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Cardi B’s “I Like It” Incorporates Generational Latinx Influences

Singers BBad Bunny, Cardi B, and J Balvin, respectively

Latinx Music popularity continues to grow

The Cardi B take-over is in full effect. Last year’s song of the summer was Despacito by Puerto Ricans Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee. This year another Boricua jam made the #1 slot for this summer’s Billboard Hot 100.

Boricua is another word for Puerto Rican, and although Cardi B is a Dominican-Trinidadian born and raised in The Bronx, New York, the song “I Like It” was based and sampled off a song named “I Like It Like That” by Pete Rodriguez. Rodriguez is a Puerto Rican boogaloo singer, and although his songs were never a mainstream hit, the song “I Like It Like That” was extremely popular in New York in the 60s.

Rodriguez reportedly did not know that the chorus of his track was sampled by Cardi until his grandchildren told him. They also explained to him who Cardi was and showed him some of her videos. His favorite is “I Like It.”

“This is crazy. I never thought it was going to last for 50 years,” Rodriguez said to Billboard.

Celebrating her Background

Cardi B uses both sides of her culture, the background she grew up in and her roots, in her song. Her English rapping invokes a lot of her Bronx, New York side while the Latin flair throughout the song invokes her Dominican and Trinidadian side.

She teams up with Colombian and Puerto Rican singer J Balvin and Bad Bunny respectively. Although she is embracing her Dominican roots, Cardi still raps primarily in English on the track. She is no stranger to singing in Spanish, especially when she teams up with Ozuna on songs like “La Modelo” and “Taki Taki.”

Balvin and Bunny rap in Spanish, and with the Spanish flare throughout the song and video, it is clear that the song is Latin at is core.

Balvin invokes famous Afro-Cuban singer Celia Cruz with “Como Celia Cruz tengo el azucar,” and also Lady Gaga with his “p-p-p-paparazzi como Lady Gaga” line.

On the Charts

Interestingly enough, Billboard did not track “I Like It” on the Hot Latin Songs chart, but only on the Latin Airplay chart, which means that Spanish stations are playing it heavily. Because the song starts off in English and adds in Spanish, it is only allowed on one of these charts.

The video itself has a distinct Latin taste to it by having been filmed in Little Havana, Miami. This adds a Cuban element along with the already-present Dominican, Puerto Rican, and Colombian cultures from the singers.

You can watch the video for yourself below.

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