Entertainment

Gina Rodriguez Is Starring in Hollywood’s ‘Miss Bala’ And Her Fans Are Screaming

Our very own beloved Gina Rodriguez is gracing the big screens once again next February 2019 as Gloria, a.k.a. “Miss Bala.” We know her best as Jane Villanueva in The CW’s “Jane the Virgin,” but out in the real world she is so much more. Rodriguez is one of the best representation of Latinas we could ask for in this moment.

Now, she’s taking on the action thriller lead role in Hollywood’s remake of “Miss Bala.” The literal only spillage about this movie has been the trailer, which Rodriguez posted to her Twitter. Here’s what we’ve pieced together of the plot.

Miss Bala is not to be messed with.

@MissBala / Twitter

Rodriguez a major advocate for educational scholarships for Latinos, who are falling behind every other ethnic group in achieving college degrees. “I am the educated Latina you’ve been warned about,” she posted to her Instagram. “But you haven’t been warned about us. Because you don’t think we exist.”

You’ve been warned.

Instead of the good-intentioned virgin mom we’ve grown to love on JTV, Rodriguez packs heat in this film.

@awkwardlycray / Twitter

It seems as though the Internet is here for it. The only other times Rodriguez has posted about “Miss Bala” has been to share a photo of Jonathan Adler packages from her agency (caption: “I love my agency.”) Claro.

And this on June 15, 2017: “Began my summer film and feeling really challenged along with outrageously gracious. #missbala”

Jane’s TV Dad came through with some emotional support.

@jaimecamil / Twitter

Anything Jaime Camil has to say is going to make me tear up. I don’t care that his undying love for his daughter is fictional, who couldn’t love Gina like that in real life?

The trailer sets the scene in México.

@MissBala / Twitter

The opening lines in the trailer start out with Gina Rodriguez saying, “After my parents died, I didn’t really think I was going to be able to come back to Tijuana.” The Wikipedia page about the 2019 film says that it was produced in both México and the United States.

There are some breakout Latinx stars getting their shot on the big screen.

@MissBala / Twitter

Cristina Rodlo plays Suzu, Gloria’s soul sister in “Miss Bala.” Rodlo is recognizable in Spanish-Language films, but “Miss Bala” is really her breakout role in Hollywood. We’re excited to see actual Latinas playing Latina roles.

All starts out pretty cheery with Gloria and Suzu.

@MissBala / Twitter

Rodriguez is sitting on a bed, teary eyed, when she tells Suzu, “You’ve always felt like family.” She responds, “Because you are family.” Then comes the montage of them smiling, taking chupitos and dancing at a Tijuana club.

But then a gang infiltrates and shoots out  the club.

@MissBala @RadioRodriguez / Twitter

At this point, we’re all realizing that this is a remake of México’s Spanish Language film of the same name in 2011. The whole 2011 film’s plot is loosely based on a real story. It seems that Hollywood’s version veers away from the original beauty pageant backdrop.

It looks like the gang takes them both hostage, but separates them.

@MOyadiran @MissBala / Twitter

We don’t really know what happens to Suzu, but we know that Gloria is hell bent on finding out. Once the gang finds out she’s an American citizen, they use her to blow up a DEA safe house.

The DEA now has footage of her committing a horrible crime.

@MissBala / Twitter

Now, she has to work with the DEA as an undercover informant to avoid going to prison for the rest of her life. Casual trip to Mexico gone real bad, right?

No te preocupes: there’s a Stockholm love interest situation brewing here.

@MissBala / Twitter

Smoldering Ismael Cruz Córdova, de Puerto Rico, and famous for his breakout role on “Sesame Street”, is now playing Lino, the gang leader and love interest of Gina Rodriguez. I’m melting for all this character development.

Gloria continues to prove her worth on both sides, but TBH, looks like she defects to Lino.

@MissBala / Twitter

I mean, we see cops shooting at them and Gloria turning back to help Lino escape while they drive through a hellfire of burning DEA cars. But what do we know?

One woman tries to tell it to Gloria straight:

@MissBala / Twitter

“Forget your friend. No one is coming to save you.” But Gloria won’t abandon Suzu, who appears to be used for some kind of sex trafficking.

Lino tells Gloria, “You’re going to be my queen.”

@HereisGina / Twitter

Though his fellow gang leader is suspicious of her, saying that everything started to go wrong when she arrived. Psh, everything in my life is going right since Gina Rodriguez arrived, verdad.

What he also tells her?

@mandylub @MissBala / Twitter

“The bala always settles the score.” Gloria takes it to heart and is seen walking away from some dead bodies in a glamorous red dress with an AK-47 as an accessory.

 This might not be a tear jerker, but we’re already crying.

@mayraapedroza / Twitter

Raise your hand if you felt invincible after watching “Wonder Woman,” porque mujeres se puedan hacer todo. Imagine watching a Latina, and not just any Latina, but Gina Rodriguez, the champion of Latinidad facing present day problems. OK, her problems are extreme, pero still.

I tried to give them my money but you can’t buy tickets four months in advance apparently.

@Hersheyy_Cookie / Twitter

Bet that when the movie comes out on February 1, 2019 that I’m going to be there. And then again the next day because we turn out for nuestros hermanos.

Plus, I’m just paying to stare at the beauty of this ship.

@jamilahYo @MissBala / Twitter

Why are they so beautiful and perfect? So much more perfect that Raphael and Michael. If you’re not picking up what I’m putting down, educate yourself on Netflix, pronto.

Gina could have shared a 3 minute video of her playing with her dog, Casper, and we would have all had the same reaction TBH.

@sandy_4323 / Twitter

Gina is the Latina who is strong and confident enough to clap back at haters calling her not “Latina enough.” In a HuffPost Live interview, Rodriguez explained that her parents raised her to speak English because “they wanted to assimilate us into a culture that wouldn’t, right away, put up their guard against us because of our accent.”

“I’m going to be reprimanded by a culture that I’m supposed to support and is supposed to support me because of the way I was raised?” she posited. “That is too limiting. That is unfair.”  ???? ???? ???? ???????? ???????? ????????

The fact that Gina Rodriguez can be Latina, the star of a production, and not hypersexualized is a victory of its own.

@babyhoneymendes @MissBala / Twitter

And this is exactly the type of movie where that would happen. This isn’t “Real Women Have Curves.”

So block out your calendars. ????

@MissBala / Twitter

You’re booked February 1st on a third wheel date with Gina Rodriguez and Ismael Cruz Córdova. ???????????? Let’s support movies that Hollywood does right. It’s just so rare.

READ: Rita Moreno And Gina Rodriguez Shared In Mutual Puerto Rican Love And We Should All Aim For This Kind Of Relationship

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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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