On The 6
20 Years of ‘On the 6’: How Jennifer Lopez made an impact in my life
I remember clearly how I first encountered the name Jennifer Lopez. I was at home watching TV with my parents when a news special about the autobiography film of the late Latina icon ‘Selena’ will finally be shown in the theaters. The actress playing the lead role is a mere newbie in the movie business. Although I wasn’t that familiar with Selena’s music and her impact to the Latino community, the actress named Jennifer Lopez has the looks, charisma and talent that the late Selena has. A couple more movies after, the actress who once played the role of a singer is now a singer making her own name in the music industry. She will no longer be known as ‘the girl who played Selena’. Nah, she’s Jennifer Lopez!
Jennifer Lopez: On the 6’s Remarkable Journey
In her interviews, Jennifer Lopez often mentioned that she named her debut album ‘On the 6’ because she used to ride on Subway 6 in New York City during her humble days while chasing her dreams either from Manhattan or from her hometown, the Bronx. Just like her journey to the movie business, pursuing a music career via On the 6 is a big risk on her part. It can either make or break her career. Lucky for Jennifer Lopez that her debut album showcased what she can offer to the world and it welcomed her with open arms – and more! Listening to Jennifer Lopez’ ‘On the 6’ album is like watching a variety show – there’s latin dance music, feel-good tunes and romantic songs that will either make you fall in love or question your relationship. In short, there’s a song for everyone. It seems that the producers really made sure that this debut album will make Jennifer Lopez the most recognizable name in the music industry that time. They’re not here to play it safe – the girl from the Bronx will prove to the world that Latina singers will soon dominate the charts and the trend will start with her! When I saw Jennifer’s music video for “If You Had My Love” for the first time, I became mesmerized with her. It is not usual that you see someone with the same skin color (I’m from the Philippines, but during that time, brown-skinned pop stars were rare in the mainstream music scene) singing, dancing and oozing with sex appeal and confidence. Add the fact that the theme of the music video where a visitor of her fan site (Adam Rodriguez of Magic Mike) can access the ‘rooms’ where Jennifer trying different types of dances. During that time, I was so fascinated on how this Latina performer was able to show her dancing skills in one futuristic video. Wow. What a trendsetter! Another thing that I admired about Jennifer initially is starting a new territory at 29 years old, which is already considered by some as ‘old’ since Pop Princesses like Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera were introduced in the market during this time too.
Waiting for Tonight: Celebrating Y2K with a Bang!
I was in the hospital when the music video of ‘Waiting for Tonight’ was launched in MTV (no YouTube yet, kids!). I wait in anticipation and even made a simple choreography of the song in time for our Christmas party in school days after my operation! Back then, there were rumors that it might be ‘the end of the world’ once we reach year 2000 – Millennium is a sketchy time for kids during that time! So what did Jennifer do? She released a sexy yet classy music video for ‘Waiting for Tonight’. The scene where the party crowd are waiting for the New Year Countdown is my favorite. What if it is really the end of the world? Why not end it in a happy note? Again, me and my friends tried to copy her dance steps in the video. It also inspired me to write some songs and be creative when performing onstage.
Introducing Latin Music to the World
I will be honest here: Prior to Jennifer’s entry in the music scene, the only other Latin pop star that I am familiar with are Gloria Estefan and Ricky Martin. My mother was a fan of Gloria Estefan and she used to play her songs at home, while Ricky Martin was a big deal back then due to the success of his comeback single ‘Maria’. He had to have a female counterpart and that was our queen Jennifer Lopez. In Asia alone, her song ‘Let’s Get Loud’ (originally intended for Gloria Estefan) became one of the most played songs of 2000. We also performed this in a school fair and it encouraged us to have fun and really get loud!
Other Noteworthy Tracks from On The 6
On the 6 album is not completely an all-dance album. In fact, there are a number of songs for the dreamers, the romantics and the brokenhearted ones. My top favorite track in this album is ‘Feelin’ So Good’. This is the type of song that you must play whenever you wake up early in the morning to start work. It will influence you to look at things in a brighter perspective. I tried listening to this song while commuting to school in my CD Man. It is my go-to song for positive vibes. Jennifer Lopez recorded the Spanish track ‘No Me Ames’ with her soon-to-be-husband-then-ex Mark Anthony. The collaboration was a big hit in the Latin market. Her rendition of the classic ‘Theme from Mahogany (Do You Know Where You’re Going To?)’ is often sung by young girls. ‘Talk About Us’ is for two individuals who need to talk and discuss if they want to take their relationship on the next level or not. ‘Could This Be Love?’ is surely the top pick of the hopeless romantics out there. Whew! The 20 year musical journey via ‘On the 6’ is truly a memorable ride! JLO (I can finally use that nick name!) doesn’t seem to age, doesn’t she? Our Queen is unstoppable at 49!