Jennifer Lopez recently came out with two new songs with Latin artist Maluma. The lyrics in one of the songs, Lonely, made her subject to backlash for what her fans thought were some pretty controversial lyrics. [embedded content] The songs are featured in the soundtrack of the duo’s upcoming Rom-Com, Marry Me, which will be released on Valentine’s Day 2021. In a recent interview with Billboard, Lopez shares her excitement of bringing Latin music and more representation of the Latin community to the big screen.The movie stars Jennifer Lopez who learns that her musician boyfriend, played by Maluma, has been cheating on her. In a way to get revenge on the boyfriend, she decides to take up a fan on his offer to marry her. The fan holding a “marry me” sign is played by actor, Owen Wilson. The Lyrics In Question In the song, JLo sings, “Yo siempre seré tu negrita del Bronx,” which the literal translation is, “I’ll always be your Black girl from the Bronx.” As you can imagine, Jennifer Lopez referring to herself as a ‘Black girl’ would receive backlash from a lot of people including within the Latin community. In the Latin community, the word ‘negrita’ typically is a term often used to refer to a person with a darker complexion in the Latin community. For example, this term is often used by Afro-Latinos. Her use of the word caused her to be the subject of backlash for what people are saying is cultural appropriation.While that is the literal translation, this term like many terms in Spanish, has a different meaning to the same word. This is also something not unique to the Spanish language. Not only that but, dialects within the Spanish community are varied. Simple words or phrases could make sense in Puerto Rico but mean something very different in Colombia. In many Spanish-speaking countries, the word is actually used as a term of endearment. In Jennifer Lopez’s case, who is Puerto Rican, Puerto Ricans often use the term ‘negrita’ or ‘negrito’ in an affectionate way. This is especially known to be true on the island. Backlash From Fans While some have found the lyrics to be especially offensive to the Afro-Latinx community and the beauty standards of Latinas, others have come to the star’s defense. Explaining that what JLo meant is, “I’ll always be your sweetie from the Bronx.”Several fans questioned why JLo and her team thought it was appropriate to come out with lyrics like that. Some have even brought up Lopez’s past issues with derogatory terms or claiming her culture when it’s convenient for her. But she’s not a “negrita” like her don’t says she can’t even pass a “morenita” — maria (@okaykid_) October 16, 2020 That doesn’t translate that way. To us saying “tu negrita(o)” is like your man/girl/lil baby — Santiago (@Rican_papi8) October 16, 2020 Canceling ppl for using terms of endearment like "negrita"? My friend's PR mom is called negra by her husband and she aint, my other friend's mom calls me chiquita and I'm fat.Can we please stop with the #CancelCulture it's getting exhausting. @JLo #LetsFightAboutSomethingReal — Beat RoboT (@BeatRobot) October 16, 2020 jennifer lynn lopez really named herself "la negrita del bronx" pic.twitter.com/zLJbs0oUaC — patti🌼mayonnaise (@SvssyCurve) October 15, 2020 @JLo referred to herself as “tu negrita Del Bronx” in her new song Lonely with Maluma. Y’all want to tell her? Or should I? I’m calling an official gathering of Ricans to collect these folks because between her and these braids on Bad Bunny.. — nic rodriguez (@DJNiiLO) October 13, 2020 why would jennifer lopez feel so comfortable calling herself “negrita” LMAO like babe….. what’s not clicking?? 😐 — short men stan account (@earlsxbottomlip) October 13, 2020 Is Jennifer Lopez black? Has she ever been called prieta, or myate? No. For her to call herself Negrita anything, is A slap in the face to the Afro Latino community, in my opinion. — 𝔅𝔯𝔲𝔧𝔬 𝔡𝔢 𝔩𝔞 𝔰𝔞𝔫𝔤𝔯𝔢 (@MoralesAcosta1) October 13, 2020 J-Lo’s “tu negrita del Bronx” lyric, it’s a literal slap in the face for every black women, but especially for every Afro-Latinx and Afro-Descendant person whose Latinidad and beauty gets questioned everyday due to her influence and “Latina” look. — Glorimar Michelle Mariño (@marinoglo) September 25, 2020 Not Jennifer Lopez’s First Controversial Lyrics Back in 2001, JLo came out with a remix of a song with rapper Ja Rule called I’m Real. In the song she sings, “I tell them n**gas mind their biz, but they don’t hear me though.” People were very upset about her use of the n-word and called her racist because of it. Jennifer Lopez commented on the criticism stating, “For anyone to think or suggest that I’m racist is really absurd and hateful to me. The use of the word in the song – it was actually written by Ja Rule – it was not meant to be hurtful to anybody.” Many wanted to know what Ra Rule had to say about the matter. When Ra Rule was asked to comment on the situation he responded, “I think it’s silly. I think the whole thing, like everything else, is being blown out of proportion. She’s not the first Latino to use that word on a record, and it’s never been an issue before. I think it’s just that she’s a very high-profile star and it’s something to let people get a chance to poke at her.” Since the backlash from the song, she has not used that word in any of her other songs that followed it but many are bringing up the situation again. Jennifer Lopez isn’t the only celebrity recently under fire for cultural appropriation. Other Celebs Cultural Appropriation Controversy Bad Bunny also faces backlash for cultural appropriation. The Puerto Rican Latin artist is under fire for wearing braids to the 2020 Billboard Music Awards. People complaining that the artist was ‘profiting off of Black culture’ for wearing the braids. This tweet started a debate on whether or not it was okay that Bad Bunny was wearing braids. Many agreed that it is cultural appropriation while others felt that wearing braids isn’t just apart of the Black community but other communities as well. This isn’t cultural appropriation to me only because being that he his Puerto Rican, Beaded, braided hair is not only exclusive to black people but just their overall culture as well as a Durag/cap since most of them have really coarse hair. — 🇲🇽Jo na th an🌈 (@jonathan__760) October 15, 2020 This user added that beads in braids have been around for a while that it’s unfair to try to cancel someone for cultural habits that are similar. Do you think that Jennifer Lopez should’ve been mindful of the interpretation of her lyrics before releasing them? Or do you think stars shouldn’t have to apologize for having similar cultural habits?
McDonalds announced their meal collaboration with reggaeton singer J Balvin. This is the fast food chain’s second celebrity collaboration, after rapper Travis Scott had a limited time meal and merchandise for the month of September. can I have a fry @JBALVIN? pic.twitter.com/oLDRpSfE9M — McDonald's (@McDonalds) October 5, 2020 J Balvin J Balvin, full name José Álvaro Osorio Balvín, is a Colombian reggaeton singer. Referred to as the “Prince of Reggaeton,” he has sold over 35 million records worldwide, and is one of the top Latin musical artists in the U.S. Committed to only singing in Spanish, he has worked with big names such as Cardi B and Beyonce, been featured on countless remixes including Justin Bieber’s Sorry and Ariana Grande’s The Way and Problem, and headlined large music festivals like Coachella and Lollapalooza. Balvin is known for not only breaking the mold of traditional reggaeton singers with his colorful style and more lyrical singing, but he also shows a more compassionate side to rappers. He has hosted concerts for charity, cancelled shows in favor of protesting on behalf of immigrants in America, and started a petition in his home country Colombia to help out displaced Venezuelans during their economic crisis, just to name some of his activism. In 2020 he appeared alongside friend Bad Bunny as a guest during Shakira and Jennifer Lopez’s Super Bowl halftime performance. Most recently, he released his album, Colores, in March. Every song on the album was named after a color (except for “Arcoiris,” meaning rainbow), and the music videos feature a colorful clothing capsule collection made by Guess. The man is very talented and has quite the resume, making him a perfect choice for McDonald’s next celebrity collaboration. J Balvin is the next artist to do a McDonalds deal order starting tomorrow pic.twitter.com/rmBlydtXcx — Complex Ambition (@CmplxAmbition) October 5, 2020 McDonald’s Celebrity Partnerships McDonalds is on a roll with their marketing these days. They started the school year off strong by announcing their limited Travis Scott meal, which was such a success that they began to run low on ground beef and bacon. Shortly after, they introduced their spicy nuggets, which have also done well. Now they reveal their second limited celebrity meal collaboration with J Balvin. Business Insider reported that the recent partnership with celebrities is a marketing effort to help McDonalds stay relevant and connect with Gen Z. Additionally McDonalds’ Chief of Marketing Operations in U.S., Morgan Flatley, stated that the fast food company is “starting to lose our younger African American and multicultural consumers.” The Travis Scott meal helped them reconnect with the 11-24 year old demographic, an age group that they have struggled to connect with. Flatley told Business Insider that they chose J Balvin because he is a, “trailblazing international icon. He’s always been a regular at McDonald’s restaurants during his concert tours, and now we’re excited to bring his go-to order to our menus across the U.S. This celebrity partnership is almost like a ‘happy meal’ for adults, and is bringing the chain lots of attention. everyone wants to have mc donalds meal now — bry |ᴮᴱTHRILLER ERA (@COBAINLVRS) October 5, 2020 Balvin is excited about the collaboration and told Complex, “I consider myself a global citizen, but I’m from Medellín, Colombia and this is the first time they’re working with a Latino. It’s a big campaign, so I feel really proud of it.” He continues to say that he “grew up with McDonald’s…when they called me saying that they wanted to work with me, I immediately said yes because it connects with me and my childhood. I’ve always been a big fan.” What the ‘J Balvin’ includes McDonalds x J Balvin pic.twitter.com/gyU3SDKTJX — SAINT (@saint) October 5, 2020 The J Balvin meal includes a Big Mac (no pickles), medium fries and an Oreo McFlurry. To encourage mobile orders, if you order through your phone, the McFlurry is FREE! Let’s hope the McFlurry machine is ready for this. j balvin meal got a mcflurry but the ice cream machine is always down like how that supposed to work — keenan (@grandaddiiii) October 5, 2020 Unlike the Travis Scott meal, only McDonald’s workers will get a custom Balvin shirt, although Balvin says to expect a few more “surprises” to come with the partnership. ALL MC DONALDS EMPLOYEES ARE RECEIVING A JBALVIN SHIRT DESIGNED BY HIM WOOHOOO IM TELLING MY SISTER TO GIVE ME HERS — antonia (@SERGIOSRBD) October 5, 2020 Similar to last month though, the ‘J Balvin’ will only be available for a month. The collaboration will end on November 1st, so act fast. Twitter’s Initial Feedback McDonalds gave us a little hint last night about the new collaboration. In case you didn’t get it, this is a reference to J Balvin’s album Colores (which means ‘colors’ in Spanish). 🔴🟣🔵🟢🟡🟠⚫️⚪️🟤 — McDonald's (@McDonalds) October 4, 2020 And J Balvin confirmed it himself this morning when he replied with his announcement ad. ⚡️⚡️⚡️ ¡lego! ⚡️⚡️⚡️ #ad https://t.co/mZZ9iYVMlP pic.twitter.com/oVCjJHb2KL — J BALVIN (@JBALVIN) October 5, 2020 Balvin fans are definitely excited. I didnt get a travis scott meal but i'm def getting a j balvin one 😂 puro hype but idc — 👁👄👁 (@lamevivi) October 5, 2020 J Balvin fans running to McDonalds to pick up his artist meal collaboration pic.twitter.com/QTM7PD6trB — Rich (@UptownDCRich) October 5, 2020 There were a lot of rainbow jokes in response to the announcement, as to be expected when your most recent album is called ‘Colors.’ The new J Balvin meal at McDonald's 😂 pic.twitter.com/AsmroSfCYM — Parceros United (@ParcerosUnited) October 5, 2020 everyone at mcdonalds this week:“j balvin sent me, leggo” pic.twitter.com/jaTzKjyIAn — juan moreno (@champagnejuani) October 5, 2020 Even celebrities poked some fun at the collaboration, like comedian Ben Schwartz. Or maybe he’s just jealous that McDonalds didn’t reach out to him first. Just saw that McDonalds is teaming up with a new recording artist for a signature meal. So I wanted to remind everyone that the Ben Schwartz Meal is STILL available at @McDonalds for a limited time. Get yours before they run out! BON APPÉTIT! pic.twitter.com/z8eCfWnFGv — Ben Schwartz (@rejectedjokes) October 5, 2020 But Is It All That Great? These meals are not making everyone happy. In fact, someone complained about the meal being an outrageous $11 and accusing McDonalds of taking money from those they are trying to target with this campaign. Pricing varies at each location, but maybe these collab meals really aren’t worth it. As a proud latino and a long time fan of J Balvin, I was deeply disappointed with the @JBALVIN X @McDonalds colab. The meal was close to $11.00. Sad that @McDonalds is trying to pocket from latinos who are excited about finally being represented in mainstream American culture. — Neal Boseman (@NealBoseman) October 5, 2020 Other fans complained that they robbed Balvin of a cool meal. They might have missed the ad where he explained that this is exactly what he orders…sorry the Prince of Reggaeton doesn’t order something more impressive? Wtf is this!! You get rid of your Travis Scott meal. A great deal , for this . Poor J Balvin on gives u a free Mc flurry. Nothing special nothing different. How are you going to do him like that so disrespectful. pic.twitter.com/7hho7RfSBF — KinkyKatz (@KatzKinky) October 5, 2020 You know who else might not be thrilled with this new collaboration? The employees. Mc Donald’s workers when they find out J Balvin dropped a meal . pic.twitter.com/zhTumv6kHD — Papi Salvador🐰👹 (@soysalvador6) October 5, 2020 Everyone pray for McDonald’s workers apart from having to deal with Travis scott fans it’s now also J Balvin ones pic.twitter.com/3CcBbSnh2j — Pancake the ambiguous🦕 (@GenderBegone) October 5, 2020 McDonald's employees: "I hope we never do another celebrity meal again" McDonald's with J Balvin meal: pic.twitter.com/Ifiuv9H0vW — hispanic wizard (@TheMaD_Cris) October 5, 2020 A special t-shirt just doesn’t cut it when you’re being swarmed by Balvin fans requesting free McFlurries. It’s no secret that corporate companies are turning to influencer marketing to do a majority of their ad campaigns these days. Now fast food chains are jumping on the bandwagon to help connect with Gen Z! First Dunkin Donuts partnered with TikTok star Charli D’Amelio and now McDonalds is solidifying their stake in the influencer marketing game with J Balvin as their second celebrity partnership. Now all we need is this: So J Balvin getting a McDonald’s meal too? All i know is Burger King needs to collab with @iamcardib and bring us that WAPper Meal 🍔 — Eric (@eric_in_space) October 5, 2020 Are the meal collaborations going to stop here? Who do we think the next celebrity collaboration will be with? And more importantly, will the McFlurry machines be able to last the entire J Balvin month??