The Cultural Significance Behind Shakira and JLo's Half Time Performance

I couldn’t move forward without writing about the significance behind Shakira and Jennifer Lopez’s amazing Super Bowl Halftime Show! I’m not sure of the last time I’ve had as much fun watching a live performance since binge drinking to Madonna’s elaborate performance in 2011 or the link up between second timer Beyonce and Bruno Mars back in 2014. When it was announced that Shakira and JLo would be teaming up for the most watched performance of the year, I couldn’t help but consider the politics behind the NFL. Following outcry from Colin Kaepernick supporters following the NFL’s unjust termination of his contract, Maroon 5 hit the halftime stage alongside Travis $cott who caught backlash from Jay Z. In the swift turn of events, it was announced that HOV would sign a major deal with the NFL to executive produce the halftime show moving by the end of 2019. I couldn’t help but question the coincidence in having two of the world's biggest Latinas team up following a year of new laws and injustices against our fellow latinos in America.

Shakira kicked off the show bringing that contagious heat she’s known for performing hits like “She Wolf,” “Empire,” “Whenever, Wherever” (which hit #1 the following day), a cover of Cardi B’s “I Like It” alongside special guest Bad Bunny, “Chantaje”. The performance packed the international flare the singers known for; she brought bachata, the craziest footwork with Columbian champete, and went viral with the Arabian native toungue for celebration “Zaghrouta”. This goes without said, Shakira brought those mesmerizing hits she’s known for closing with “Hips Don’t Lie”. Just when the show “ends” Jennifer Lopez comes demanding the stage with a hard-hitting reproduction of “Jenny From The Block,” “Ain’t It Funny,” and “Get Right”. JLo brought out the guns during a slow down of “Waiting For Tonight,” which she performed while showing off her Hustler stripper-pole moves. It’s crazy to think this diva is a whole 50 years old! Turning up the heat JLo brings out J Balvin for a performance of “Que Calor,” “Big Booty,” and “Mi Gente” Don Chezina reminiscent “Tra, Tra, Tra'' reproduction – the choreographer to this part was sickening! It’s worth a double take!

JLo slow things down after performing “On The Floor” to make a statement while performing “Lets Get Loud”. Joined by her and Marc Anthony’s eldest daughter Emmy, Jennifer Lopez took the stage surrounded by children in cages before emerging with a feather Versace jacket with the Puerto Rican flag on the inside and American Flag on the outside. The moment was a clear statement to Donald Trump and the millions of Americans holding prejudice towards latino Americans following the controversy surrounding ICE and the immigration camps full of children. Joined by Shakira, the finish performing “Lets Get Loud” before going into a joint performance of “Waka Waka”. Before ending the performance the duo pick up the energy with solo performances with full-on, crazy footwork with solo performances of champete and meringue. Before leaving the stage Shakira and Jennifer give each other a high five and big hug because they know they delivered a flawless performance.

When I say that is a performance … man, everything from the choreography to the energy level was on point throughout the nearly 15 minute performance! Of course the duo, a combined 94 years old brought the heat reminding us exactly why they haven’t gone anywhere after delivering all those hits nearly 20 years ago. Not only did the two deliver a flawless performance, short of any stunts or screw ups but they brought exactly what they are known for. With the Superbowl taking place in Miami, Jennifer Lopez and Shakira appropriately reminded us of the beauty in the latin culture and it’s overall influence on the American culture. If these are the unapologetic and well-thought out performances that we can expect in celebration of the American football underneath Jay Z, I’m looking forward to next year’s Super Bowl Halftime show already! Like everyone else, I was a little disappointed that Pitbull didn’t hit the stage with JLo and it would have been dope if Cardi B joined Shakira to perform “I Like It”. No need to fix what isn’t broken! Overall, an amazing performance! What did you think? Sound off in the comments below!



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