Yearly Archives: 2019

Selena Gomez en Español: Watch 9 Times She’s Connected to Her Latin Roots

The follow-up to pop superstar Selena Gomez’s 2015 Revival album is “finally done,” she recently revealed. While a release date hasn’t been announced yet, another question that’s surrounding the hotly anticipated record is the direction in which Gomez will take with it. The most recent singles that she’s jumped on have seen her cross over to the Latin music world.

With her recent stint in Latin music, a feature on DJ Snake’s “Taki Taki”  alongside Ozuna, Gomez notched a No. 1 hit on both Billboard’s Hot Latin Songs chart for 13 nonconsecutive weeks and the Latin Rhythm Airplay chart for two consecutive weeks last year. Meanwhile, this year’s “I Can’t Get Enough” was a top 20 hit on the Latin Pop Songs chart.

But it’s not the first time Gomez has dabbled in Spanish. Since breaking out with 2009’s Kiss & Tell, the multi-hyphenate has embraced her Mexican American roots many times, as we can see below.

“Natural” (2009)

Even though a Latin music version of Gomez and the Scene’s breakthrough hit “Naturally” never surfaced, while promoting 2009’s Kiss & Tell album in Spain, she would briefly sing the song for fans with Spanish-language  lyrics. Now the only evidence of “Natural” exists in YouTube clips that were recorded at those special events. The potential for Gomez to take on the Latin music scene earlier was there. 

“Un Año Sin Lluvia” (2010)

For her second album with the Scene, 2010’s A Year Without Rain, Gomez released her first song fully in Spanish, “Un Año Sin Lluvia.” She translated her thirst for romance on the electro-pop ballad into a sultry performance and re-recorded the music video well while still looking like a goddess. The wait for Gomez to finally embrace her Mexican roots in her music was over.

“Fantasma de Amor” (2010)

Another cut from Gomez and the Scene’s A Year Without Rain, “Ghost of You,” was translated into Spanish as “Fantasma de Amor.” Unlike “Un Año Sin Lluvia,” the song was never formally released but fortunately the full mix exists on YouTube. Gomez proves that she can deliver emotional content in Spanish as she fights off the feelings of an old flame that haunt her.   

“Dices” (2011)

“Who Says,” the lead single from Gomez’s third and final album with the Scene, 2011’s When the Sun Goes Down, was recorded in Spanish as “Dices.” Her empowering power ballad was able to uplift a whole other audience with this translation — it was important that one of the most meaningful songs in Gomez’s music catalog could reach and connect with her Latin American fans as well.

“Bidi Bidi Bom Bom” (2012)

Gomez, who was named after the late and great Tejano music legend Selena Quintanilla-Pérez, actually got to record with her namesake’s voice on the 2012 remix album Enamorada de Ti. Quintanilla’s family especially selected Gomez to sing the classic “Bidi Bidi Bom Bom” in a posthumous duet with Selena. Gomez complemented her idol beautifully, with vocals that breathed new life into the song.

“Más” (2014)

The Spanish-language version of “More,” one of the songs on Gomez and the Scene’s first album, 2009’s Kiss & Tell, surfaced as “Más” on her greatest hits set, 2014’s For You. As a gift to fans on that parting album with Hollywood Records, she gave them the punchy, pop-rock anthem in a different light. If only “Natural” could have been released that way as well, but we’ll take what we can get.

“Me & My Girls” (2015)

On her debut album with Interscope Records, 2015’s Revival, Gomez didn’t record anything fully in Spanish, but she explored Latin music influences on the songs “Body Heat” and “Me & My Girls.” With the latter track, to show off her more mature image, she sings in Spanish, “Don’t fuck with us.” Gomez performed “Me & My Girls” at the 2015 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, and surprisingly wasn’t censored.

“Taki Taki” (2018)

Gomez really made a Splash in Latin music last year with her feature on DJ Snake’s “Taki Taki” alongside Puerto Rican superstar Ozuna and Latina rapper Cardi B. On the reggaeton/EDM hybrid banger, she comes through with a verse in Spanglish, offering to get the fiesta started. The surprise collaboration connected with fans around the globe and resulted in Gomez’s first No. 1 on the Hot Latin Songs chart.

“I Can’t Get Enough” (2019)

After getting a taste of success in Latin music with “Taki Taki,” Gomez teamed up with Puerto Rican producer Tainy, pop producer Benny Blanco, and Colombian superstar J Balvin on “I Can’t Get Enough.” She doesn’t sing in Spanish on the hypnotic reggaeton track, but she represents her Chicana culture well with her giant hoop earrings on in the slumber party music video. We can’t get enough of Latina Selena.

Rankings Winners & Losers: Karolina Pliskova closes in on No. 1

“Tennis doesn’t have an idea problem,” former USTA head of pro tennis Arlen Kantarian told a group of our editors 20 years ago. “It has a get-it-done problem.”

The question we were discussing wasn’t a new one: Why doesn’t tennis have its version of the Ryder Cup? Golf’s biennial team event was must-see TV, yet tennis remained stumped as to how to replicate it. Bringing the sport’s alphabet soup of stakeholders together was too daunting a task. More than a decade after Kantarian’s exit, tennis’ get-it-done problem remained.

And then, over one weekend in 2017, the sport got it done. The Laver Cup, which will return for its third edition in Geneva this September, has been a hit. In its first two years, the Ryder Cup-like team event sold out all 10 sessions in Prague and Chicago, while delighting fans with a steady stream of content tailor-made for social media. 

Figuring out what changed is easy: the name on the Cup is Rod Laver’s, but the event was built by Roger Federer. Would Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic have agreed to play, John McEnroe and Bjorn Borg agreed to coach, and other players agreed to become sideline cheerleaders for anyone else? Probably not.

While the reason for Laver Cup’s success is clear, the event itself remains something of a mystery. How much do players actually care about winning an exhibition? (Laver Cup is now an ATP event, but players don’t receive ranking points for it.) How much of their raucous camaraderie is genuine? What matters, ultimately, is that fans love seeing their favorite pros interact, and they don’t seem worried about how authentic those interactions are. 

Which brings us to our next question: What can tennis learn from it?

First, Laver Cup proves that tradition and innovation can co-exist. The event honors legends, and uses regular sets and deuce games. But organizers have also sped things up with 10-point match tiebreakers, and encouraged vociferous coaching and cheering.

Second, Laver Cup reminds us of how crowd-pleasing doubles can be when fans are invested in the players. Clips of Federer and Nadal competing together in 2017 lit up the internet. Tennis should work harder to get its stars on the doubles court more often.

Third, Laver Cup shows that, even in an individual sport, there’s a hunger among players to be part of a team, and among fans to root for one. The next step should be to work with the WTA to try to bring the top women aboard. Mixed-doubles matches and dual-gender cheering squads would create a fascinating, fresh dynamic. 

More than anything, Laver Cup has injected enthusiastic and infectious emotion into a buttoned-up game. It’s fun to see the pros, who are normally so stoical and serious, having fun together. Some of that emotion may be staged now, but the longer Laver Cup lasts, the more real it may become.

Which leads us to our last question: Can Laver Cup thrive after Federer retires? He’ll surely stay involved with the event, and tennis should try to make him an integral part of the sport as a whole. Because if there’s one thing that everyone in tennis can agree on, it’s Roger Federer.

ANNOUNCING our 2020 Spring Meeting, April 30 – May 2, 2020

Hello awesome fellow economic anthropologists!

I am pleased to tell you that we have dates and a theme for our next Spring Meeting, in 2020!

Theme: Economies of Convenience
Place: University of Notre Dame, South Bend, Indiana
Dates: April 30 – May 2, 2020 (to be clear, not one month from now, but 13 months from now).
Courageous organizer: Dr. Rahul Oka

Please joining me in thanking Rahul!

Mark your calendars, if they go 13 months ahead!

Look for the Call for Papers this Fall!

—Bram

Bram Tucker
President, Society for Economic Anthropology
Associate Professor
Department of Anthropology
University of Georgia
Athens, GA USA

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