in the previously family-owned company. Founder Harmon Dobson started Whataburger nearly 70 years ago and left the company to his son, Tom Dobson, who will step down as CEO.

In a statement, Dobson maintains that BDT will preserve the culture and family history of Whataburger, but Texas is in an uproar. From a Texan taquería’s marquee sign that reads, “Dear Chicago, if you hurt her I’ll kill you,” to fans swearing the state of Texas will march to Chicago and “burn the whole city to the ground,” one thing’s for sure, they are pissed.

Don’t mess with Texas.

@Whataburger / Twitter

If you don’t know what Whataburger means to Texas, just know that the Governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, has even tweeted out a call to ‘save’ Whataburger. The chain restaurant is only available in southern states and is known for offering made-to-order burgers 24/7.

Many fans are upset on principle of giving up majority say to non-Texans.

@Whataburger / Twitter

Whataburger’s social media team is clearly working tirelessly to try to respond to as many comments as possible. Currently, there are over 6k comments of outcry in two posts alone.

Though one fan has pinpointed the root cause of concern: The Burger.

@say_duh_nelle / Twitter

A Texan family may have created Whataburger in 1950, but there are currently 824 franchises across the Southeastern and Southwestern United States. Non-Texans can replicate the signature burger. A venture capital firm can make decisions that threaten the quality of those burgers across all states.

The majority of fans are prepared to go to great lengths to preserve quality for as long as possible.

@mcz__101 / Twitter

Some fans are planning to stockpile Whataburger’s signature spicy ketchup, for fear the firm will start cutting costs and ruining recipes. Twitter user @AMERICAustin puts it simply, “Y’all can expand across some states but the second the food starts tasting different, you’re unfriended.”

Whataburger replied to him saying, “We love you and want you to know we’re committed to serving the same delicious Whataburger you know and love.” His response? “I’m changing our Facebook relationship status to “It’s complicated.”

Whataburger’s fan base is muy saucy.

@Whataburger / Twitter

It’s obvious they’re having a hard time keeping up with the deep shade fans are throwing their way. Paige Martinez commented, “I’m going to keep a screenshot of this just in case.”

Texans are holding Whataburger to its word.

Houston Texans football star J.J. Watt wants Texans to crowdsource and buy Whataburger back.

@JJWatt / Twitter

Some folks even think Watt doesn’t qualify to be an owning member. One Twitter user even said only fourth-generation Texans get to be majority stakeholders. ????

Whataburger is really trying to roll with it.

@Whataburger / Twitter

They replied to J.J. Watts suggesting he “consider a role in [their] product development team.” If J.J. Watts buys Whataburger with his $100 million a year salary, you bet there will be a JJ Wattaburger on the menu.

The company is trying to ease Texans’ anxiety with messages like this.

@Whataburger / Twitter

The fact of the matter is that the new President and CEO, Preston Atkinson, has already committed to expanding the franchise nationwide. In a statement, Atkinson explicitly said, “In order to keep satisfying our customers, we’ve been exploring different options to expand the brand and introduce it to new audiences.

So far, the PR strategy is making zero headway with loyal fans.

@coreylee73 / Twitter

For some, the principle is the only thing that matters. For others, it’s the burger. It’ll be challenging to see BDT try to maintain its brand loyalty when the brand image itself relies on the product remaining more exclusive and high-quality.

Meanwhile, the rest of the country might just have the last laugh.

@astroraider5 / Twitter

If you’re a non-Texan who hasn’t endured a Texan boasting to you about their Whataburger Pride, then you missed out on a nationwide-joke that would have given you the last laugh. Looks like Whataburger belongs to all of America now, and, no matter what Whataburger claims, that changes things.

READ: Bob’s Burgers: Reimagined As Roberto’s Mariscos

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Exclusive: Luis Fonsi Talks Working with Rauw Alejandro, Christina Aguilera, and Demi Lovato

Entertainment

Exclusive: Luis Fonsi Talks Working with Rauw Alejandro, Christina Aguilera, and Demi Lovato

Luis Fonsi is kicking off 2021 with a new single. The Puerto Rican superstar premiered the music video for “Vacío” on Feb. 18 featuring rising Boricua singer Rauw Alejandro. The guys put a new spin on the classic “A Puro Dolor” by Son By Four.

Luis Fonsi throws it back to his románticas.

“I called Omar Alfanno, the writer of ‘A Puro Dolo,’ who is a dear friend,” Fonsi tells Latido Music. “I told him what my idea was [with ‘Vacío’] and he loved it. He gave me his blessing, so I wrote a new song around a few of those lines from ‘A Puro Dolor’ to bring back that nostalgia of those old romantic tunes that have been a part of my career as well. It’s a fresh production. It sounds like today, but it has that DNA of a true, old-school ballad.”

The world got to know Fonsi through his global smash hit “Despacito” with Daddy Yankee in 2017. The remix with Canadian pop star Justin Bieber took the song to new heights. That was a big moment in Fonsi’s music career that spans over 20 years.

There’s more to Fonsi than “Despacito.”

Fonsi released his first album, the fittingly-titled Comenzaré, in 1998. While he was on the come-up, he got the opportunity of a lifetime to feature on Christina Aguilera’s debut Latin album Mi Reflejo in 2000. The two collaborated on “Si No Te Hubiera Conocido.” Fonsi scored multiple Billboard Hot Latin Songs No. 1s in the years that followed and one of the biggest hits was “No Me Doy Por Vencido” in 2008. That was his career-defining romantic ballad.

“Despacito” remains the second most-viewed music video on YouTube with over 7.2 billion views. The hits did not stop there. Later in 2017, he teamed up with Demi Lovato for “Échame La Culpa,” which sits impressively with over 2 billion views.

He’s also appearing on The Voice next month.

Not only is Fonsi working on his new album, but also he’s giving advice to music hopefuls for the new season of The Voice that’s premiering on March 1. Kelly Clarkson tapped him as her Battle Advisor. In an exclusive interview, Fonsi talked with us about “Vacío,” The Voice, and a few of his greatest hits.

What was the experience like to work with Rauw Alejandro for “Vacío”?

Rauw is cool. He’s got that fresh sound. Great artist. Very talented. Amazing onstage. He’s got that great tone and delivery. I thought he had the perfect voice to fit with my voice in this song. We had talked about working together for awhile and I thought that this was the perfect song. He really is such a star. What he’s done in the last couple of years has been amazing. I love what he brought to the table on this song.

Now I want to go through some of your greatest hits. Do you remember working with Christina Aguilera for her Spanish album?

How could you not remember working with her? She’s amazing. That was awhile back. That was like 1999 or something like that. We were both starting out and she was putting out her first Spanish album. I got to sing a beautiful ballad called “Si No Te Hubiera Conocido.” I got to work with her in the studio and see her sing in front of the mic, which was awesome. She’s great. One of the best voices out there still to this day.

What’s one of your favorite memories of “No Me Doy Por Vencido”?

“No Me Doy Por Vencido” is one of the biggest songs in my career. I think it’s tough to narrow it down just to one memory. I think in general the message of the song is what sticks with me. The song started out as a love song, but it turned into an anthem of hope. We’ve used the song for different important events and campaigns. To me, that song has such a powerful message. It’s bigger than just a love song. It’s bringing hope to people. It’s about not giving up. To be able to kind of give [people] hope through a song is a lot more powerful than I would’ve ever imagined. It’s a very special song.

I feel the message is very relevant to the COVID-19 pandemic we’re living through.

Oh yeah! I wrote that song a long time ago with Claudia Brant, and during the first or second month of the lockdown when we were all stuck at home, we did a virtual writing session and we rewrote “No Me Doy Por Vencido.” Changing the lyrics, kind of adjusting them to this situation that we’re living now. I haven’t recorded it. I’ll do something with it eventually. It’s really cool. It still talks about love. It talks about reuniting. Like the light at the end of the tunnel. It has the hope and love backbone, but it has to do a lot with what we’re going through now.

What do you think of the impact “Despacito” made on the industry?

It’s a blessing to be a part of something so big. Again, it’s just another song. We write these songs and the moment you write them, you don’t really know what’s going to happen with them. Or sometimes you run into these surprises like “Despacito” where it becomes a global phenomenon. It goes No. 1 in places where Spanish songs had never been played. I’m proud. I’m blessed. I’m grateful to have worked with amazing people like Daddy Yankee. Like Justin Bieber for the remix and everyone else involved in the song. My co-writer Erika Ender. The producers Mauricio Rengifo and Andrés Torres. It was really a team effort and it’s a song that obviously changed my career forever.

What was the experience like to work with Demi Lovato on “Echáme La Culpa”?

She’s awesome! One of the coolest recording sessions I’ve ever been a part of. She really wanted to sing in Spanish and she was so excited. We did the song in Spanish and English, but it was like she was more excited about the Spanish version. And she nailed it! She nailed it from the beginning. There was really not much for me to say to her. I probably corrected her once or twice in the pronunciation, but she came prepared and she brought it. She’s an amazing, amazing, amazing vocalist.

You’re going to be a battle advisor on The Voice. What was the experience like to work with Kelly Clarkson?

She’s awesome. What you see is what you get. She’s honest. She’s funny. She’s talented. She’s humble and she’s been very supportive of my career. She invited me to her show and it speaks a lot that she wanted me to be a part of her team as a Battle Advisor for the new season. She supports Latin music and I’m grateful for that. She’s everything you hope she would be. She’s the real deal, a true star, and just one of the coolest people on this planet.

What can we expect from you in 2021?

A lot of new music. Obviously, everything starts today with “Vacío.” This is literally the beginning of what this new album will be. I’ve done nothing but write and record during the last 10 months, so I have a bunch of songs. Great collaborations coming up. I really think the album will be out probably [in the] third or fourth quarter this year. The songs are there and I’m really eager for everybody to hear them.

Read: We Finally Have A Spanish-Language Song As The Most Streamed Song Of All Time

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Lifestyles Of The Rich And Dangerous: Cartels Are Using TikTok To Lure Young People

Things That Matter

Lifestyles Of The Rich And Dangerous: Cartels Are Using TikTok To Lure Young People

If you’ve ever wondered what someone with a bulletproof vest and an AR-15 would look like flossing — the dance, not the method of dental hygiene — apparently the answer to that question can be found on TikTok.

Unfortunately, it’s not as a part of some absurdist sketch comedy or surreal video art installation. Instead, it’s part of a growing trend of drug cartels in Mexico using TikTok as a marketing tool. Nevermind the fact that Mexico broke grim records last year for the number of homicides and cartel violence, the cartels have found an audience on TikTok and that’s a serious cause for concern.

Mexican cartels are using TikTok to gain power and new recruits.

Just a couple of months ago, a TikTok video showing a legit high-speed chase between police and drug traffickers went viral. Although it looked like a scene from Netflix’s Narcos series, this was a very real chase in the drug cartel wars and it was viewed by more than a million people.

Typing #CartelTikTok in the social media search bar brings up thousands of videos, most of them from people promoting a “cartel culture” – videos with narcocorridos, and presumed members bragging about money, fancy cars and a luxury lifestyle.

Viewers no longer see bodies hanging from bridges, disembodied heads on display, or highly produced videos with messages to their enemies. At least not on TikTok. The platform is being used mainly to promote a lifestyle and to generate a picture of luxury and glamour, to show the ‘benefits’ of joining the criminal activities.

According to security officials, the promotion of these videos is to entice young men who might be interested in joining the cartel with images of endless cash, parties, military-grade weapons and exotic pets like tiger cubs.

Cartels have long used social media to shock and intimidate their enemies.

And using social media to promote themselves has long been an effective strategy. But with Mexico yet again shattering murder records, experts on organized crime say Cartel TikTok is just the latest propaganda campaign designed to mask the blood bath and use the promise of infinite wealth to attract expendable young recruits.

“It’s narco-marketing,” said Alejandra León Olvera, an anthropologist at Spain’s University of Murcia, in a statement to the New York Times. The cartels “use these kinds of platforms for publicity, but of course it’s hedonistic publicity.”

Mexico used to be ground zero for this kind of activity, where researchers created a new discipline out of studying these narco posts. Now, gangs in Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, and the United States are also involved.

A search of the #CartelTikTok community and its related accounts shows people are responding. Public comments from users such as “Y’all hiring?” “Yall let gringos join?” “I need an application,” or “can I be a mule? My kids need Christmas presents,” are on some of the videos.

One of the accounts related to this cartel community publicly answered: “Of course, hay trabajo para todos,” “I’ll send the application ASAP.” “How much is the pound in your city?” “Follow me on Instagram to talk.” The post, showing two men with $100 bills and alcohol, had more than a hundred comments.

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