You maybe heard of the summer tune, the number one hit, ‘Despacito’ by Luis Fonsi featuring Daddy Yankee. That tune has been smoking hot ever since it’s release. It is the first primarily spanish song to hit number one on the Billboard 100, and was the second fastest video to hit it’s billionth view on YouTube after Adele’s ‘Hello’.
What is so significant is that it is in a different language, where english is the prime language in the American pop culture scene. Forbes stating that it is on its way on becoming the most popular video on YouTube ever.
Now what is this post all about? How did we get here? It’s easy to think that ‘Despacito’ is just a catchy tune (it really is) and that it is popular because of it’s content. But should it be herald as the leader in Spanish music breaking through the American border? I would disagree.
Long ago, in the time of the sixties, where people would dress in flowers and do the shimmy. Where drugs were everywhere… wait, that sounds a lot like our time… In any case the sixties were a time of a latin musician that I believe has much more influence and deserves to be a latin leader in American pop culture. Carlos Santana was literally in his twenties when he would perform songs like ‘Oye Como Va’, ‘Black Magic Woman’, and many others. These songs were huge, he would tour all over the world and more. He is one of the most successful guitarists in history, and one who would pioneer the latin sound.
What I am trying to get at is ‘Despacito’ maybe the biggest hit for Latin America for years to come, but it was certainly wasn’t the first, nor should it be dubbed the ‘best’. Many of the ground work was in place for ‘Despacito’ for it to succeed. Santana is still currently performing, still collaborating, hell even DJ Khaled sampled his entire song, ‘Maria Maria’. Influence should be given to those who have sustainability, who are, over decades still producing current music. In Santana’s case he still produces chart toppers, in the style that he is so well known for.
I hope people will look into the history of Latin pop in America before they give the crown so willingly to a single that has only been out for one season…