identities

Will Smith’s Appreciation Of Latino Culture And His Love For Latino People Makes Him An Honorary Latino

willsmith / Instagram

There are Latinos, there are wannabe Latinos and then there is Will Smith. If you just became obsessed with Marc Anthony, Bad Bunny & Will Smith’s latest drop, “Está Rico,” and you were wondering why Will Smith was rapping in Spanish, let us give you the brief photo history showing how he has embraced and become part of Latino culture.

Will Smith has always been a lover of Latino culture.

CREDIT: @forbes / Twitter

Yes, he really is from West Philadelphia, where he was born an raised, and was a pretty popular rapper in the ’80s. Once the IRS claimed his recording equipment, he took on “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” in an interim that lasted six years. Since then, he’s been top charting and making bank in film.

He is BFFs with Marc Anthony.

CREDIT: @willsmith / Instagram

Caption: “Feliz Cumpleaños, mi Hermano!”

It’s the real deal. These two have traveled together and spend legit bestie time together, which leads us right up to “Está Rico.”

Smith teamed with Marc Anthony and Bad Bunny on a bilingual track, “Está Rico.”

CREDIT: @willsmith / Instagram

In it, Will Smith entires with “Haciendo Historia!” and, “Blend my Philly way now / With your Latina sway now / Sacude tu cadera.”

He’s rapping… en español.

He has proven several times that he speaks decent Spanish.

CREDIT: Telemundo / YouTube

He’s even accepts interviews in Spanish on the regular, including this one on Telemundo where he carried his weight for the first half, and was translated for the second half.

Apparently, Smith travels with a Spanish language instructor so he’s always learning.

La comunidad agrees his trip to Colombia with Marc Anthony changed him.

CREDIT: @VGCastro17 / Twitter

Back in May of this year, Smith was all over Instagram sharing the multiple dance offs he had with folks all throughout Colombia. He basically danced his way through the country.

Truth, he may have been on a working vacation since his new movie “Gemini Man” is based in Colombia, set to release in October 2019.

While he was there, him and Marc shipped Colombia hard.

CREDIT: TMZ / YouTube

Can you spot Marc Anthony to his right? Boy is literally on a balcón; it doesn’t get more Latino than that. Unless he’s hiding a cigar somewhere, and then there’s no going back.

He “loves the fire” of Latin America.

CREDIT: @partypokerlive / Twitter

In an interview with Latina, he shared, “I spent a lot of time in South America and I just love the fire!” he says. “When I was down in Brazil, I just got hype and started rappin’ for the crowd, you know, it’s like the energy is crazy, and I just love that fire, I love that flavor.”

He knows to always give the spotlight to the person who really runs things: his wife.

CREDIT: @Fevu_shikor_ / Twitter

He got the handbook on this one. She deserves all the glory and honor to even be by your side and if you aren’t over the top about acknowledging her grace, she will take it very personally y le botó.

He’s dramatic AF.

CREDIT: sad will smith gif / GIPHY

And always has been. Why do you think we were all so obsessed with “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air”? It was the only American telenovela we had.

Miami is his second home.

CREDIT: Will Smith / YouTube

Miami is like the American capital of Caribbean Latinos and he’s been singing about it (and even dropping some lyrics in Spanish) since the ’90s.

Plus, he’s always been a fanboy for Mariah Carey.

CREDIT: @oldpicsarchive / Twitter

If you look closely at the CDs the Fresh Prince had laying around his room in the sitcom, you’ll see Mariah’s face everywhere. In this photo, Mariah is 18 years old and Will Smith is 19 years old back in 1988.

Smith is here for his Afro-Latina co-stars.

CREDIT: @willsmith / Instagram

Back in the day, Tatyana Ali played his on-screen cousin, Ashley Banks. He wishes her a feliz cumple cada año on social media.

Will Smith brought us Eva Mendes.

CREDIT: Will Smith / YouTube

In his “Welcome to Miami” hit, Eva Mendes was in the music video saying, “Bienvenidos a Miami.” I’m screaming. Years later, she would play his love interest on “Hitch.”

He’s just like a prankster Latino dad.

CREDIT: @firepicstm / Twitter

Latino dads live to make fun of their children, and Will Smith is no different. After his son, Jada, posted this very Instagrammy pic, his father quickly took to mocking him on Twitter. 😂

Just last week, he tossed Jada onto his shoulders to start the #ThePiggybackChallenge.

CREDIT: @willsmith / Instagram

Will Smith is just the kind of dad who will always treat his kids like babies and also like adults. They went to Target to promote Just Water, and Smith was giving Jada sass for talking instead of working on stocking the shelves. Classic.

Latinos are already posting that their dads are way ahead of him.

CREDIT: @SamanthaSports / Twitter

We didn’t use our legs for the first 4 years of life. It’s the Latino way.

 He publicly sasses his son for not knowing Spanish.

CREDIT: Univision / YouTube

Tell me your papi wouldn’t do the same thing. I hear it from every abuelita I meet. Maybe Will Smith is an honorary abuelita, no sé.

He laid down a Bomba Estereo “Fiesta” remix like a boss.

CREDIT: Bomba Estéreo / YouTube

Of course, we have Marc Anthony to thank for that. Smith shared the back story in a video, saying, “I was in Colombia, in Ibagué, with Marc Anthony, and he was listening to ‘Fuego’ [another Bomba track]. And I said, ‘That song is crazy!’ And almost completely unrelated, my manager, Miguel, is friends with people in [Sony Music Latin, Bomba’s label], and he showed me this song, ‘Fiesta.’ And I said, ‘That is crazy, I need to be on that.’”

He reportedly has said he thinks he was Latino in another life.

CREDIT: @xxxangely / Twitter

Latina reports that in one of his usual rants about how much he loves Latino culture, he laughed and said, “I think in a previous lifetime, I was definitely born in Costa Rica or something like that.”

In this life, he is one of us.

CREDIT: @Ma07ilyAlvarado / Twitter

The guy has spent decades obsessing over Latino culture, respecting it, living in it, lifting up Latino actors and remixing iconic bands. We 💜 you, Will Smith. You’re up there with Rhianna.


READ: People Went In On Will Smith Not Knowing The Words To ‘La Bamba’ And He Clapped Back

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These Inspiring Puerto Ricans Are Spreading Their Culture And Light As Far And Wide As They Can

identities

These Inspiring Puerto Ricans Are Spreading Their Culture And Light As Far And Wide As They Can

jlo / Instagram

It wasn’t that long ago that there were hardly any Puerto Ricans in the spotlight, but today, we’re everywhere. We could not fit on one page the number of world famous Puerto Ricans and I’m talking about people coming from an island as big as Delaware and Rhode Island combined. When was the last time you heard of any proud Rhode Islander Renaissance Women or Genre Starters?

That’s because, like our mami’s always told us, we’re special. There’s mágico in our veins.

Rita Moreno

CREDIT: @theritamoreno / Instagram

Rita Moreno is the ultimate Boricua icon for every person on this list. Born in Humacao, Puerto Rico, Moreno is one of few people in history to become an EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony) winner. In fact, she is the first Latina with this honor.

Jennifer Lopez

CREDIT: @jlo / Instagram

It almost feels wrong to place J.Lo second to anyone, but we think she’d side with Rita Moreno being No. 1.

J.Lo rose to fame for portraying Selena Quintanilla in “Selena” and es la Reina in acting, music and even has her own production company, Nuyorican Productions.

Marc Anthony

CREDIT: @marcanthony / Instagram

Marc Anthony and J.Lo were basically the Puerto Rican royal family until their split. To this day, the two are good friends and share twins together.

Marc Anthony is top selling tropical salsa artist in history.

Bad Bunny

CREDIT: @bunbunnypr / Instagram

This has been Bad Bunny’s year. Born in Playa Vega Baja, Bad Bunny just released a single with Marc Anthony, “Está Rico.” He’s puro Boricua and has been outspoken in raising awareness for Puerto Rico’s continued state of emergency after Hurricane Maria. His own family is still running on generators.

Bruno Mars

CREDIT: @brunomars / Instagram

Born as Peter Hernandez in Hawaii, Bruno Mars is the son of a Puerto Rican Jewish father. Bruno Mars writes all his own songs, and even writes songs for other famous artists. We’re in high demand, what can I say?

Rosario Dawson

CREDIT: @rosariodawson / Instagram

If you’re Boricua, you were basically either born in Puerto Rico or New York. Rosario Dawson was born and raised in NYC to a Puerto Rican and Cuban mother. Today, she’s famous for her role in “Rent,” and all five of Netflix’s Marvel series.

She also co-founded Voto Latino, which encourages young Latinos to register to vote.

Ricky Martin

CREDIT: @ricky_martin / Instagram

Okay, so as kids we had Rita Moreno and a baby Ricky Martin to fangirl over when he was in Puerto Rican boy band Menudo. Martin is basically the King of Latin Pop. He’s one of the first Spanish language artists to transition into the English-language field, beginning with his song “Livin’ la Vida Loca.”

Luis Fonsi

CREDIT: @luisfonsi / Instagram

Fun fact: Luis Fonsi auditioned for Menudo when he was a kid. Fortunately, his life went exactly as is or else the world would be lost without “Despacito.” Luis Fonsi won four Latin Grammy Awards for that song alone.

Gina Rodriguez

CREDIT: @hereisgina / Instagram

Gina Rodriguez is made famous as Jane Villanueva in “Jane the Virgin,” where she plays Rita Moreno’s granddaughter. Apparently, when she was a kid, she asked her mom, “Ma, when did Puerto Ricans come about?” Confused mom said, “What do you mean, Gina?”

“Well I never see us on my favorite TV shows or movies. We must not have existed back then, right?” That’s when her mom introduced her to Rita Moreno and the rest was history. She was in love.

Lin-Manuel Miranda

CREDIT: @ScozzariFrank / Twitter

Lin-Manuel Miranda may be on his way to becoming the next EGOT. He’s won a Pulitzer Prize, several Tonys and a Grammy for “Hamilton.” He received an Oscar and Grammy nomination for his composing for “Moana.”

Princess Nokia

CREDIT: @princessnokia / Instagram

Princess Nokia and Bad Bunny share their SoundCloud fame in common. Born in NYC, Princess Nokia was orphaned at age 2 when her mother died of AIDS. She lived in an abusive foster care system, for which the statistics are against kids from even graduating high school.

Princess Nokia started releasing tracks on SoundCloud and her feminist, anti-colonial rhymes made her go viral. Today, she’s relentlessly fighting to raise funds for Puerto Rico.

Michelle Rodriguez

CREDIT: @mrodofficial / Instagram

M-Rod was born to a Dominican mother and Boricua father. It’s no wonder she’s frequently casted for tough characters.

Roberto Clemente

CREDIT: @lavidabaseball / Instagram

Baseball is everything for us, and Roberto Clemente is no doubt the most beloved sports star in Puerto Rican history. That’s why you see his jersey number, 21, all over el calle.

Carmelo Anthony

CREDIT: @carmeloanthony / Instagram

Carmelo Anthony is our modern day sports hero. He’s won three Olympic gold medals as part of Team USA, and he regularly goes back to Puerto Rico to help create and maintain sporting facilities for youth.

Laurie Hernandez

CREDIT: @lauriehernandez / Instagram

Laurie Hernandez won Gold for Team USA and silver on the balance beam. At the Olympics that year, she was very excited to represent Latinos and told People Magazine, “When I was a little kid, I don’t remember looking up and seeing so many Hispanic athletes out there. But look at this Olympics.”

Daddy Yankee

CREDIT: @daddyyankee / Instagram

Born in San Juan, Daddy Yankee is no question an icon in Puerto Rico. Known as the King of Reggaetón, Daddy Yankee has always been ahead of his time. when he first started rapping for DJ Playero’s mixtapes, the Puerto Rican government actually banned the music.

This marked the beginning of a whole new genre that I can’t imagine life without: Reggaetón.

Don Omar

CREDIT: @donomar / Instagram

Fun Fact: Don Omar, born in Carolina, Puerto Rico, actually spent several years delivering sermons at his local Protestant church. He left to launch his music career, Dios nos bendiga.

Farruko

CREDIT: @farrukoofficial / Instagram

Born in Bayamón, Puerto Rico, Farruko is another big name in Reggaeton. His collaboration with J Balvin earned their song “6 AM” a Latin Grammy! He’s still mixing tapes for Marc Anthony & Bad Bunny in their latest single “Está Rico.”

Ozuna

CREDIT: @ozuna / Instagram

Born in San Juan, Ozuna had a rough go of life. His father was shot and killed when he was just three years old. He started writing songs when he was 12 years old and this year, he won the Billboard Latin Music Award for Artist of the Year!

José Ferrer

CREDIT: “José Ferrer” Digital Image. The Famous People. 7 October 2018.

You might not know Ferrer, but you should. His nephew is George Clooney. Born in San Juan, Ferrer went on to go to Princeton (1933) and become a famous Broadway actor, symphony pianist and actor. He was the first Latino to win an Academy Award (1950).

Justice Sonia Sotomayor

CREDIT: @wes_sherman / Instagram

Last, but probably the most important of all, is Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Her parents both left Puerto Rico separately and met in the U.S. after her mother served in the Women’s Army Corps for WWII. That’s right. Sonia had her own mother as a feminist icon and now we have her.


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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