When “Tusa” came out in 2019, everyone assumed that the “pero si le ponen La Canción” lyric was a direct reference to Bad Bunny and J Balvin’s song by that name. But as Ovy On The Drums explained in a recent interview, that was not the original plan. In fact, “La Canción” was supposed to be the song’s title, but Benito and Jose’s hit threw a wrench into those plans.
In the summer of 2019, J Balvin and Bad Bunny teamed up and released “La Canción,” a heartbreak ballad with a slow, melancholic beat. The theme of the melody was an exploration of grief attached to an unsuccessful romance, which is then triggered by hearing the couple’s song played while out clubbing.
Later that year, Karol G and Nicki Minaj dropped “Tusa,” the high-energy break-up anthem with a similar concept. And because of the two songs’ thematic similarities, as Ovy explained, the title had to be changed.
In the interview, Ovy says that the original name for “Tusa” was “La Canción,” but it was changed due to the release of the duo’s banger by the same name. “Tusa” was complete but hadn’t been released when “La Canción” dropped. Karol G then suggested they pivot to “Tusa,” which is slang for the feeling of disappointment following a broken heart in La Bichota’s native home of Colombia.
In “Tusa,” Karol G sings, “If they play the song/ The silly girl falls into a depression/ Crying, she starts to call him,” to an upbeat and energetic melody. “La Canción” has Bad Bunny crooning about “having thought he forgot her, but then they played their song,” to a hypnotic pulse.
Love, heartbreak, and recovery are universal themes, so it’s no surprise these megastars would have their own take on the topics. Three years later, it seems to have worked out for everyone. The two songs are among the most popular in the genre, having racked up a combined number of more than 500 million streams.