NEW YORK—When the most popular music video in the world (3.8 billion views) is about the premeditated stalking of a woman by not just one but two guys while telling her in graphic detail what they plan to do to her body because “we know you’re thinking about it,” there are certain unintended consequences.
Like when the song plays in the waiting room of your dentist’s office and everyone bops along to the line about how he wants to put his fingers inside her because, you know, it’s okay because it’s in Spanish.
Or when all the 5-year-olds learn the words, including the part where he tells her to “teach his mouth” what to do to her, because there’s nothing in the kindergarten teachers’ manual about spontaneous group celebration of the vagina by prepubescent children.
Or when the departure-gate monitor in the St. Louis airport features crotch-grinding and what would seem to be painful genital-banging on the dance floor while various ethnic dancers work a lot of thighs, hips, and calves into an orgiastic celebration of the plan to copulate with a woman in slave sandals and everyone pretends they don’t notice.
Yes, I’m talking about “Despacito,” the only song that could make me pine for the days of “Gangnam Style.”
Fortunately for you, I have a solution to that awkward moment when little Timmy says, “Mama, who is that lady and what are they singing about?”
We’re gonna lie to little Timmy.
But first let’s face the reality of what really is in the video.
We begin by strapping a GoPro to a low-flying drone that streaks over the rocky surf like a National Geographic special on sea turtles.
Next we see a kid run into a barn to grab a duck. (No idea.)
Now we pan left across a baby-blue Madonna altar in a wall by a trash-strewn alley where, in the distance, we can just barely make out a hottie in cut-off-jean booty shorts. Lest we be confused…
The hottie turns out to be a supermodel strutting on the rocky seawall in strappy sandals and running her hands through her hair because, yeah, okay, now we know why the 14-year-old boys were the first to download this video to their phones.
The song still hasn’t started, but we see Luis Fonsi standing in the surf, flexing his arm tattoos. (Some of you will be asking, “Who is Luis Fonsi?” Answer: a fortysomething hunkorama Puerto Rican pop singer who likes to flex his arm tattoos.)
Cut to a drone shot of the colorful seaside village beyond the rocky coast. Are we in Puerto Rico? Luis is here, so it would seem so.
Cut to a traveling drone shot of Luis standing by a graffiti wall looking very ’80s MTV.
Cut to the supermodel writhing seductively, alone, under a clothesline. Apparently this is what gets Luis’ adrenals pumping because…
The first five or six words of the song are inarticulate guttural sounds and one “Aiiiiiiiiiiee” emitted by Luis as he stands contemplatively on the rocks in a place that seems some distance from the clothesline so, uh, maybe he should explain.
Back to the helicopter shot—more inarticulate sounds—Luis is in pain.
Back to the writhing babe—is she the town hooker? Why is she doing that?
Back to Luis in close-up now, cool shades, three-day growth of beard, quick-cut with the supermodel looking his way, apparently attracted by his gruff pharyngeal self. Are they having sex before the song even starts?
Yes, you know I’ve been looking at you for a while
…he sings, explaining as he walks…
I have to dance with you today
Okay, Luis just wants to dance with—now we get several close-ups of her butt, her breasts, and the massive bling that dangles between the macramé that barely encases her cleavage—yeah, he doesn’t just wanna dance.
I saw that your look was calling me
…but wait, it’s not Luis anymore who’s singing, it’s Daddy Yankee, the Puerto Rican rapper with a giant gold neck chain, who has somehow popped up on the streets of the village, because he noticed her too…
Show me the path I should walk
…but she’s more interested in laughing and whirling around in delight as small children ride past her on bicycles and then she starts rubbing the hair of a little boy…
So Luis starts singing again—is he gonna be pissed off at all that Daddy Yankee also wants the object of his lust? Apparently not, because he’s now dancing in the street next to Daddy Yankee.
You, you’re the magnet and I’m the metal
…Luis is emoting in agonized grimaces over images of a boy getting a haircut and old men playing dominoes…
I am getting closer and making a plan
Simply thinking about it makes my pulse accelerate
Suddenly Luis is back on the beach, and suddenly she is too, but they’re not together. Apparently Luis can’t find her because pretty soon he’s returning to the street, which is filling up with dirty dancers, and letting Daddy Yankee carry the verse…
Now, I’m already liking it more than usual
All my senses are asking for more
Cut to more haircut footage.
This cannot be done in any rush
Drop-out. Silent beat. Luis getting into position beside Daddy Yankee. Then Luis pushing his hand down as he sings…
Des pa cito
…which means “slowly” in Spanish but which is the only Spanish word we’re gonna keep in our new version, which will be revealed shortly.
I want to breathe in your neck slowly
More dirty dancing, with the supermodel hooker babe writhing against the wall and smiling now that she has heard the word despacito.
Let me say things in your ear
…Luis is back on the surf rocks now…
So that you remember you’re not with me
And this time both Puerto Rican rock stars sing together, with finger motions…
Des pa cito
…and when she hears the word the second time, she starts hurrying through the alley, as though she can’t wait to get close to these two horny guys, and now Luis is out of control…
I want to undress you with kisses slowly
Sign the walls of your labyrinth
…Let’s not go into the metaphorical implications here…
And know your body like a manuscript.
…Let’s do go into the metaphorical implications here. Is “manuscript” the least sexy word ever used in a song about hot lust? I think so.
But now, as she bursts through the clothesline, interrupting another geriatric domino game by stealing a porkpie hat off the head of a geezer, we break into the spirited bridge, with both men in an apparent priapic frenzy.
(Up, up, up, up, up)
I want to see your hair dance
I want to be your rhythm
I want you to teach my mouth
Your favorite places
(Favorite, favorite baby)
Let me surpass your danger zones
Until I provoke your screams
And you forget your last name
Why didn’t they go for first name?
Anyway, before we continue to the all-rap all-dance interlude, let me just stop to say how creepy this already is. Luis keeps using the word “plan.” He’s watching her, he’s thinking about what he wants to do, but he’s not talking to her and he’s not approaching her, and he’s sort of planning it along with his buddy Daddy Yankee, who is tossing in his own erotic stalker ideas, but every time either one of them has a chance to do anything, they prefer the company of each other. It’s a bromance!
Okay, now Daddy Yankee has his cap on backwards so you know it’s serious. The street fills up with dancers, children, and hot babes, but the supermodel hooker is no longer in the street; she has somehow donned a formfitting evening gown that would normally require four hours in makeup and is entering a cheap nightclub, going one step further with the cleavage.
But let’s have some Daddy Rap first:
If I ask for a kiss come give it to me
I know that you’re thinking about it
I’ve been trying to do it for awhile
Mama you are giving and giving it to me
You know that when you’re with me I make your heart go boom boom
You know that this babe is looking for my boom boom
Come try my mouth and see how it tastes
I want I want I want to see if my love fits you
I’m not in a rush I want to enjoy the experience
Let’s start slowly, then savagely
If she’s looking for his boom boom we don’t get any evidence of it, but now everybody on the street of this very turned-on town has started doing the hand thing and moving in erotic unison as they cop to the idea of Daddy Yankee going after this girl savagely—or, wait, is it Daddy Yankee or Luis or both going after this girl?—or, wait, is the whole town going after this girl? Let’s not go there.
Step by step, soft and softer
We’ll bump into each other, little by little
When you kiss me in that distress
I see that you are malice and delicacy
I could stop here to deconstruct the “distress” part—two guys are talking about putting the hot babe into distress—but this is already getting too disturbing.
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