Cha Cha: How a Song about a Dominican Girl became the Jam of the Summer

Earlier this year, Virginia rapper D.R.A.M. released the track “Cha Cha.”

Credit: Complex / YouTube

?I like to Cha Cha… in a Latin bar… with a Dominican that resembles Taina.?

Catchy, right?

obama-headphones

Well, this year, the song kept on picking up steam and became an underground hit.

Even Beyoncé couldn’t resist the power of the “Cha Cha.”

This song makes me happy! ????????

A video posted by Beyoncé (@beyonce) on

Why? Even if you “hate” the song, it’s instantly memorable for several reasons.

#1: It samples the music from Star Road in the video game Super Mario World.

Credit: Nintendo / VideoGameMusicPlace / YouTube

Infinite 1UPs for whoever thought to sample this.

#2: This line is virtually impossible to keep out of your head.

Soon enough, you’ll catch yourself singing it in the shower.

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#3: It’s just plain FUN.

Credit: Does. Real. Ass. Music. / YouTube

Red solo cups + pillow fights = PARTY. What other music videos do you see old timers and kids dancing like there’s no tomorrow? Unfortunately, Nintendo caught wind of the Super Mario Bros. sample and the beat was changed. Not bad, but it’s lost a bit of the magic.

That hasn’t stopped people from making Vines inspired by the original:

Credit: KC Scannell / Vine

Credit: Hollywood Tzunami Editz #NWE / Vine

Credit: CJG / Vine

Or doing choreography to the song…

Credit: Jenna Gomez / YouTube

Or playing acoustic covers:

Credit: Tierra Wilson / YouTube

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D.R.A.M. even got to meet one of his biggest fans:

It's lit forever, Queen?

A photo posted by B I G B A B Y (@only1dram) on

And if you haven’t noticed, it appears that D.R.A.M. loves Latino culture:

Cha Cha dancing ✔

A Latin bar ✔

Dominicans ✔

Taina ✔

Wait, who’s Taina?

taina-tv-show

Credit: Nickelodeon

D.R.A.M. was making a reference to Taina Morales, the lead character from the Nickelodeon show Taina that aired from 2001 to 2002. Taina was played by Puerto Rican actress Maria Perez-Brown.

Mexicans, don’t feel left out. Watch the music video. There are flying tacos and hot sauce…

dram-dancing-tacos-1

Flying chiles…

old-timer-chiles-cha-cha

Piñatas and sombreros…

cha-cha-pinata

And guacamole.

dram-eats-chip

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Hold up, though. Cha Cha dancing is Cuban. And what does Mexican food have to do with Dominicans?

Credit: Hot97 / YouTube

Apparently, D.R.A.M. wasn’t exactly well-versed in Latino culture when he wrote “Cha Cha.” But don’t worry, D.R.A.M. got a quick lesson during a visit to New York radio station Hot 97, where he learned that Dominicans dance to merengue and bachata.

After getting schooled, D.R.A.M. said he didn’t want to leave anyone out of the party: “It’s the whole Latin culture… I don’t want anyone that’s Puerto Rican to feel like, left out… or Cubanos, it’s the whole Latin culture.”

What do you think of the song “Cha Cha”? Do you feel like D.R.A.M is showing love to Latinos? Let us know in the comments below. 

 

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