MUSIC

"How Do Mexicans Talk" Trends on Twitter Because of Becky G's Accent in "Chicken Noodle Soup"

The J-Hope and Becky G remake turns out to be a breeding ground of cultural debate, both valid and troll-bait.

Billboard

"How Do Mexicans Talk?"

Over 6,000 Twitter users have caused that rhetorical question to trend as part of a contentious back-and-forth about Becky G's and J-Hope's trilingual song, "Chicken Noodle Soup." Namely, one outspoken account about black Latinx cultural issues, "la mala" or @rudeboiluna, called the song "anti-black" and accused Latinx singer Becky G of using a "Caribbean blaccent." Soon commenters disagreed with the claim and asked what the Mexican singer was supposed to sound like when she sang Spanish lyrics, to which la mala replied, "like a Mexican tf."

Thus a fiery debate commenced about the hypocrisy of accusing a piece of art of being "anti-black" while stereotyping a wide group of people. La mala was asked, "How do you think Mexicans sound? Do you think we [go] buRRito and tAcO all the time?" She replied—perhaps in a joke of poor taste, perhaps making light of her own ignorance, perhaps just trolling Twitter about culturally sensitive issues—"yea lol."

As one user clarified, "#HowDoMexicansTalk was created bcoz a black Latinx acc was BLATANTLY racist to Mexicans (keep in mind she's not Mexican) so we made this tag to show that our accents ARE diverse and that Beck* was NOT trying to imitate a [Caribbean blaccent] according to OP."

Thousands of Latinx commenters expressed the same sentiment, which was generally: "How am I supposed to sound in order for you to legitimize me as a Mexican-American?" Thousands more affirmed the fact that no one's ethnic identity needs to be legitimized by others, while at the same time, no one has the right to invalidate others' cultural identity or expressions thereof. That, of course, includes other people of color who want to speak out against erasure—it's simply myopic, insensitive, and ignorant to push the agenda of one cause by jumping to conclusions about an entire culture. Again, it's not advocacy or support to claim there's prejudice against one community when the claim is based purely on ignorance about another community.


The song, which heavily samples the 2006 track of the same name, was already the site of cultural debate, with the South Korean boy band BTS and Becky G releasing their version seemingly without paying homage to the song's origin. Bianca Bonnie's (Young B) and DJ Webstar's original "Chicken Noodle Soup" was a catchy, light-hearted anthem to Harlem, the hometown of both artists. While they've both voiced approval for the cover, many young fans go unaware that the Becky G and J-Hope collaboration is a remake.

For instance, when Becky G shared the song with her 2.3 million followers on Twitter, she made no mention of the original creators. She posted, "#ChickenNoodleSoup ya salió!! Korean, Spanish, English... we brought cultures together & made a trilingual song! Music really is universal." She continued, "I hope everyone enjoys this! Shoutout to my friend J-HOPE! We did that!"

Obviously, that oversight doesn't justify any accusation that Becky G doesn't "sound Mexican." Because, as any simple Google search will reveal, at least 68 national languages are spoken in Mexico, including at least 350 dialects of those languages. Becky G joins a bevy of Latinx artists who have been criticized for not "looking" or "sounding" Latinx. She's candidly addressed the claims in the past: "'You don't look Latina' or 'You don't even speak Spanish.' These are the remarks that us second- and third-generation-born American Latinos often hear. The truth is, the lack of language knowledge does not lessen the Latin blood running through our veins or the stories our last names carry." She added, "Although my Spanish is flawed and I didn't grow up in Mexico, I take pride in my roots. My family's history and the fact that all the traditions and morals passed down have shaped me to be who I am today is what it means to be a second-generation-born Mexican-American for me."

@rudeboiluna has since suspended their account.

Jung Hoseok (J-Hope of BTS) and Becky G just released their new collab, "Chicken Noodle Soup," and it's straight fire.

The song pays major homage to Webstar and Young B's classic hip hop track of the same name, which was the first song J-Hope learned to dance to. In their modern version, the chorus is still in English, but J-Hope raps in Korean and Becky G raps in Spanish. The music video also features 50 dancers of different nationalities, making this one of the most diverse, multicultural collabs ever made. No wonder "Chicken Noodle Soup" is going viral.

j-hope 'Chicken Noodle Soup (feat. Becky G)' MV www.youtube.com

But the point is: I think it's really important to take a moment to just appreciate J-Hope's hips. Like damn. That boy can move.

Obviously as the dance captain of BTS, J-Hope is an incredible talent. But his hips here are like...next level. Hoseok gyrates with a smooth intensity that probably should be studied by physicists in the name of scientific advancement. He walks like he's literally floating.

Even surrounded by tons of other professional dancers, J-Hope is a beam of dancing light, flowing and flapping like the patron saint of chicken noodle soup. HOW DOES THIS MAN FLOAT?

Okay. I'm done freaking out now. Except no I'm not, because there's also a Chicken Noodle Soup Challenge and now I need to learn the dance, too.

How does J-Hope twist like that? Who gave him those hips? Insane.

Of course, the best part of the #CNSchallenge is that all the BTS boys are going to join in to show their support. In fact, V and Jungkook already dropped their vids.

Get ready for a whole lot more Chicken Noodle Soup, but more importantly, a whole lot more of J-Hope's hips because that's what I'm here for now.

Taylor Swift is complicit.

Amazon

In celebration of their annual, self-proclaimed "holiday," Amazon Prime Day, mega-corporation Amazon hosted a huge concert in New York City featuring major stars like Taylor Swift, SZA, and Becky G. We officially live in a capitalist dystopia.

In-person attendance was only open to "select local Prime members," but Amazon's concert is available for streaming to every Prime member, assuming they also want to be inundated with Prime Day sale ads.

But why is anyone focusing on an oh-boy-so-fun Amazon concert and letting them get positive press when the company continues to treat their warehouse workers like garbage? How is this ethical?

Amazon is the most valuable company in the world. Its CEO, Jeff Bezos, is the richest man in the world with a net worth of $63 billion. That is more money than anyone in their right mind would even know what to do with. And yet instead of using some of its profits to improve conditions for their warehouse workers, Amazon blows it on some concert nobody asked for in celebration of their stupid sale day. Right now, reporting on anything Amazon does in a positive light is absolutely unethical.

jeff bezos Unionize against Jeff Bezos.Amazon

John Oliver covered warehouse conditions at Amazon, and they are a travesty. Do not believe the argument that Amazon can't afford to fix their warehouse policies while still keeping prices low. They can. Do not believe Amazon higher-ups' claims that these conditions are false. They are true and well-sourced. Workers are tasked with high-labor, ten hour shifts for low pay and little-to-no health benefits. They're forced to work through injuries or risk losing their jobs. They've needed to pee in trashcans to increase productivity. It's time to unionize.

Amazon's statement with this concert could not be more clear. They are telling workers that they do not care about them in the slightest, that their money is better used paying for Taylor Swift than it is improving warehouse conditions. Do not let it stand. It's time to unionize.

Moreover, Amazon pays zero dollars in federal taxes. To clarify, a single mother supporting her child with multiple fast food jobs pays significantly more federal taxes than the most valuable company in the world. This is a travesty. Time to unionize.

Seriously. Workers of Amazon, free yourself from the shackles of Jeff Bezos' slavery. Stop living beneath the boot of an abusive mega-corporation. Band together and unionize.