Ed Sheeran, pop music’s affable redhead and the guy critics love to hate, is here to deliver your WTF moment of the
day year. On Friday, the English singer-songwriter unveiled a reimagining of his ubiquitous dancehall number “Shape of You” – featuring none other than reggaeton gods Zion y Lennox. Yes, the Puerto Rican duo – and kings of sunglasses-in-the-club – teamed up with Sheeran for the “Latin remix” of the chart-topping hit, à la Balvin-Bieber.
Unlike Balvin and Bieber’s “Sorry” rework, this reimagining is a little more unexpected – and perhaps even more momentous, since it marks Sheeran’s first collaboration with a Latino artist. On it, the Boricua superstars deliver a couple of Spanish verses (and plenty of guttural “mamacita” flourishes – trust). While I was gunning for a filthy perreo breakdown, or even a mini-bachatón riff, this remix pretty much keeps Sheeran’s marimbas and inoffensive dembow-lite riddim intact.
While the official collaboration seems more like a strategic maneuver intended to tap into Latinx audiences’ buying power, rather than a genuine sign of respect between creators, it’s certainly a savvy business move – cultivating a Latinx fanbase is essential for any mainstream artist in 2017. If anything, it gives two legends a global platform, and the opportunity to claim a part of the Sheeran moment for themselves. Hit play on the remix above.