Entertainment

21 Things You Didn’t Know About Reggaeton Star J Balvin

Reggaeton is here to stay, and has been so for some years now. Latino musicians either start a career in this genre, or collaborate with the main voices of the industry. Among contemporary reggaeton artists, J Balvin has built a name for himself. This Colombian powerhouse mixes Latino grooves with sometimes incendiary lyrics that verge on the erotic and sometimes the political.

A true representative of youth urban cultures.

1. His full name is José Álvaro Osorio Balvin

Credit: Instagram. @Jbalvin

Quite a telenovela name is you ask us! We can totally picture a cute Latina actress saying: “José Álvaro te amo

2. He was born in 1985 (and he has a tattoo to make that clear)

Credit: www.levi-walton.com

See that tat just bellow his bellybutton: that is the year he was born. On May 7 to be precise.

3. He was born in Medellín smack in the middle of the drug wars. And he continues to live there.

Credit: 180315153021-colombia-medellin-houses. Digital image. CNN

Like many Colombians, particularly artists, born in the peak of the drug trade and the violence that engulfed the country during the 1980s, J Balvin has tried to escape the stereotypes while sublimating his past through music. He has refused to move to the United States, which would probably make more financial sense and help his career. He has said that he want to keep it real, be close to his loved ones and have daily reminders of where he comes from.

4. He grew up listening to grunge

Credit: nirvana-logo. Digital image. Legendary Merch.

Like many Latin American Youth of the 1990s, he grew up listening to bands like Nirvana. He also loved Metallica. He has incorporated sounds from both in his songs, as best he can. And we can’t blame him! The 1990s were amazing for moody bands like Nirvana, Alice in Chains, Stone Temple Pilots and Pearl Jam. We sure miss those lumberjack jackets and Doc Martens boots!

5. Look at that tattoo on his knee!

Credit: Instagram. @Jbalvin

Looks familiar? Yes, it is the Nirvana dopey smiley face. He stays true to his first influences.

6. He has even covered “Smells Like Teen Spirit” in live performances

Credit: Instagram. @Jbalvin

Those who have been lucky enough to catch J Balvin in his grunge mood have seen him perform the 1990s anthem, channeling his inner Latino Kurt Cobain. The song is testament of the hardships of growing up feeling like no one understands you, which is a constant adolescent source of angst.

7. He fell in love with reggaeton when he became a fan of Daddy Yankee

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Daddy Yankee gave legitimacy to reggaeton as a pop music genre that could also achieve musical quality. As an all-around performer Daddy Yankee inspired youth like J Balvin, who has said: ““I was such a fan that I was copying his style, the way he moved onstage, his flows, his raps”. Reggaeton is much harder than it looks, and setting yourself apart from the bunch is a feat that only the likes of Daddy Yankee and J Balvin have achieved.

READ: Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About The One And Only Daddy Yankee

8. He has also singled-out Snoop Dog as an influence

Credit: 160420-haglage-snoop-dogg-tease_cvidkl. Digital Image. The Daily Beast.

Critics have highlighted the way that J Balvin sings over the bears, instead of always rapping like most reggaeton artists. He owes this to Snoop Dog, whose mellow rap style combines aggressive melodies with more R&B inspired sounds. Snoop Dog is an unacknowledged influence in urban Latin music today, so it is great to see stars like J Balvin recognize this.

9. He collaborates with other stars like Cardi B and Bad Bunny

Credit: 67a6c0. Digital image. The Artist Union.

One of the reasons the genre has become so popular is the willingness of the most famous artists to collaborate. Putting their egos to the side, Cardi B, Bad Bunny and J Balvin collaborated in “I Like It”, total perreo material. Plenty of genres should learn from the reggaetoneros business smarts when it comes to joining forces.

10. He once worked as a house painter

Credit: exterior-painting. Digital image. Joy 94.9.

He is not shy in admitting that he learnt the hardships of manual labor when he did roofing and house painting while working illegally in the United States while pursuing his dream of rich and fame in the Land of the Free. He is a testament of hard migrant labor. He grew up in a middle-class family that lost everything, so he understand and appreciates the value or earning what is yours.

11. He has been part of ComplexCon

Credit:  Instagram. @Jbalvin

This awesome convention is curated by the equally amazing Pharrell Williams and brings together the top minds in pop culture and art, as well as the renegades. J Balvin has been a proud participant. Colombia, represent! 

12. He won the Latin Grammy for “Ay, Vamos”

Credit: Instagram. @Jbalvin

His breakthrough into the mainstream came courtesy of the Best Urban Song Latin Grammy he won for “Ay Vamos”. Like a modern day Cinderella, he quickly went from obscurity to fame.

13. What does that “Familia” tat mean?

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Very simple: it stands for his album La Familia, which spent 122 weeks on the Billboard chart. Not bad at all! But where does the title of the album come from? It honors J Balvin’s mother, who has severe health issues.

14. The meaning behind “6 AM”

Credit: The Hangover. Warner Bros.

One of the singer’s top hits is “6 AM”, with boricua singer Farruko. J Balvin has describes the tune as a Latino version of the movie The Hangover. Una cruda terrible! 

15. He stood up to Donald Trump

Credit: Instagram. @Jbalvin

He was slotted to sing in Miss USA 2015, but cancelled his participation due to Donald Trump’s insulting and racist comments against Latino immigrants. He sacrificed fame and exposure but stood up for his dignity and self-respect. Bien hecho, mijo! 

16. He topped the Billboard Top Latin chart with Energia

Credit: Instagram. @Jbalvin

His fourth studio album saw is career skyrocket as it ruled over the charts as soon as it was released. El que persevera alcanza. 

17. The video for “Ginza” was watched 2 million times in 24 hours

Credit: YouTube. @JBalvin

On January 16, 2016, J Balvin released his single “Ginza”, premiering the awesome, sci-fi music video on Vevo. The video broke records and was watches two million times during its first day. This Colombian dynamo had truly broken into the mainstream.

18. And by now it has been watched almost a billion times!

Credit: YouTube. @JBalvin

783,398,497 times to be exact (at the time of writing). #DUHWINNING! The J Balvin phenomenon is only comparable to other global cases like the Korean Star PSY.

19. He started #LatinosSomosFamilia, a movement to help Venezuelan migrants in Colombia

Credit: CN6U4DoWoAAchEE. Digital image. Scoopnest.

The economic situation in Venezuela is dire. Thousands of Venezuelans are feeling the Maduro regime in search of a better life in Colombia. The situation in the border is terrible and J Balvin created the campaign #LatinosSomosFamilia to gather support for these refugees. Talented and caring, he is the whole package.

20. He survived a plane crash in 2016

Credit: Snapchat. @JBalvin

In what the singer called “a miracle”, he came unscratched after the plane he was in with his family crashed right after liftoff in an The Bahamas. He shared the moment on Snapchat. August 2016 will always be ingrained in his memory!

21. He suffers from mental health issues

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One of the reasons we love J Balvin is how outspoken he is about the tribulations of people that, like him, suffer from anxiety and panic attacks. He deals with these through meditation.

READ: 20 Latina Celebrities And Icons You Didn’t Know Had Disabilities

J.Lo’s Celebrating Selena Video Is The Heartwarming Content We Need Right Now

Entertainment

J.Lo’s Celebrating Selena Video Is The Heartwarming Content We Need Right Now

jlo / Instagram

Selena will always be a legend for Latino music lovers. The Tejano singer gave us English and Spanish songs that continue to rock our worlds. Her music is still played on the radio, in bars, and she always makes it to a few playlists out there. This weekend, people took some time to celebrate the 23rd anniversary of the release of the biopic honoring the singer.

Jennifer Lopez came through on #CelebratingSelena with her own video honoring the singer and her chance to play the role.

We’ve all seen the movie more times than we care to count. It was probably one of the most impactful movies in our younger years. It was so wonderful to see our culture represented through Selena. It was a rare moment of fully authentic representation and it is not something we will ever forget.

J.Lo’s tweet hit Selena fans in the feels as they all took time to remember the late singer.

Selena was grace and class personified. Her ability to jump into the mainstream as a Latin singer shows the kind of power she had in the music industry. She broke down barriers for Latina artists who have come after her to lead successful careers, like J.Lo and Shakira.

Who could forget the iconic bustier scene?

You know you quote “busti-caca” way more than you want to admit to. It might just be the most quotable line in the whole movie. Now that most of us are working from home until further notice, it would be a great time to watch one of the most iconic Latino films of all time.

It is still inspiring people to pay tribute to La Reina.

Even 25 years after her death, people are loving her sound and keeping her memory alive through tribute videos and just listening to her music. Selena truly is someone people will never forget. She was recently inducted into the Houston Rodeo’s Star Trail of Fame and continues to be a major figure in Latino American pop culture.

Don’t worry. You can spend any day celebrating Selena because she is one person who is always worth celebrating.

READ: Selena Is The First Latin Inducted Into Houston Rodeo’s Star Trail Of Fame

Disney+ Is Bringing Back ‘The Proud Family’ Series, This time They’re Prouder And Louder

Entertainment

Disney+ Is Bringing Back ‘The Proud Family’ Series, This time They’re Prouder And Louder

The…
Proud…
Family…
What?

Get ready Disney + streamers, an old favorite is coming back around.

A recent announcement by Disney + revealed that the online streamers has greenlighted “The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder.”

According to Deadline, Disney + has greenlit the return of the early 2000s Disney Channel series. No airdate has been announced BUT so far we do know that the streamer intends to bring back the original cast and executive producers of the show.

In a statement about the return of the series, original series creator/executive producer Bruce W. Smith and executive producer Ralph Farquhar said that in their “minds, the show never really went away, as we still had tons of stories left to tell. It’s the perfect time to bring back this show, and we can’t wait to take fans, old and new alike, on this journey with us.”

Disney Channel had an iconic moment during the 1990s and early 2000s. The channel gave use Disney Original Movies that we still remember to this day. Not to mention, the network was pumping out some of the best TV shows animated and live-action. One of those shows that will always be in our mind is “The Proud Family.”

Let’s start with singing along to one of the most iconic theme songs of TV history.

Brought to you by none other than Solange and Destiny’s Child, “The Proud Family” theme song is something you will never forget. Be honest. As soon as this song started playing, all of the words have come flooding back to you and you’re singing along.

This show brought Black culture to the Disney audience like never before.

There is a reason that people are so connected to the show. It was fun, authentic, and delivered by the best cast imaginable.

Of course, so many of us clung to the Afro-Latino Boulevardez family.

Credit: The Proud Family / Disney

LaCienega Boulevardez was one of Penny’s closest friends and her neighbor. Her parents, Felix and Sunset Boulevardez, along with her abuelo Papi, were always involved with the shenanigans with the Proud family one way or the other. It was a moment in time when we were able to see an Afro-Latino family represented like every other family but with two cultures instead of one.

And it wasn’t until we were older that we got the joke about their names.

Credit: calvinstowell / Twitter

La Cienega and Sunset boulevards are major roads in Los Angeles and La Cienega deadends into Sunset in West Hollywood. That’s right. The daughter and mother from the Boulevardez family are named after two major LA roads.

Alisa Reyes gave her voice to LaCienega Boulevardez.

Credit: alisareyes / Instagram

The “All That” cast member is the woman behind the iconic Disney cartoon character. Since the show, Reyes has continued acting and has become a musician. If you want to check out her music, you can check out her video for her single “Sexy Hot” here.

Sunset Boulevardez was voiced by Maria Canals-Barrera.

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Before “The Wizards of Waverly Place,” Canals-Barrera was Sunset Boulevardez. Honestly, one of the most iconic Disney moms ever.

Who else knew that Carlos Mencia was the voice behind Felix Boulevardez.

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Now that I listen to it, I can definitely hear it. It wasn’t long after the start of “The Proud Family” that Mencia’s career really took off.

LaCienega Boulevardez holds a very important place in television history, even if she had big feet.

It was one of the first times young Afro-Latina viewers could see themselves finally represented on television. The character existing on a children’s cartoon show makes it even more impactful. It is a storyline and identity so rarely seen on television at the time.

The show included Afro-Latino celebrities into the story with well-placed cameos.

Who could possibly forget Mariah Carey playing Mariah Carey? Her pet monkey François was sick and, fortunately, Dr. Trudy Proud was able to help Carey’s pet get better.

In the time of reboots and revivals, it is nice to go back and revisit some of your faves exactly as they were. All these years later, “The Proud Family” continues to be one of those shows we all love and remember.

Who else remembers watching “The Proud Family” when they were younger?