Hips Don’t Lie – Shakira (feat. Wycliffe Jean)

What I said yesterday about female pop stars not needing to put their sexuality up front to make great music?

Oh Lordy. I’m only flesh and blood. But a man. I’m utterly powerless to resist Hips Don’t Lie. Holy Moly! What a tune. The whole thing just sounds like holidays. Like getting lucky. Like party time.

“Shakira, Shakira!”

This is such a monumentally brilliant pop song. Not solely because of how sexy it is. I’m not gonna bullshit you though. That’s a big part of it. The rhythms, the horns (the brass instruments I mean, mind out of the gutter please) and the special guest Fugee doing one of the best hype man ‘featuring’ performances of all time.

“I never really knew that she could dance like this, she make a man wants to speak Spanish, ¿Cómo se llama? Sí, bonita, sí”

I’ve always been a little enthralled to Spanish culture. I studied the language in high school. As I grew up and learned there were other countries that spoke the same groovy words, the Latin world become a fascination. Columbia, The Dominican Republic, Cuba. The image portrayed made me feel like these places were all such a seductive mix of old world grandeur and chilled out sun worship. Be it the Buena Vista Social Club or J-Lo there was an easy breezy charm that seemed so hard to dislike. When you’re stuck in rain swept concrete new town England especially it seemed like paradise is where the sun shines and the rum flows.

There is not a beating heart alive that can’t enjoy Hips Don’t Lie. I can’t say I’ve followed her work in any great detail beyond this. I’m aware of Shewolf, Wherever Whenever (the small and humble line is one of the ultimate pop gags) and the one she did for the World Cup in 2010. She’s damned good at pop music. And yet nothing comes close to the genius of Hips Don’t Lie.

Shakira had a decade of output in the Latin arena before this crossover hit. She has been megastar famous ever since and rightly so. Proper pop should have an element of the exciting. It should make you feel like you’ve got the sun on your face and the sand between your toes. It’s testament to a great pop song that it doesn’t matter who is performing it a crowd is pleased to hear it.

This is one of the great pop songs of the last 20 years. I’d wager Madonna would trade her whole 21st century output for a Hips Don’t Lie. I would easily trade Madonna’s whole 21st Century output for another song as great as Hips Don’t lie anyway. Perhaps tomorrow I’ll post one. Not a Madonna song. Another pop song. As good as Hips Don’t lie. This is a theme week after all.

The original video from 2005
A live version for the full on Carnival feel.
The classic Rock-Afire cover version. Almost as iconic as the original.

17 thoughts on “Hips Don’t Lie – Shakira (feat. Wycliffe Jean)

  1. I see she is pretty and she is limber, but she’s no Madonna! As to learning Spanish, I’ve been at duolingo for a year or so and still feel like a greenhorn. Love Buena Vista Social Club. If you’re featuring pop females this week, I hope they include Mitski and Fran.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Love this post. Love this song. Love Shakira. Love catchy pop music. It was a pretty long time ago, but I got my minor and area study in Spanish back when I was in college, and I was into Shakira before she ever released an album with a word of spoken English on it. All of her music is sensual, feel-good music, and you’re right, it makes you feel warm and happy, like there are dusty market streets to be strolled down and buckets of beers with limes waiting on the porches of outdoor cafes. Some of my best days are when I just let one vibey pop song flow into the next, Poker Face gives way to Family Affair gives way to U Can’t Touch This gives way to The Humpty Dance gives way to Crazy in Love gives way to Rock Your Body gives way to Larger than Life. Love those days, and they’re never complete without some Shakira. Bravo y brava.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Well, far be it from me to ever say Sly and the FS isn’t the right choice, but in this case I was thinking about Mary. I have my 70s funk jags, but they typically can’t last as long, because I get to a point when I start thinking about calling some dude up and seeing if I can run by and grab a satchel of reefer. Nothing against the reefer, mind you, but I’ve vowed to put those funds into college funds these days, so that’s a call I don’t allow myself to make.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Isn’t she though? Across all genres of music, there aren’t many people I dig more than Mary J. I’m not just talking about the music, but the woman. She makes great music, but she makes it for the right reasons, and she cares about how it goes out into the world. She gets my vote for the artist who “If you called her at 3 AM struggling with a monumental life decision would most likely say ‘Come one by; I’ll put on coffee,'” I don’t know how much more than you can say about a person. Yes, so and so believes such and such, and that dude will help you out in a pinch, but would any of them tell you to drop by for coffee in the wee hours if you called up to tell them about a monumental problem. That’s who Mary comes off to me as, and she’s a great go-to for any manner of musical requirement.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. You’ve probably noticed I love some good produced pop music, maybe, but I’ve got a heavy aversion to this track (especially), might have been my age when it came out but it’s one of those I really REALLY can’t stand, haha!

    Liked by 1 person

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