How “Despacito” Has Become The Song of the Summer & Malaysian Government Banned It

DES – PA – CI – TO

English Translation: Slowly
Malay Translation: Perlahan-lahan
Chinese Translation: 慢慢来

It’s the first Spanish language song to hit the Billboard Hot Top 100 spot since 1996’s “Macarena”. It has topped the charts in 45 different countries, from Puerto Rico to India to Japan.

You have heard it many times in multiple devices: your iPhone, iPad, Samsung S 8, tablets, laptop, radio station, Youtube channels, etc.

When it hits Malaysia, our “highly educated and holy” government officials have to react to it to get a piece of the global attention.

While the rest of the world is enjoying the Reggaeton beats, our lovely Malaysian government just banned and stopped this #1 Top Hits from playing on any state radio and TV stations. Officials at state-owned broadcaster RTM stopped playing the song — by Daddy Yankee and Luis Fonsi — after receiving numerous complaints from the public about the lyrics “not being suitable.”

Officials at state-owned broadcaster RTM stopped playing the song — by Daddy Yankee and Luis Fonsi — after receiving numerous complaints from the public about the lyrics “not being suitable.”

According to Communications Minister Salleh Said Keruak told CNNMoney, “The song was filled with numerous sexual references and innuendos and thus wholly inappropriate to be aired by our national media outlets for our general public, especially children.”

The communications minister stressed that the decision “applies only” to the public broadcaster, saying that “all other TV and radio stations are guided by their own evaluation processes.”

According to media reports earlier this week, on 19 July, the women’s wing of Parti Amanah Negara (Awan) had urged the government to impose a restriction to stop radio stations in the country from playing the song because of its sexually explicit lyrics.

The Star Online reported the group’s Arts and Culture chairperson, Atriza Umar, is saying that “Despacito” and other songs with sexual and violent lyrics should be banned from playing as they are not suited to Eastern culture and Islam.

She said there was cause for concern as many young children were singing the song without actually understanding its lyrics.

“I regret that these problematic songs are not censored by the ministries responsible.”

“We respect the right to be entertained but there should be clearer guidelines so that the entertainment does not spoil people but makes them better,” she added.

What is so ironic is that this ban has only further increased the publicity and interest of Malaysians to stream the Puerto Rican hits via other media.

From an anonymous tweet via Says.com:

“So Despacito is a song about slow lovemaking. I wouldn’t have ever known this. Thanks to RTM and Amanah.”

Thank goodness Malaysia cannot ban Youtube, Facebook, Spotify, or any media on the internet. Even if they do something like China with Facebook, it will never stop us from streaming banned information/entertainment.

Another tweet from Jazli Aziz in response to the ban:

The song by Puerto Rican pop artist Luis Fonsi featuring rapper Daddy Yankee was released in January.

A few months later, a song remix with popular Canadian icon Justin Bieber was released in April, reaching a wider audience worldwide.

The song has since broken many records, including being the fastest ever music video to hit two billion views (in just 154 days) and it is the most streamed song of all time as of 19 July.

Universal Music says the official version and a remix have been streamed 4.6 billion times since the original release six months ago.

On top of that, a video of a young Philippino girl named Niana Guerrero dancing to it in random public places “Hit That Despacito Dance” with only 1:31 minutes has garnered more than 69 million views in all social medias.
Follow Niana Guerrero now on Instagram!

 

Why?

Some of you may ask. Here’s a quick analysis was done by Anna Leszkiewicz from NewsStatesman (full article link):

When last year’s song of the summer, Drake’s One Dance, broke Spotify streaming recordscritics observed that the record’s combination of a superstar rapper and the “globalised” sound of the record, with its Nineties British pop, Afrobeat and Jamaican dancehall influences, attracted “an audience outside rap’s core demographics”.

“Despacito” has some of the same key elements.

The song’s combination of styles (traditional guitar, reggaeton – itself a mix of Latin, Caribbean and mainstream pop – influences, rap verses, and catchy melody) and Spanish lyrics give it that “globalized” sound.

Puerto Ricans Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee are already some of the most famous Latin stars in the world, while Justin Bieber’s appearance on the remix in May lent the song the level of mainstream popularity only a truly super-famous global artist can bring. (“Despacito” has also been helped by some bad press: Bieber fudging the Spanish lyrics on tour.)

But, in another sense, “Despacito” has a number of elements that work against it. “One Dance”, was noted as having a “vagueness” that is “perfectly suited to listening on repeat in the background” and “sits at the heart of a listening-activity Venn diagram”, as it “works for jogging, for driving, and at any point on a night out”. But “Despacito” is full of has heavy beats, vocals high in the mix, rapid and verbose lyrics, intricate guitar strumming, and even different but overlapping melodies.

But “Despacito” is full of has heavy beats, vocals high in the mix, rapid and verbose lyrics, intricate guitar strumming, and even different but overlapping melodies.

Basically, it’s distracting. So distracting that more than 285,000 people shared a video of a girl dropping everything in the supermarket, restaurant and street to dance to it.

As a Malaysian, I am sure you are interested in some “Despacito” cover  and parody by Malaysians. Below are a few links to just so you can satisfy your “Despacito” binge.

“No Money Lah!” (Despacito Parody) by DanKhoo Productions

Malaysians like to complain no money, so here’s a parody where we complain about not enough money lah!

(This is our favorite)

 

Luis Fonsi – Despacito (Malay Male Version: Incognito) by Mr Graphsman

A latino song converted to malay titled “Incognito” from the famous piece by Luis Fonsi ft. Daddy Yankee – Despacito 2017
(Thanks to the hype and the keyword search, this video has also garnered 8 million views.)

 

 

Luis Fonsi – Despacito (Malay Female Version – “Ku Keliru/InCognito”) by Mr Graphsman

“Ku Keliru” means “I’m Confused”. For those who don’t understand Malay, it’s a love song that speaks out the voice of a female lover who is confused about her relationship. Perhaps, for those who are offended by the original Spanish version, they can enjoy this.

(This video has over 3 million views)

 

DESPACITO(中文/馬來文版 Chinese/Malay Version) Cover by Danny 許佳麟

This Chinese version chorus is the closest to the original Spanish lyrics. Just enjoy it 🙂

 

 

Do you enjoy this article?

Comment below why do you like “Despacito” and which of the “Despacito Cover/Parody” do you like the best?

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Author: Editor

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