“El Jefe”: Shakira Goes From Heartbreak to Labor Injustice

"El Jefe" is Shakira's new song. This moves away from the predominant theme of the Barranquillera's latest hits, heartbreak, to sing about labor injustice.


Photo: Shakira

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Leer en español: “El jefe”: Shakira pasa del despecho a la precarización laboral

Yesterday Shakira premiered her new single, "El Jefe", with the Californian group Fuerza Regida. This new hit has moved away from the theme of heartbreak to now sing about job insecurity. "El jefe", like the more recent ones "Te felicito", "Bizarrap session 53" and "TQG", is an insult song. However, this time the offenses are not directed at the ex but at the boss.

What is "El jefe" about?

Without a doubt, regional Mexican is the musical genre that is being a revelation in the music industry. This has been demonstrated by the multiple award nominations this year for groups and singers such as Peso Pluma, Grupo Frontera and Fuerza Regida, with whom Shakira collaborates in "El Jefe."

Read also: The Phenomenon of the Mexican Regional, can it Unseat Reggaeton?

She, for her part, has never been a stranger to musical revolutions or industry fashions. On the contrary, she has transformed her style and career to adapt to the industry and has always done so with her personal touch. That's how it was a few years ago when she did her first reggaeton and collaborated with artists of that genre like Anuel AA and Nicky Jam.

Well, now the Mexican regional is the bus that Spanish-speaking artists seem to want to get on. And, Shakira, without thinking twice, has done it.

Fuerza Regida: Who are them?

Fuerza Regida is a Californian regional Mexican group. This genre, of course, is not only popular in the Central American country but also in the southern states of the United States, where Mexican influence and cultural syncretism are evident in popular culture.

This may be why "El jefe" was the perfect opportunity to make a working class anthem in which the worker complained about the exploitation of his boss and the inequality between them. This is probably the situation of many Mexicans and Latin Americans in the United States.

"El jefe": Hidden message and job insecurity

The lyrics of "El jefe", then, complain about the precariousness of the person who sings it. In the video, Shakira has exchanged the coins of the Arab dance for the fringes of a Texan outfit in order to dance to the rhythm of the Mexican regional.

There, in the video, we see the members of Fuerza Regida being exploited by their boss and we are faced with the inequality between them: there is a contrast between the physical work that the worker does and the elegant dinners that the boss attends. It is this inequality that the song denounces: "I arrive walking and he arrives in a Mercedes Benz."

However, although the main theme of the song is job insecurity, Shakira's fans and social media users have found a way to relate "El jefe" to her love life. In the video, Shakira dedicates the song to Lili Melgar: "Lili Melgar, this song is for you, because they didn't pay you compensation."

Many suspect, therefore, that Lili Melgar was the nanny of Shakira and Piqué's children and that she would be the first to discover the former soccer player's romance. Upon realizing this, Piqué fired her and did not pay her compensation. This, however, is a rumor so far and has not been confirmed by Lili Melgar or Shakira.

In any case, we are facing a new hit from the Colombian singer that not only invites us to forget our ex but also to demand labor rights.

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