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.?
Credit: NBC / nottingham.hexjam.com
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.”
A video posted by Beyoncé (@beyonce) on
Credit: @beyonce / Instagram
Why? Even if you “hate” the song, it’s instantly memorable for several reasons.
That Cha Cha song is dumb and catchy at the same time. Catchy is winning the damn battle.
— rocha.™ (@SexualChoco24) August 3, 2015
Credit: @SexualChoco24 / Twitter
#1: It samples the music from Star Road in the video game Super Mario World.
Infinite 1UPs for whoever thought to sample this.
#2: This line is virtually impossible to keep out of your head.
I like to cha cha In a Latin bar With a Dominican that resembles Taina ????????????????????????
— jamal Carroll (@CarrollJamal) July 24, 2015
Soon enough, you’ll catch yourself singing it in the shower.
#3: It’s just plain FUN.
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
Credit: cuddly hayes / Vine
Or doing choreography to the song…
Credit: Jenna Gomez / YouTube
Or playing acoustic covers:
Credit: Tierra Wilson / YouTube
D.R.A.M. even got to meet one of his biggest fans:
A photo posted by B I G B A B Y (@only1dram) on
Credit: @only1dram / Instagram
And if you haven’t noticed, it appears that D.R.A.M. loves Latino culture:
Cha Cha dancing ✔
A Latin bar ✔
Wait, who’s Taina?
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…
Piñatas and sombreros…
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.”