Entertainment

Shakira Is Famously Colombian-Lebanese And Her ‘Tongue Moment’ Meant A Lot For Middle Eastern Representation

Last night Shakira and Jennifer Lopez gave us one of the most iconic halftime show performances we’ve seen in a long time. Not only did they become the first Latinas to headline a Superbowl show, they also brought out the whole Latino Gang —Puerto Rican trap super star Bad Bunny, Colombian reggaeton king J Balvin, and J.Lo’s own little girl, Emme. The show was filled with subtle cultural statements —and one of them became a viral moment. Here’s what Shakira’s tongue flicking gesture actually means. 

Sunday night’s half time show was nothing short of iconic. 

Shakira and JLo performed their biggest hits, including “Waka Waka,” “Let’s get Loud,” and a few others. They brought Bad Bunny on stage to perform Cardi B’s “I Like It,” and his own hit “Callaita,” anchored by Shak. J Balvin also joined in on the spectacle with his massive hit “Mi Gente.”

The Grammy Award-winner was just launching into her hit song “Hips Don’t Lie” when the viral moment happened. 

Shakira leaned down toward one of the cameras at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fl, stuck out her tongue and let out a high-pitched, warbling cry that instantly set the internet in flames. 

Viewers were quick to ridicule the singer, and the memes started rolling out. 

Countless memes likened her to a turkey, a petulant toddler and characters from Nickelodeon’s “SpongeBob SquarePants”, among a host of other unflattering comparisons. But a few of Shakira’s true fans pointed out the obvious; the sound was a nod to her Lebanese heritage. 

If you’ve followed Shakira’s career since the late 90s you might remember that the artist is inspired by her Middle Eastern roots.

Born Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll, to a Colombian mother and Lebanese father, the singer has drawn on her diverse cultural heritage to create her signature style —both vocally and stylistically. I mean come on, it’s her Lebanese background what inspired her belly-dancing and hip-swaying moves —duh.  

Shakira’s widely celebrated performance was full of nods to her Colombian and Lebanese heritage.

The seemingly random gesture actually carried deep cultural significance. To those familiar with Middle Eastern culture, the sound was akin to a traditional Arabic expression of joy and celebration called a zaghrouta. It was also interpreted as a reference to the world-famous Carnaval de Barranquilla, which is held in Shakira’s hometown in Colombia.

In the beginning of the 2000s Rolling Stone magazine wrote about what made Shakira stand out

“The stylistic breadth of Shakira’s music – elements of folk, Middle Eastern and traditional Latin styles over a foundation of rock and pop – gave her a degree of credibility the American teen queens lacked.” Shakira’s breakout single, which many Latinx millennials might remember from the 90s, was ‘Ojos Así’, a song heavily inspired by the middle eastern world —The Colombian even sings in Arabic. 

Her Latin sound has always been spiced with Middle Eastern elements and Colombia’s African heritage.

The salsa beats in her 2006 megahit “Hips Don’t Lie” are reggaeton-inspired, and it also has an Afrocolombian element to it. The singer she still featured a belly dancing arab-esque number in the video. The same mixture of cultures has been fed into countless of the artists biggest hits, like ‘Tortura,’ ‘Yo soy Gitana,’ ‘Whenever Wherever’, and the list goes on. Her own vocal style was also born from this melting-pot of cultures. Shakira has noted the importance of her sense of “mixed ethnicity,” saying “I am a fusion. That’s my persona. I’m a fusion between black and white, between pop and rock, between cultures – between my Lebanese father and my mother’s Spanish blood, the Colombian folklore and Arab dance…”

Shakira’s music stems from years of listening to Anglo and U.S. rock acts like Led Zeppelin, The Cure, The Beatles and Nirvana.

“I was so in love with that rock sound,” Shakira explained to BMI in 2002, “but at the same time because my father is of 100 percent Lebanese descent, I am devoted to Arabic tastes and sounds. Somehow, I’m a fusion of all of those passions and my music is a fusion of elements that I can make coexist in the same place, in one song.”

Fans praised her for including such a wide array of elements in the halftime performance. 

One person wrote, “In the melting pot that is Miami, you could not have picked a better Super Bowl act and this was a lovely touch.” Another fan tweeted: “Shakira sung in Arabic, Spanish, English. She played the guitar and the drums. She danced champeta, pop, salsa, reggaeton, son de negro, mapalé and arab dance.” The twitter user added, “And her 2-year-old songs are top 10 on USA iTunes. SHAKIRA, SHAKIRA.” 

Shakira has long been an icon for Middle Eastern Americans, especially the ones with Latinx backgrounds too.

“Shakira was all we had for the longest time,” one person tweeted. “Every Middle Eastern American, especially Lebanese, pointed to Shakira as the one entertainer with massive global appeal and popularity. To have our culture and our rhythms represented up there, even in the smallest way, is massive.”

Beyond the spectacle of glittery costumes, laser lights and high-energy dancing, the show was an impactful 15-minute-long homage to the singers’ roots. 

Shakira peppered her performance with Middle Eastern music and belly dancing while also incorporating elements of Latin American culture and traditional Afro Colombian and Latino dances. Jennifer Lopez, born in the Bronx to Puerto Rican parents, sang her chart-topping anthem “Jenny From the Block” and later wore the U.S. territory’s flag as a reversible cape featuring the flag of Puerto Rico on the other face of it.

The show was filled with significant, yet subtle, cultural and political statements. 

While performing a remix of “Waka Waka (This Time For Africa)” and “Let’s Get Loud,” many young singers appeared on stage in circular cages—a subtle reference, but a possible nod to the thousands of children, most from Latin American countries, who have been detained at the border due to the migratory crisis and current administration’s family separation policy. The Puerto Rican flag flashed as the iconic Springsteen ‘Born In The USA’ song played, as if to remind viewers that Puerto Ricans are American citizens.

Lopez and Shakira’s performance was primarily a celebration of Latin American music and their own lengthy careers, but the subtle references to politics might serve as a guide for what the NFL will be like in the Jay Z era.

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Ecuadorian Sisters, 3 And 5, Dropped By Smugglers From 14 Ft High Mexico-US Border Wall

Things That Matter

Ecuadorian Sisters, 3 And 5, Dropped By Smugglers From 14 Ft High Mexico-US Border Wall

New York Post

A recent video shared by a border patrol agent highlighted a shocking moment of smugglers literally dropping two little girls over a 14-foot high fence in the New Mexico desert. Right in the dead of night.

In the disturbing video, the smugglers can be seen climbing the fence and then dropping the two 5-year-old and 3-year-old sisters to the ground.

El Paso Sector Chief Patrol Agent Gloria Chavez shared that the incident occurred “miles from the nearest residence.”

The two little girls (Yareli, 3, and Yasmina, 5) were rescued after agents spotted them during a virtual surveillance sweep. The two sisters are from Ecuador and were dumped by human smugglers at the border wall according to an official.

“[US Immigration officials] need to verify the identity of the parents and confirm they are the parents and make sure they are in good condition to receive the girls,” Magdalena Nunez, of the Consulate of Ecuador in Houston, explained to The New York Post on Thursday. “It’s a process … We’re working to make sure it’s an expedited process and the girls spend as minimal time as possible separated from their parents.”

“Hopefully it can happen soon, in a week or two, but  it can take up to six weeks. We are working to make sure sure it happens as quickly as possible,” she explained before noting that the two sisters are “doing very well.”

“We have been in contact with them and confirmed they are in good health,” Nunez shared. “Physically, they are perfect — emotionally, obviously, they went through a hard time, but I guarantee you right now they are in good health and they are conversing. They are very alert, very intelligent.”

In a statement about the incident, the Ecuadorian consulate confirmed that the two girls had been in touch with their parents, who live in New York City.

“The Ecuadorian Consulate in Houston had a dialogue with the minors and found that they are in good health and that they contacted their parents, who currently live in New York City,” explained the consulate.

In a statement from the girls’ parents sent to Telemundo, the girls’ parents had left their daughters behind at their home in Jaboncillo, Ecuador, to travel to the US. The parents of the two girls have been identified as Yolanda Macas Tene and Diego Vacacela Aguilar. According to the New York Post, “The girls’ grandparents have asked President Biden to reunite the children with their parents. Aguilar paid a human smuggler to take his kids to the border — though the grandparents didn’t know how much they paid.”

“[The parents] wanted to be with them, their mother suffered a lot, for that reason they decided to take them,” paternal grandfather Lauro Vacacela explained in an interview with Univision.

It is still uncertain as to whether or not the girls’ parents are in the country legally.

Photos of the girls showed them having snacks with Agent Gloria Chavez.

“When I visited with these little girls, they were so loving and so talkative, some of them were asking the names of all the agents that were there around them, and they even said they were a little hungry,” Chavez told Fox News. “So I helped them peel a banana and open a juice box and just talked to them. You know, children are just so resilient and I’m so grateful that they’re not severely injured or [have] broken limbs or anything like that.”

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Exclusive: Maluma Talks Sun Collab “Rumba,” Working with The Weeknd, J.Lo And More

Latidomusic

Exclusive: Maluma Talks Sun Collab “Rumba,” Working with The Weeknd, J.Lo And More

CESAR PIMIENTA

Maluma is teaming up with the biggest star in the solar system for his new single “Rumba (Puro Oro Anthem).” As part of an Earth Day campaign with Michelob ULTRA Pure Gold, the Colombian superstar joined forces with the sun. He’s also coming on a decade in the music industry. In an exclusive interview with Latido Music, Maluma talked about the inspiration behind “Rumba” and the hottest collaborations of his career.

“Rumba” is part of Maluma’s campaign with Michelob.

“Collaborating with the sun was great,” Maluma tells mitú. “Maybe I’m the only artist in the world who has the opportunity. It’s a big thing for me. I enjoyed the process. I also enjoyed working with Michelob ULTRA Pure Gold. They love the same things that I love like helping the world. I feel grateful.”

Maluma recorded “Rumba (Puro Oro Anthem)” for Michelob to celebrate the beer brand’s ULTRA Pure Gold lager that’s brewed with 100 percent renewable electricity from the sun. The warm reggaeton track was recorded featuring sounds from the actual sun. Maluma wrote it with Keityn and Edgar Berrera, who also composed “Hawái” with him.

“These two guys are geniuses,” Maluma says. “When we work together we’re a dream team. When this campaign came to the table, I told them that I needed a big song. I recorded it in Turks and Caicos around three weeks ago. The song came out great. I love it.”

This year Maluma will be celebrating 10 years in the music industry.

This year, Maluma will be celebrating a decade in the industry since the release of his debut single “Farandulera.” After dropping his breakthrough album Pretty Boy, Dirty Boy in Oct. 2015, Maluma is one of the artists that helped globalize Latin music. He’s happy to be a part of the movement, but he also recognizes the stars that came before him.

“It’s not like we started this year or last year,” Maluma says. “This has been work that started with Ricky Martin’s ‘Livin’ La Vida Loca’ and Shakira like 15 or 20 years ago. I feel like I’m part of it. I feel proud of it. I feel like we still need to do more things, more big things.”

Next up, Maluma’s fans can see him on tour this fall.

As for what’s next, the “Rumba” music video will be released on Earth Day, April 22. Maluma is also hitting the road this fall for his Papi Juancho Tour in the U.S. The tour kicks off in September and runs through late October.

“Coming back to the stage is something that I really need,” Maluma says. “I miss being with my fans. I miss hugging them. I miss going on tour. I miss the whole lifestyle. I can’t wait to see you guys on tour and sing of course for the first time all my new songs that I released this year.”

Since Maluma is also celebrating 10 years in the industry, we had him break down some of the biggest collaborations in his career.

Jennifer Lopez

Maluma will make his big-screen debut in Marry Me with Jennifer Lopez in Feb. 2022. The movie was pushed back to that date due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The two singers also collaborated on songs for Marry Me like “Pa’ Ti” and “Lonely.”

“I always wanted to work on a big project,” Maluma says. “In a big movie. I had a couple of opportunities to work on other things, but I said ‘no’ because I was waiting for this big moment. Thanks to Jennifer Lopez and Owen Wilson and the whole team to make me part of the movie. I have a lot of beautiful moments. She’s great. She’s such a master for me. She taught me many things when we were working together. I would say from the beginning to the end, the whole experience was great.”

The Weeknd

Maluma teamed up with Canadian superstar The Weeknd for a Spanglish remix of “Hawái.” They pushed the song to No. 12 on the all-genre Billboard Hot 100 chart. Maluma helped The Weeknd with his Spanish in the remix.

“At the beginning, the first vocals he recorded, I had to tell him to change a little bit,” Maluma says. “The ‘Instagram’ part because he was saying it in the wrong way, like pretty bad Spanish. I sent him the vocals, like the way he had to say it, and then he changed it. He’s great. He’s super talented.”

Ziggy Marley

For his latest album 7 Días En Jamaica (#7DJ), Maluma teamed up with Jamaican star Ziggy Marley for the song “Tonika.” He performed the song for the first time with Bob Marley’s son at the Latin American Music Awards last week.

“That was great working with Ziggy,” Maluma says. “He’s one of my favorite artists too. I always wanted to work with him because I’m a huge fan of Bob Marley. It’s one of the best things I could’ve done in the album. He put the Marley DNA in my project and that was great.”

Shakira

Maluma and Colombian icon Shakira have teamed up on a number of collaborations, including the hit singles “Chantaje” and “Clandestino.” They also worked together on “Trap,” another cut from Shakira’s El Dorado album.

“I love working with Shakira, but I have to be honest, it’s not easy because she loves everything to be on-point,” Maluma says. “She’s super strict with everything that she does. I would love to work with her again. She’s a master for me too. She’s one of the first big stars that helped me and wanted to work with me. I’m forever grateful to her for giving me the chance to work with such a big artist.”

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Read: Exclusive: Maluma Talks “Amor En Coma” with Manuel Turizo and Supporting Colombian Artists

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