Entertainment

11 Songs that We Couldn’t Stop Listening to in 2015

From reggaeton beats that made us dance at the clubs, to ballads that made us throw down a shot of tequila, these were the songs that Latino artists had us replaying over and over this year.

“Ginza” by J Balvin

En estas navidades ya Santa sabe lo que necesitas. #QueTripa

A video posted by Que Tripa (@quetripa) on

“El Perdon” by Nicky Jam and Enrique Iglesias

CREDIT: NickyJamTV/YouTube 

We didn’t have to wait for Adele’s “Hello” to rethink getting back together with our ex. When Nicky Jam dropped this reggaeton tune with soulful lyrics at the beginning of the year, we all had to down a shot of tequila to drown the bittersweet memories of a breakup. #Salud

“Same Old Love” by Selena Gomez

“Nada Mas Por Eso” by Luis Coronel

“Borro Cassette” by Maluma

READ: In Charge of the Music? Here’s the Ultimate Holiday Party Playlist

“El Mismo Sol” by Alvaro Soler feat Jennifer Lopez

“Worth It” by Fifth Harmony feat Kid Ink

READ: How Fifth Harmony Went from Fan Girls to Being Part of an Epic Music Tour 

“Shower” by Becky G

“Hasta la Raiz” by Natala Lafourcade

“Bidi Bidi Bom Bom” by Selena

Did we miss any of your favorite Latino songs this year? mitú wants to know. Leave a comment below.

J.Balvin’s Spongebob Collaboration With Louis De Guzman And Nickelodeon Was The Most Iconic Collab Of The Decade

Entertainment

J.Balvin’s Spongebob Collaboration With Louis De Guzman And Nickelodeon Was The Most Iconic Collab Of The Decade

Amy Tran / louisdeguzman / Instagram

What exactly does a SpongeBob gallery pop-up installation look like? Especially when it includes the reggaeton megastar J. Balvin, an iconic children’s brand most millennials grew up on, and a hometown artist. Pictures on Instagram gave curious parties a hint through a series of snapshots featuring sculptures, paintings, and merchandise. But on Tuesday, Nov. 13, a number of people braved the low temperatures to find out for themselves. Let’s take a look back at the most impactful collab in 2019.Credit: Amy Tran

While visitors like Melanie Lopez were expecting to satiate their curiosity around the project, most were not prepared to have the “Mi Gente” cantante greet them in the space. The global superstar surprised guests and helped kick-off a five-day experience exclusive to Chicago. But how did this all come to be and why the Midwest of all places?

It all started at Complexcon last year where visual artist Louis De Guzman, a Chicago native who is the first from his Filipino family to be born in the United States, had a chance encounter with a Nickelodeon executive who took an interest in his work. The two discussed partnering on a project and parted ways. A short while later at the same event, the Filipino pop artist connected with J.Balvin. De Guzman says there was a mutual admiration for each other’s work and upon Balvin’s request, he slid into the singer’s DMs. The two built a friendship. Then the opportunity for them to fuse their creativity together to celebrate SpongeBob’s 20th anniversary presented itself. A partnership between Nickelodeon, J. Balvin and De Guzman happened organically.Credit: louisdeguzman / Instagram

“I was a big fan of [De Guzman] before I met him,” says Balvin. “We started talking and were like ‘why don’t we do a collab and do something with SpongeBob. [The cartoon character is] something people already know but [due to our diverse cultural background] we can add something to it. [De Guzman] is Filipino, I’m from Colombia. Exchanging cultures is beautiful.”

And so the work began with the support of arguably one of the biggest brands in children’s entertainment. 

“We’ve done many SpongeBob collaborations in many different ways with high-end designers but this was really the first time it was reimagined in this way, in this art style,” says Marielle Donahue, Director, Retail Marketing and Social Media Strategy for Nickelodeon. “SpongeBob fans love to share their fandom and I think from Louis and J. Balvin’s perspective, they wanted to share the feeling of being inspired to do whatever you can.”

Donahue says the partnership felt natural because both artists had already shown a public love and admiration for the Bikini Beach character. She also pointed out Balvin and De Guzman’s popularity among different audiences—both of which incorporate distinct cultural upbringings into their work—but they both shared a message for hope, love and positivity that aligned perfectly with the kooky sea creature. 

Credit: Amy Tran

“All three embrace positivity and good vibes,” echoes Jose Castro, Senior Vice President, Softlines and Global Fashion Collaborations at Nickelodeon 

And it’s perhaps this sentiment that will have people rooting for the project and the people behind it. 

De Guzman teared up when looking around the room and talking about the significance of the project and his motivation—his family. He hints at their struggle navigating an unfamiliar country and the difficulties that arose from their immigrant experience. Overcoming the false starts and failures are ultimately why he chooses to focus on the positive. He says time has shown him that by focusing on the work, good things will come.

Balvin shared a similar story when given the opportunity to talk about whatever he wanted. He says he wishes people would ask him why he decided to pursue a career in  music.

“It started because of my family. We went bankrupt and I was like ‘I love music’ but I didn’t know it was going to be the way to find a solution to help my family,” says Balvin. “If it wasn’t for my family and dad going bankrupt, I wouldn’t be able to be like ‘oh I have this talent and music to help them.’”

And while it might be easy to write off this corporate art partnership as nothing more than a money grab, the players behind it tell a different story.Credit: Amy Tran

“This is for the culture and God bless the Latino Gang,” said Balvin in a press release. 

And as for why Chicago got the plug it’s because “Chicago is known by so many artists, there’s so many talented people here. This is [De Guzman’s] place, it’s where he was born. He’s from the US. I was here in the U.S. you know let’s do this together. I’ll come to your place and let’s exchange vibes.”

Additional reporting contributed by Ermina Veljacic.

READ: To Celebrate Its 20th Anniversary, Spongebob Is Working With J Balvin On A Clothing Line

People On Social Media Criticized Becky G For Allegedly Stealing The Name Of Her New Makeup Line

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People On Social Media Criticized Becky G For Allegedly Stealing The Name Of Her New Makeup Line

Becky G has released her second line of cosmetics with ColourPop Thursday and another brand by the same name claims the artist stole its intellectual property. “Chiquita pero chingona!” the cruelty-free Becky G line advertises, saying “Becky G did it again with the realest collection yet, inspired by her roots and her parent’s love story.” Meanwhile, Hola Chola Inc., founded by Susana Gonzalez, sells clothing and accessories that commemorate the same 1990’s Mexican-American Chola culture that Becky G’s collection tributes. Complete with La Virgencita denim jackets and “Hola Chola” jewelry and accessories, Gonzalez even once met with Becky G’s team to discuss a collaboration. When Hola Chola Inc.’s followers saw Becky G’s collection, they called out Becky G for ripping Gonzalez off. The LA-based indie company began calling on fans to spread the word to their friends not to support Becky G’s collection. 

Eventually, Becky G and the Hola Chola Inc. founder spoke on the phone and deleted all the negative content, but people are still dissatisfied.

“Hola Chola is something that I say literally every single day,” Becky G says in her video campaign.

CREDIT: @IAMBECKYG / TWITTER

“When I wake up early in the morning, at 6 am, for hair and makeup call time, and I open the door and I’m like, “Hola Chola!” That’s just what we do,” Becky G adds in her campaign, citing “chola” as something that means strength and confidence. “The word ‘chola’, when you think of a ‘chola’, it can be, I think, whatever you want it to be. Obviously, it carries a lot of weight, too. It’s definitely a lifestyle more than it is just a ‘style’,” Becky G elaborates in her video. “There’s so much inspiration behind this collection for me!” Becky G posted to Instagram. “The biggest ones being my mom’s styles & influences that have been passed on to me and the boss ladies I’m surrounded by every day,” she added. According to Becky G herself, all the “inspiration” is “straight from my mom’s closet in high school in the 90s and my older cousins who would dress me up like them in the early 2000s 🖤” 

Becky G’s mother is a crucial element of her beauty campaign and even makes an appearance in the promo video. The two even collaborated on ideas together. “To me, the name chola just means a strong woman. It doesn’t mean necessarily tied up to anything bad, other than they were strong. They were down. They were, like, real,” Becky G’s mom says in the video promo. “We love the name chola.”

Hola Chola Inc. claims that, because Becky G’s team was aware of the brand, it’s intellectual property theft.

CREDIT: @HOLACHOLAINC / INSTAGRAM

Gonzalez says she sat down with Becky G’s team at one point to discuss a collab, and had sent Becky G a La Virgencita denim jacket. “I’m so enraged,” an Hola Chola Inc. model posted to Instagram. “Out of all the names in the world you had to go with one that already exists? One that YOU know about @iambeckyg. The industry has never been fair but it just sucks to see shit like this happen from our own people. Make sure to keep tagging the real OG HOLA CHOLA under their posts.” 

Apparently, @HolaCholaInc unfollowed Becky G after the backlash. Later, Becky G and Gonzalez spoke over the phone, and Becky G shared to her Instagram story that the two had cleared things up. Soon after, @HolaCholaInc refollowed Becky G and deleted all the negative criticism for the beauty brand.

Others aren’t buying it.

CREDIT: @IAMBECKYG / TWITTER

When one Instagram user posited that Hola Chola Inc’s outrage was misplaced, the response was less-than-direct. “OK, but where’s the makeup YOU sale…I’m sure you didn’t inspire it with the sweater you make …” asked Instagram user @issamerickyy. “Huh?! You have to much time on your hands kid, go read a book!” Hola Chola Inc. responded, ironically with her own grammar mistakes given her “go read a book” jab.

I see no similarity aside from the term and cultural aspect..,” chimed in one Twitter Latina. “I was expecting to see a like-minded cosmetics brand.. but they sell clothing, just under the same phrase (which was used widely by all of us Latinas for over a decade.) Pump the breaks.”

What do you think? Was the backlash warranted?

READ: Becky G Gets Called Out For Cultural Appropriation And Latinx Twitter Users Have Thoughts