One of the few highlights we’ve had amid this unprecedented year of trauma has been the music industry. From Maluma and Cardi B to Bad Bunny’s surprise albums, we’ve been blessed with some of the best songs ever. Plain and simple.
Despite the global pandemic, many singers have managed to stay busy and put out new tracks. Maluma and Jennifer Lopez are no different as the duo are working on music for their upcoming movie project, Marry Me.
However, the one of the tracks from the upcoming film isn’t getting the type of reception that JLo had likely counted on.
Jennifer Lopez is facing criticism for calling herself a “Little Black girl from the Bronx” in her new track with Maluma.
Despite the pandemic putting the breaks on so many aspects of the entertainment industry, Jennifer Lopez has managed to keep herself busy with new projects. One of her most hyped projects has got to be her collaboration with Maluma on the upcoming film, Marry Me.
In anticipation of the film’s release on Valentine’s Day 2021, the pair have released two new tracks that will also be in the movie’s soundtrack. However, the most recently released song, “Lonely,” isn’t getting the attention that neither JLo or Maluma had likely hoped for.
In the lyrics for the song, which JLo sings with Maluma, Lopez sings “yo siempre seré tu negrita del Bronx” (I’ll always be your Black girl from the Bronx). Obviously, that lyric is causing loads of controversy and fans and critics alike are letting Lopez know they’re out OK with it.
Many are taking issue with the lyrics because “Jenny From The Block” has never really claimed or referenced herself as Black in the past. So why now? And why use an outdated term that’s incredible insensitive to the Afro-Latinx community.
Negrita is a questionable Spanish term that should definitely be phased out amid Spanish-speakers.
Many people are taking issue with the lyrics because they include the controversial term negrita, which is really an outdated Spanish-language term that’s often used as a term of endearment to describe people who are dark-skinned.
It’s a common nickname among Spanish-speakers but it should be phased out of the Spanish language as it’s extremely insensitive to Afro-Latinos.
Both fans and critics have called out Lopez on Twitter.
Fans were obviously confused as to why Jennifer would describe herself as ‘Black’.
‘Maybe if she said brown girl she coulda gotten away with it,’ one fan said. Another commented on social media: ‘This is so insulting as an actual black woman.’
‘I heard the song and I was like “what she just say? Rewind that. cause she definitely not Afro Latina,’ one fan said.
However, many others from the Latina community weighed in to explain that while the translation of ‘negrita’ literally means ‘black girl’, it’s not used in that sense.
‘If your hispanic or latino you know what she means. yes it sounds weird asf the literal translation but that’s not what she means,’ one fan explained. They continued: ‘As far as I know it’s like a term of endearment for darker complexion within the community. I think she should have not used it being that not everyone would get it and in my opinion her skin isn’t even considered dark. Plus with the times we are in like let’s do better.”
This isn’t the first time the singer has come under fire for insensitive actions around race.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time that Jennifer Lopez has been called out for appropriating Black culture, but this is the first time that she’s facing such a major backlash.
Jennifer Lopez has proudly claimed her identity as a Puerto Rican woman but she’s never claimed Black ancestry or self-identified as an Afro-Latina – so her use of the term is troubling.
In the 2001 hit remix of “I’m Real” with Ja Rule and Ashanti, JLo sang along to the N-word slur and faced a similar backlash then. She ended up going on The Today Show to claim that the lyrics were written by Ja Rule and were “not meant to be hurtful to anybody.” She went on to say that “for anyone to think or suggest that I’m racist is really absurd and hateful to me.”
Then there was the whole debacle from this year’s Super Bowl halftime show (which feels like a lifetime ago!) when many criticized her and Shakira for performing for a franchise that didn’t support the Black Lives Matter movement.
Hopefully, this incident on JLo’s part will bring with it a discussion about the term negrita and we can finally eliminate it as a ‘playful nickname’ in the Spanish-speaking community.
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