Toward the end of the 2010s, Anglophone artists had produced their fair share of bilingual crossover tracks. Few, like 2017’s “Despacito,” yielded astronomical success on the pop charts, whereas others only doubled down on cynical gimmicks and Latino stereotypes, leaving a slew of largely forgettable singles in their wake.
The latest in the Latin Crossover Hall of Shame is Tyga and Ozuna’s “Ayy Macarena (Remix)”: A rip-off of the 1995 megahit and wedding staple by Andalusian trio Los Del Río. Even by today’s standards, the original was hardly safe for work, much less a school dance; the protagonist, Macarena, dishes on a wild threesome with her loser boyfriend’s hot friends. And yet, the even more salacious update still leaves much to be desired.
“Bitches on my dick, told ’em give me one minute,” spits Tyga along with the hip-hop beat, “Ayy, macarena, a’ight!” Ozuna drops some uncharacteristically dirty lines in Spanish, then tops it off with “Quiero una de booty grande como Selena/Pa’ darle a tu cuerpo alegría Macarena!”
There’s no viral dance craze to be found here, as with its predecessor. But like many other Latin pop songs these days, “Ayy Macarena” is just one of many uninspired recycles of bigger hits. For that, it’s a song nobody needs to know, but given how such a formula yields among American listeners, they probably will.
Twenty-five years after “Macarena,” Los Del Río arguably still deserve their flowers; we hope they’re getting royalties, too.