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By Yasmine Shemesh

When Jennifer Lopez started recording her sophomore album, J.Lo, in 2000, she was in the middle of an extraordinary career high. With a $1 million salary for 1997’s Selena, she ‘d end up being the highest-paid Latina actress in Hollywood history and had no less than three new films in the works. “Waiting on Tonight,” her dance-infused 1999 single, had actually ended up being an anthem for the new millennium and was chosen for a Grammy. And she was about to make style history, thanks to a specific plunging Versace dress. In hindsight, provided for how long she’s been a multihyphenate, Lopez’s early ambidextrousness wasn’t one bit surprising. In fact, as she told Rolling Stone the following year, she seemed like she hadn’t even started yet. “I’m eagerly anticipating the ninth album, the 30 th film. I wish to write more tunes, tour, discover the ideal functions, have my own household. That’s why I have a lot energy. I know what lies ahead.”

Lopez brought the same resolve into acting, and her title performance in Selena functioned as the best jumping-off point into the pop-music sphere. Starting with the sultry, groovy single “If You Had My Love,” her debut, On the 6, likewise made Lopez– alongside Ricky Martin, Marc Anthony, and Enrique Iglesias– an essential factor to 1999’s Latin Explosion, which saw a substantial boost in the mainstream visibility of Latin music.

With everything she currently accomplished, Lopez proved she could progress artistically and do it well. J.Lo represented the most considerable turning point for Lopez yet, securing her status as an icon. Released on January 16, 2001, the very same week The Wedding Organizer opened in theaters at No. 1 at the box workplace, J.Lo debuted on the Billboard200 at the very top area.

The shift impended when J.Lo‘s lead single, “Love Do Not Cost a Thing,” dropped in December2000 Sparkling and bass-heavy, with empowered lyrics that dismissed lavish gifts as the glue holding Lopez’s love in place, it was more confident than anything she ‘d released before. Journalism speculated the tune was a wink at Lopez’s prominent relationship with Sean “P. Diddy” Combs, who likewise co-wrote and produced 4 tracks on J.Lo The video saw Lopez– draped in gold jewelry, a cream duster, and caramel-gradient sunglasses– detaching her high-ends up until she was almost bare on the beach. J.Lo, the nickname offered to her by fans, had actually shown up.

As a producer and co-writer, Lopez had imaginative control over J.Lo and leaned into R&B and hip-hop. On the 6 did too, however J.Lo was noticeably formed by the influences and yielded some impressive partners. Lopez breathlessly yearns for a fan on the Diddy-produced slow jam “Come by.” “Play,” co-written by Christina Milian with the vocalist on background vocals, combines a cool groove with ’80 s dance sensibilities. Hip-hop meets Latin pop over a subtle sample of the Sugar Hill Gang’s “8th Wonder” on “I’m Going to Be Alright,” while Mambo-inspired “Cariño” and “Si Ya Se Acabó,” with flutters of flamenco guitar, totally accept Latin noises– another formative impact on J.Lo

Hip-hop played an even bigger function on the album through Murder Inc. remixes, especially with “I’m Genuine” featuring Ja Guideline. The tune was a standout in its original iteration (with its now-infamous sample of Yellow Magic Orchestra’s “Firecracker,” which Mariah Carey planned to use for “Loverboy”), however the remix– a totally new track, written by Ja Rule with backup vocals from Ashanti and a melody tested from “Mary Jane” by Rick James– was a magnificent hit, ending up being a signature for Lopez and taking a location in the cross-genre prism of including rap on a pop tune.

As “I’m Genuine” controlled the airwaves and received critical praise, Lopez’s duet with Ja Rule helped seal the enduring power of the pop/hip-hop composite. The success of “I’m Genuine” led to other J.Lo remixes, consisting of “I’m Gon na Be Alright” with Nas and “Ain’t It Amusing” with Ja Rule and Cadillac Tah.

Lopez kept them coming after J.Lo: “All I Have” including LL Cool J; “Jenny from the Block” including Jadakiss and Styles P; “Get Right” featuring Fabolous. With 2018’s “Dinero,” combining her with DJ Khaled and Cardi B, and 2019’s “Medication” featuring French Montana, Lopez continues to bridge pop and hip-hop today.

While J.Lo was contributing to the trajectory of early 2000 s music, Lopez herself was making her mark in style and beauty. After wearing the palm-print chiffon Versace dress to the 2000 Grammys– and unintentionally stimulating the development of Google image search– Lopez’s style rapidly permeated into the era’s visual. Athleisure, naked tones, fur-lined puffer jackets, hoop earrings, French-tip nails, and high-heeled Timberland boots happily carried her Nuyorican roots and merged them with Hollywood glamour. Lopez rocked the looks in her music videos, which now serve as chic time pills, from the pink terrycloth shorts set in “I’m Genuine (Remix)” to the long fur coat and taupe container hat in “Play.”

Months after J.Lo was launched, Lopez released her clothing line: J.Lo by Jennifer Lopez reflected her own design and consisted of sweatsuits, bedazzled tops, and denim. “The voluptuous lady is almost disregarded,” Lopez stated during a press conference. “I wish to provide clothing that are wonderfully designed and will fit females of all sizes.” It’s hard to overstate how the exposure of Lopez’s body inspired a cultural shift. The ’90 s, specifically, were the era of “heroin chic,” an impossible requirement of charm that omitted anyone who wasn’t 5’10” and a size absolutely no. With a lot attention repaired to her natural curves, Lopez– consistently asked to lose weight early in her profession (she refused)– unquestionably contributed to the media’s more inclusive view of all body types. Her clothing line was a physical realization of that.

Lopez, obviously, is now at the helm of a multimillion-dollar empire covering movie, tv, music, fashion, and beauty. She is one of the most flexible, prominent, and recognizable artists worldwide, not just increasing Latin representation in the entertainment industry through the strides she took in the early 2000 s but helping to redefine the entire media landscape along the method. She’s an icon– an essential one. And J.Lo, with the resounding impact it made, was an essential stepping stone because path: Due to the fact that of that album, those three letters are forever embedded in the vernacular of contemporary popular culture.

  • Hip-Hop
  • Pop
  • R&B
  • Music
  • Jennifer Lopez


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