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Does J.Lo’s Music Just Need Perreo?

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Did Jennifer Lopez’s new album “This Is Me… Now” and its accompanying movie just flop? Prof. Jillian Hernandez weighs in on whether Jenny from the Block is still “capturing our imagination”.
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Jennifer Lopez released her album “This Is Me… Now” last week, accompanied by an Amazon Prime movie musical that cost her $20 million of her own funds. Lopez told Variety, “Everybody thought I was crazy… And by...
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Show transcript
00:00
So J Lo is back in the news and her new
00:02
film and album just dropped and they were a flop.
00:07
Her new album. This is me now,
00:09
only sold 8000 units its first week and she had to self
00:14
fund but the budget of $20 million of her new movie.
00:19
This is me now after funding fell through brother.
00:24
What do you think of that trailer?
00:26
The trailer was a little cringey.
00:29
It just seemed like her love story but like with like
00:32
a Mad Max like action packed thriller element to it.
00:35
I love J Lo.
00:36
I love J Lo but the trailer did come off as a
00:40
perfume commercial. I mean to me,
00:43
I'm like, well,
00:44
I started perfume like,
00:46
like your like, I don't know it was that,
00:49
that's the vibe I got.
00:51
I love J Lo but that's the vibe I got.
00:53
But yeah, so I agree,
00:55
I see that but to help us understand what's going on.
01:00
We have Professor Jillian Hernandez,
01:03
author of Aesthetics of Excess,
01:05
the art and politics of Black and Latina embodiment.
01:09
So Jillian welcome.
01:12
Thank you for having me.
01:13
Thank you. For coming on.
01:15
What do you think about her recent performance with the album?
01:18
And people claiming that she kind of again is a,
01:21
has been quote unquote.
01:23
Yeah, I mean,
01:24
I think J Lo will always be a cultural force at this
01:28
point. She's very well established in the cultural landscape.
01:33
But I do think there are ways in which she hasn't really
01:37
responded to a lot of the evolution that's taken place in Latinx
01:44
popular culture over the last few years,
01:47
she's just not capturing our imaginations in the same way that other
01:53
figures are doing. There's a way where in Puerto Rican culture
01:57
like we're really talking particularly right now about,
02:02
you know, figures like bad bunny or,
02:04
you know, maybe there's ways to incorporate more pero into her
02:07
music. Like that's something that people are really into.
02:10
So I think our imaginations are being captured by the Tosha out
02:15
there. And I think that although I think clearly for her
02:20
there's a lot of personal investment and reflection and it's amazing
02:25
that she has the resources to do it on her own.
02:28
I think that's really great,
02:31
but I just don't think those are the topics that audiences are
02:36
interested in right now.
02:37
Where do you see her evolution?
02:39
Because I know like with Shakira,
02:41
it's like, you know,
02:42
she reinvented herself in her music,
02:46
you know, after what happened with Pique.
02:48
So what do you think is J Lo,
02:50
where is her evolution going?
02:53
I would be interested in her,
02:55
like really claiming the ways that like she took up this very
03:01
urban Latina identity and brought it to the mainstream.
03:06
And I do think that that's something that would be really interesting
03:09
But I feel like right now she's been so incorporated into
03:14
like larger fashion culture and like very mainstream culture that that's not
03:19
happening as much anymore.
03:20
Like I do think the Super Bowl from a few years ago
03:23
was an interesting moment of like her and Shakira and bad bunny
03:27
and, and you know,
03:28
the way that they were subtly referencing the Trump administration's separation
03:34
of families and detention of Children.
03:36
So I think more of that would be something that I think
03:40
would be welcome with someone with her platform.
03:43
Do you feel like this movie is like,
03:44
you know, one of her most important pieces of work or
03:46
is it like a midlife crisis like what's going on?
03:49
Because I mean, I don't know,
03:51
it's all day. I mean,
03:53
the comments again, I'm just like,
03:55
I don't know, ok,
03:56
people just seem to again,
03:58
they don't let her catch a break.
03:59
Yeah, I mean,
04:00
I do think it's like very personal and I almost think that
04:04
perhaps it should be treated almost like an art piece or something
04:08
But I think part of it is her personal affairs
04:12
have been like so public,
04:14
you know, her marriages,
04:15
her various marriages, her various famous boyfriends like P Diddy and
04:19
I think, you know,
04:21
it's hard for us to relate to like,
04:23
what does that do to your sense of self?
04:25
And then if you add on the layer of being,
04:28
you know, a Latina from a working class background and everything
04:32
like that, I think we haven't really seen something like this
04:36
before. I'm really eager to see it and just sort of
04:40
come up with more theories around what might be happening.
04:43
But I think it's something deeply personal so it might be a
04:46
midlife crisis moment, but good for her that she's able to
04:51
be like, you know what,
04:52
I'll just pay for this myself.
04:54
Thank you so much Jillian.
04:56
We really appreciate you coming on.
04:58
Is there anything you want to plug in like your social
05:01
handles where people can find you?
05:03
Yes, absolutely. You can find me on Instagram at Paste
05:09
Lito Cookie and I have a youtube channel.
05:13
I'm developing a youtube podcast featuring Femmes of color called Fem Studies
05:19
So if you Google me,
05:21
that should come up for you as well.
05:24
Yay. Awesome. Thank you so much.
05:26
We appreciate you being on the show.
05:28
We'll see you soon.
05:29
Bye bye.