After some light teasing, California-native Becky G and BTS sensation J-Hope released their fresh take on Webstar and Young B’s original “Chicken Noodle Soup” from 2006. In a matter of just a few days, the surprise collaboration has raked in over 50 million views, started a dance challenge, and sparked conversation around cultural appropriation and forced Caribean blaccents in the white Latinx artistic community.
In the trilingual song, we see the South Korean rapper sample the classic with a clever dose of “Becky G on the side.” She then pops out and swings between her two tongues, proudly adding “We all got love for where we come from.”
Black boricua-salvadorian Twitter user @rudeboiluna challenged the idea of what and who the “A Whole New World” singer is representing here, saying “[non-black] POC cannot survive without appropriating Black diaspora.” Though her account is now suspended following an uprising on behalf of both a part of the Mexican community and the ever-loyal BTS army, screenshots show what exactly led to a bit of a spiral.
#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 pic.twitter.com/suxJ9ZVZ08
— PERLAMAR: (@soulpunkmin) October 1, 2019
The reactionary hashtag started as a result of Luna’s implication that all Mexicans sound the same – an idea we know isn’t true in a country with a population of over 120 million and over 60 languages, plus 300 dialects. That being said, the issue and probing of the use of a blaccent (here and beyond) is valid. While countless users accentuated their particular intonations, and elaborated on the offense taken, in videos, others in the diaspora redirected everyone’s attention to the initial subject at hand:
#HowDoMexicansTalk You are lying if you’re going to deny non-Black, non-Caribbean artists/people are increasingly adopting Caribbean and African American ways of speaking to market themselves in Black/Afro-Latinx genres and culture, this has been peeped by Black Latinxs for YRS.
— Something scary? Mexican Nationalism (@brujacontumbao) October 1, 2019
#HowDoMexicansTalk? By being anti-Black and making an ugly ass hashtag when they’re called out for it. By making fun of every other Spanish and thinking Mexican Spanish is the most right until you can profit off of Caribbean Spanish.
— Ana Martinez Jimenez (@AnaGonzalezJim8) October 1, 2019
Meanwhile, others dug deeper, questioning the very nature of Mexicans’ love for the genres represented in the song.
I know it’s wishful thinking but rn would probably be a good time for us Mexicans to ask ourselves if our love for k-pop and new reggaetón is just us listening to these genres because they’ve whitewashed Black creators out of them #HowDoMexicansTalk
— Rubén (@QueerXiChisme) October 1, 2019
The 21-year-old artist expressed pride in her newly-released work just a couple of days ago, saying “this is definitely something that we will look back on and are gonna be extremely proud of.” She has yet to publicly comment on the above.
Because I’ve never experienced this in my whole career I wanted to make a lil video to express my gratitude ❤️ I’ve seen so many cute posts & I want you all to know the love is mutual pic.twitter.com/h4gAbZq4oP
— Becky G. (@iambeckyg) October 1, 2019
Though rash Twitter discourse can often bring out the worst in people, the issue of appropriation (which J-Hope himself has been scrutinized for in the past), and the collective assessment of who the genres we love most are benefitting, and leaving behind, is healthy.