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Here’s What Went Down On “Conan Without Borders: Mexico”

After weeks of teasing the “Conan Without Borders: Mexico” show on his social media accounts, O’Brien’s special episode from Mexico City finally aired earlier this week. Throughout the show, it was clear that Conan’s mission was not to bring a taste of the U.S. to Mexico, but to show his viewers there’s more to Mexico’s people and culture than what they hear in political rhetoric. In an interview with Fusion’s Jorge Ramos, O’Brien said his time in Los Angeles had already exposed him to some Mexican culture: “I live in Los Angeles, and Mexicans are a regular part of our lives. They’re incredibly hardworking, they’re funny, they’re terrific. They’ve brought so much to the culture. They are the culture of California.” Here’s what went down on “Conan Without Borders: Mexico.”

In the cold open, Conan made his way into Mexico by crossing the border…

Credit: Team Coco / YouTube

…and a search of his suitcase revealed he was carrying lots of this product:

Credit: Team Coco / YouTube

SPF 85. ?

As you can see, from the lighting down to the set, Conan’s show definitely looked like in was made in Mexico.

Credit: Team Coco / YouTube

That’s because his show was filmed at Mexican TV giant Televisa.

After introducing his house band, Norteño band Calibre .50…

Credit: Team Coco / YouTube

… Conan did the rest of his monologue en Español. Here, he reveals the nickname Mexicans use to describe him.

Credit: Team Coco / YouTube

O’Brien, no stranger to appearing in soap operas, then made a guest appearance on the telenovela “Mi Adorable Maldición.”

Credit: teamcoco.com

He showed incredible range, quickly going from (goofily) expressing anger to (goofily) turning on the charm.

Credit: teamcoco.com

Conan’s first guest was Diego Luna, star of “Rogue One.”

Credit: Team Coco / YouTube

After poking fun at Conan’s hair…

Credit: Team Coco / YouTube

.. the two shared shots of mezcal.

Credit: Team Coco / YouTube

Luna then talked about his very first sex scene as an actor, which happened before he had sex in real life. “You know, you, probably, when you go, ‘When was the first time I had sex?’ You have to remember, you go to these memories… I can just rent a film.”

He also spoke about a young woman in San Diego who wrote a viral post about her father’s love for “Rogue One.”  Luna said it was very humbling to know that a Mexican immigrant was able to watch him in “Rogue One,” accent and all, and relate to Luna’s character.

O’Brien then met with luchador Cassandro to learn the ropes of lucha libre.

Credit: teamcoco.com

And he revealed his alter ego, El Gallo Loco.

Credit: teamcoco.com

Next up was former Mexican president Vicente Fox, who arrived bearing gifts. Staying completely on brand, he gave Conan a pair of black boots emblazoned with the phrase “No F***ing Wall.”

Credit: Team Coco / YouTube

Fox then explained why President Trump’s comments about Mexicans, and Trump’s desire to build a border wall, made him so angry.

Credit: Team Coco / YouTube

Fox said that those who migrate from Mexico to the U.S. deserve more respect: “They’re decent, honest and they contribute to the greatness of that nation.”

Conan also threw on a white tuxedo to attend the quinceañera of a young lady named Marisol. In a speech, which he read in Spanish, Conan thanked Marisol for making him a padrino.

Credit: teamcoco.com

Then they cut the cake and shared a dance together.

Credit: teamcoco.com

Marisol looked *somewhat* excited to share the spotlight with O’Brien on her big day.

O’Brien also tried playing a little fútbol, but the locals proved too skilled for him.

Credit: Team Coco / YouTube

So he brought a friend to even things out.

Credit: Team Coco / YouTube

His friend? Giovani Dos Santos, one of the stars of the Mexican national team and the Los Angeles Galaxy.

The locals were impressed.

Credit: Team Coco / YouTube

And, of course, the ringer made a difference, helping Conan and his team finally get a taste of victory.

Credit: Team Coco / YouTube

Once they were done kicking the ball around, Dos Santos presented Conan with a Mexico jersey.

Credit: Team Coco / YouTube

Dos Santos: “When Mexico plays the United States, you have to wear this. OK?”

At the close of the show, O’Brien thanked his Mexican crew for their hard work and expressed how much he enjoyed his stay in Mexico.

Credit: teamcoco.com

“I think we could do a whole month here. This has been one of the most gratifying experiences of my life,” said O’Brien.


Watch full clips of Conan’s Mexico trip @ Team Coco’s YouTube and teamcoco.com.

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Exclusive: Luis Fonsi Talks Working with Rauw Alejandro, Christina Aguilera, and Demi Lovato

Entertainment

Exclusive: Luis Fonsi Talks Working with Rauw Alejandro, Christina Aguilera, and Demi Lovato

Luis Fonsi is kicking off 2021 with a new single. The Puerto Rican superstar premiered the music video for “Vacío” on Feb. 18 featuring rising Boricua singer Rauw Alejandro. The guys put a new spin on the classic “A Puro Dolor” by Son By Four.

Luis Fonsi throws it back to his románticas.

“I called Omar Alfanno, the writer of ‘A Puro Dolo,’ who is a dear friend,” Fonsi tells Latido Music. “I told him what my idea was [with ‘Vacío’] and he loved it. He gave me his blessing, so I wrote a new song around a few of those lines from ‘A Puro Dolor’ to bring back that nostalgia of those old romantic tunes that have been a part of my career as well. It’s a fresh production. It sounds like today, but it has that DNA of a true, old-school ballad.”

The world got to know Fonsi through his global smash hit “Despacito” with Daddy Yankee in 2017. The remix with Canadian pop star Justin Bieber took the song to new heights. That was a big moment in Fonsi’s music career that spans over 20 years.

There’s more to Fonsi than “Despacito.”

Fonsi released his first album, the fittingly-titled Comenzaré, in 1998. While he was on the come-up, he got the opportunity of a lifetime to feature on Christina Aguilera’s debut Latin album Mi Reflejo in 2000. The two collaborated on “Si No Te Hubiera Conocido.” Fonsi scored multiple Billboard Hot Latin Songs No. 1s in the years that followed and one of the biggest hits was “No Me Doy Por Vencido” in 2008. That was his career-defining romantic ballad.

“Despacito” remains the second most-viewed music video on YouTube with over 7.2 billion views. The hits did not stop there. Later in 2017, he teamed up with Demi Lovato for “Échame La Culpa,” which sits impressively with over 2 billion views.

He’s also appearing on The Voice next month.

Not only is Fonsi working on his new album, but also he’s giving advice to music hopefuls for the new season of The Voice that’s premiering on March 1. Kelly Clarkson tapped him as her Battle Advisor. In an exclusive interview, Fonsi talked with us about “Vacío,” The Voice, and a few of his greatest hits.

What was the experience like to work with Rauw Alejandro for “Vacío”?

Rauw is cool. He’s got that fresh sound. Great artist. Very talented. Amazing onstage. He’s got that great tone and delivery. I thought he had the perfect voice to fit with my voice in this song. We had talked about working together for awhile and I thought that this was the perfect song. He really is such a star. What he’s done in the last couple of years has been amazing. I love what he brought to the table on this song.

Now I want to go through some of your greatest hits. Do you remember working with Christina Aguilera for her Spanish album?

How could you not remember working with her? She’s amazing. That was awhile back. That was like 1999 or something like that. We were both starting out and she was putting out her first Spanish album. I got to sing a beautiful ballad called “Si No Te Hubiera Conocido.” I got to work with her in the studio and see her sing in front of the mic, which was awesome. She’s great. One of the best voices out there still to this day.

What’s one of your favorite memories of “No Me Doy Por Vencido”?

“No Me Doy Por Vencido” is one of the biggest songs in my career. I think it’s tough to narrow it down just to one memory. I think in general the message of the song is what sticks with me. The song started out as a love song, but it turned into an anthem of hope. We’ve used the song for different important events and campaigns. To me, that song has such a powerful message. It’s bigger than just a love song. It’s bringing hope to people. It’s about not giving up. To be able to kind of give [people] hope through a song is a lot more powerful than I would’ve ever imagined. It’s a very special song.

I feel the message is very relevant to the COVID-19 pandemic we’re living through.

Oh yeah! I wrote that song a long time ago with Claudia Brant, and during the first or second month of the lockdown when we were all stuck at home, we did a virtual writing session and we rewrote “No Me Doy Por Vencido.” Changing the lyrics, kind of adjusting them to this situation that we’re living now. I haven’t recorded it. I’ll do something with it eventually. It’s really cool. It still talks about love. It talks about reuniting. Like the light at the end of the tunnel. It has the hope and love backbone, but it has to do a lot with what we’re going through now.

What do you think of the impact “Despacito” made on the industry?

It’s a blessing to be a part of something so big. Again, it’s just another song. We write these songs and the moment you write them, you don’t really know what’s going to happen with them. Or sometimes you run into these surprises like “Despacito” where it becomes a global phenomenon. It goes No. 1 in places where Spanish songs had never been played. I’m proud. I’m blessed. I’m grateful to have worked with amazing people like Daddy Yankee. Like Justin Bieber for the remix and everyone else involved in the song. My co-writer Erika Ender. The producers Mauricio Rengifo and Andrés Torres. It was really a team effort and it’s a song that obviously changed my career forever.

What was the experience like to work with Demi Lovato on “Echáme La Culpa”?

She’s awesome! One of the coolest recording sessions I’ve ever been a part of. She really wanted to sing in Spanish and she was so excited. We did the song in Spanish and English, but it was like she was more excited about the Spanish version. And she nailed it! She nailed it from the beginning. There was really not much for me to say to her. I probably corrected her once or twice in the pronunciation, but she came prepared and she brought it. She’s an amazing, amazing, amazing vocalist.

You’re going to be a battle advisor on The Voice. What was the experience like to work with Kelly Clarkson?

She’s awesome. What you see is what you get. She’s honest. She’s funny. She’s talented. She’s humble and she’s been very supportive of my career. She invited me to her show and it speaks a lot that she wanted me to be a part of her team as a Battle Advisor for the new season. She supports Latin music and I’m grateful for that. She’s everything you hope she would be. She’s the real deal, a true star, and just one of the coolest people on this planet.

What can we expect from you in 2021?

A lot of new music. Obviously, everything starts today with “Vacío.” This is literally the beginning of what this new album will be. I’ve done nothing but write and record during the last 10 months, so I have a bunch of songs. Great collaborations coming up. I really think the album will be out probably [in the] third or fourth quarter this year. The songs are there and I’m really eager for everybody to hear them.

Read: We Finally Have A Spanish-Language Song As The Most Streamed Song Of All Time

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Lifestyles Of The Rich And Dangerous: Cartels Are Using TikTok To Lure Young People

Things That Matter

Lifestyles Of The Rich And Dangerous: Cartels Are Using TikTok To Lure Young People

If you’ve ever wondered what someone with a bulletproof vest and an AR-15 would look like flossing — the dance, not the method of dental hygiene — apparently the answer to that question can be found on TikTok.

Unfortunately, it’s not as a part of some absurdist sketch comedy or surreal video art installation. Instead, it’s part of a growing trend of drug cartels in Mexico using TikTok as a marketing tool. Nevermind the fact that Mexico broke grim records last year for the number of homicides and cartel violence, the cartels have found an audience on TikTok and that’s a serious cause for concern.

Mexican cartels are using TikTok to gain power and new recruits.

Just a couple of months ago, a TikTok video showing a legit high-speed chase between police and drug traffickers went viral. Although it looked like a scene from Netflix’s Narcos series, this was a very real chase in the drug cartel wars and it was viewed by more than a million people.

Typing #CartelTikTok in the social media search bar brings up thousands of videos, most of them from people promoting a “cartel culture” – videos with narcocorridos, and presumed members bragging about money, fancy cars and a luxury lifestyle.

Viewers no longer see bodies hanging from bridges, disembodied heads on display, or highly produced videos with messages to their enemies. At least not on TikTok. The platform is being used mainly to promote a lifestyle and to generate a picture of luxury and glamour, to show the ‘benefits’ of joining the criminal activities.

According to security officials, the promotion of these videos is to entice young men who might be interested in joining the cartel with images of endless cash, parties, military-grade weapons and exotic pets like tiger cubs.

Cartels have long used social media to shock and intimidate their enemies.

And using social media to promote themselves has long been an effective strategy. But with Mexico yet again shattering murder records, experts on organized crime say Cartel TikTok is just the latest propaganda campaign designed to mask the blood bath and use the promise of infinite wealth to attract expendable young recruits.

“It’s narco-marketing,” said Alejandra León Olvera, an anthropologist at Spain’s University of Murcia, in a statement to the New York Times. The cartels “use these kinds of platforms for publicity, but of course it’s hedonistic publicity.”

Mexico used to be ground zero for this kind of activity, where researchers created a new discipline out of studying these narco posts. Now, gangs in Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, and the United States are also involved.

A search of the #CartelTikTok community and its related accounts shows people are responding. Public comments from users such as “Y’all hiring?” “Yall let gringos join?” “I need an application,” or “can I be a mule? My kids need Christmas presents,” are on some of the videos.

One of the accounts related to this cartel community publicly answered: “Of course, hay trabajo para todos,” “I’ll send the application ASAP.” “How much is the pound in your city?” “Follow me on Instagram to talk.” The post, showing two men with $100 bills and alcohol, had more than a hundred comments.

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