Monday, January 18th, 2021

Black Eyed Peas ft. Shakira – Girl Like Me

And also one like Shakira…


Rodrigo Pasta: This song is like a game: Find The Most Embarrassing Section In This Song. And oh boy, are there plenty of options to go with. Is it Shakira’s atonal squeal in the middle of the chorus? Is it randomly saying words in Spanish in his verse (“I wanna find me achica“)? Is it his and Shakira’s voices not blending whatsoever in his verse? Is it him going “Oye, mami, estoy buscando una chica así” like a middle schooler doing a presentation for his class? Is it the tasteless Auto-Tune in Shakira’s post-chorus? Is it Taboo saying “Sacúdelo como Shaki” instead of “Shake it like Shaki,” wasting what could have been a tonally satisfying line? Is it him saying “a girl that uses her head” twice in a row, only changing “head” to “cabeza”? Is it’s “la-la-latinas” chant? Is it him changing said chant to “SHA-SHA-SHAKIRA?” (It’s probably that one.) Is it half of his verse being namechecks of different Latin American countries? And believe it or not, there are so many more to choose from!

Juana Giaimo: The fact that Black Eyed Peas aren’t the most annoying thing in this track indicates how bad it is. There are seven songwriters in “Girl Like Me” and all of them thought Shakira shrieking was a good idea. Maybe if the beat was more fun it would work, but with this repetitive minimalistic track, it just sounds annoying. The Black Eyed Peas’ verses feature everything I hate about Latin crossovers: people rapping in Spanish just because they are collaborating with a Latin artist while using the common stereotype that Latin American women are the sexiest, loudest and don’t have any kind of boundaries.

Tobi Tella: Guys, I’m sorry for ever criticizing you for shamelessly appropriating white people songs. It’s not too late to go back to a less insidious form of culture vulturing!

Katherine St Asaph: Recording a Latin crossover cash-in, about nothing but the fact that it’s a Latin crossover cash-in? Not noteworthy, hasn’t been for decades. Recording a Latin crossover cash-in that namechecks not only Shakira’s “Hips Don’t Lie” and (again!) various other artists they maybe couldn’t get for the album, but also “Shots” (via a namedrop of someone else), and “Electric Feel”? Now there’s that authentic BEP trend-jacking we expect. All the points are for Shakira, and none for the Peas, who with each verse make “I’mma be a bank, I’ll be loaning out semen” sound like better and better poetry. She just doesn’t cease to be herself; that coy flirt of a hook could come from almost no one else. (Almost; it also sounds like the kind of hook Fergie would sing, as well as the kind of hook Fergie probably shouldn’t sing.) I almost detect a note of mocking in her vocal, though that may be coming from inside the house.

Rose Stuart: I don’t even know. Why does this song have no structure? What is Shakira’s voice doing in the hook? Why do they keep saying “La-La-Latinas” as part of the beat? Does this count as fetishising Latina women? Or is it just fetishising Shakira? Did she agree to do this song for the ego boost? What possessed any of them to write a song about this? This is what I deserve for thinking a Shakira collaboration might get the Black Eyed Peas to return to the reggaetón inspired style that I loved from them so much in the 2000s that I’m still on occasion willing to defend them. Not today, though. There’s no defending this. But because sold his soul to the Devil, I’ll almost certainly have this mess stuck in my head for the next month

Thomas Inskeep: Because BEP are nothing if not opportunists, I presume the simplistic production of “Girl Like Me” is so as to better avail itself to TikToks and the like? And because is king of the opportunists, it’s obvious that putting together the Translation album, he thought: “Hey, Latinx music is streaming in huge numbers, let’s try that!” So we’ve gotten collabs with J Balvin and Ozuna, and now, Shakira — and damn if it hasn’t worked out for them commercially. (Artistically, not so much.) “Girl Like Me” is nominally better than its two predecessor singles, if only because Shakira is almost always a refreshing presence on a record, even a mediocre one — and sometimes she’s even better on mediocre singles, because her greatness is so glaring. She’s not great here, but she’s good. BEP are not so much, rattling off clichés about Latinx women.

Aaron Bergstrom: Shakira dials up the vocal weirdness like she knows she’s locked in a battle with’s personality eradication algorithm, and we should all give thanks for that, because without her this is basically the musical equivalent of that time Trump posted a picture of himself with a taco salad and tweeted “I Love Hispanics!”

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3 Responses to “Black Eyed Peas ft. Shakira – Girl Like Me”

  1. This song was originally written and recorded back in 2008 and just now released. I REALLY like everything Shakira is doing here, and of course her squealing should be celebrated –no surprise it reminds me of her antics on She-Wolf which was made around the same time. BEP are dumb as usual but hey, all sounds should have ‘SHAKIRA SHAKIRA’-like chant of her name.

  2. surely all of it wasn’t, though — they namedrop Anitta, who hadn’t recorded anything yet. maybe they meant just a generic name?

  3. This could very well be a new recording yeah, but there is a 2008 recording as well