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J.Lo At 20: Celebrating The Album When Jennifer Lopez started recording her sophomore album
J.Lo, in 2000, she was within the midst of an unbelievable profession excessive. With a $1 million wage for 1997’s Selena, she’d change into the highest-paid Latina actress in Hollywood historical past and had a minimum of three new films within the works. “Waiting for Tonight,” her dance-infused 1999 single, had change into an anthem for the brand new millennium and was nominated for a Grammy. And he or she was about to make trend historical past, because of a sure plunging Versace dress. In hindsight, given how lengthy she’s been a multihyphenate, Lopez’s early ambidextrousness wasn’t one bit stunning. In truth, as she advised Rolling Stone the next 12 months, she felt like she hadn’t even began but. “I’m wanting ahead to the ninth album, the thirtieth film. I need to write extra songs, tour, discover the proper roles, have my family. That’s why I’ve a lot vitality. I do know what lies forward.”
Lopez introduced the identical resolve into performing, and her title efficiency in Selena served as the right jumping-off level into the pop-music sphere. Beginning with the sultry, groovy single “If You Had My Love,” her debut, On the 6, additionally made Lopez — alongside Ricky Martin, Marc Anthony, and Enrique Iglesias — an necessary contributor to 1999’s Latin Explosion, which noticed a considerable improve within the mainstream visibility of Latin music.
With the whole lot she already completed, Lopez proved she might evolve artistically and do it effectively. However J.Lo represented essentially the most vital turning level for Lopez but, securing her standing as an icon. Launched on January 16, 2001, the identical week The Wedding ceremony Planner opened in theaters at No. 1 on the field workplace, J.Lo debuted on the Billboard 200 on the very high spot. She was already a star; this — the one double No. 1 debut of its variety thus far — made her intergalactic. With 4 singles, subsequent smash Homicide Inc. remixes that includes Ja Rule, and a refreshed picture that offered Lopez by way of a glamorous-yet-still-relatable lens, J.Lo grew to become an influential catalyst that positioned its star to outline practically each nook of Y2K popular culture.
The shift was imminent when J.Lo’s lead single, “Love Don’t Value a Factor,” dropped in December 2000. Glowing and bass-heavy, with empowered lyrics that dismissed lavish presents because the glue holding Lopez’s love in place, it was extra assured than something she’d launched earlier than. The press speculated the track was a wink at Lopez’s high-profile relationship with Sean “P. Diddy” Combs, who additionally co-wrote and produced 4 tracks on J.Lo. The music video noticed Lopez — draped in gold jewellery, a cream duster, and caramel-gradient sun shades — tearing off her luxuries till she was nearly naked on the seashore. J.Lo, the nickname given to her by followers, had arrived.
As a producer and co-writer, Lopez had inventive management over J.Lo and leaned into R&B and hip-hop. On the 6 did too, however J.Lo was distinctly formed by the influences and yielded some spectacular collaborators. Lopez breathlessly yearns for a lover on the Diddy-produced sluggish jam “Come Over.” “Play,” co-written by Christina Milian with the singer on background vocals, combines a cool groove with ’80s dance sensibilities. Hip-hop meets Latin pop over a delicate pattern of the Sugar Hill Gang’s “eighth Marvel” on “I’m Going to Be Alright,” whereas Mambo-inspired “Cariño” and “Si Ya Se Acabó,” with flutters of flamenco guitar, absolutely embrace Latin sounds — one other formative affect on J.Lo.
Hip-hop performed a good bigger position on the album by way of Homicide Inc. remixes, significantly with “I’m Actual” that includes Ja Rule. The track was a standout in its unique iteration (with its now-infamous pattern of Yellow Magic Orchestra’s “Firecracker,” which Mariah Carey deliberate to make use of for “Loverboy”), however the remix — a completely new monitor, written by Ja Rule with backup vocals from Ashanti and a melody sampled from “Mary Jane” by Rick James — was a spectacular hit, changing into a signature for Lopez and carving out a spot within the cross-genre prism of that includes rap on a pop track.
The mannequin gained huge traction by way of the last decade with, for instance, Carey’s “Fantasy” remix that includes Ol’ Soiled Bastard and Aaliyah’s “Are You That Any person?” that includes Timbaland. However as “I’m Actual” dominated the airwaves and obtained crucial acclaim, Lopez’s duet with Ja Rule helped cement the lasting energy of the pop/hip-hop composite. Over the subsequent decade, everybody from Beyoncé (“Loopy in Love” that includes Jay-Z) and Usher (“Yeah!” that includes Lil Jon and Ludacris) to Justin Timberlake (“Like I Love You” that includes Clipse) tapped in. The success of “I’m Actual” led to different J.Lo remixes, together with “I’m Gonna Be Alright” with Nas and “Ain’t It Humorous” with Ja Rule and Cadillac Tah. “It is gonna put her in one other zone,” Ja Rule advised MTV on the time. “After this one, they gonna expect sizzling crossover R&B joints from J. Lo.”
Lopez saved them coming after J.Lo: “All I Have” that includes LL Cool J; “Jenny from the Block” that includes Jadakiss and Kinds P; “Get Proper” that includes Fabolous. With 2018’s “Dinero,” pairing her with DJ Khaled and Cardi B, and 2019’s “Medication” that includes French Montana, Lopez continues to bridge pop and hip-hop immediately. She’s additionally nonetheless blazing genre-crossing trails, dipping pop into lure and reggaetón: “Te Guste,” a 2018 duet with Dangerous Bunny, was described as a “trap-pop gamechanger,” and her two-track collaboration with rising Colombian star Maluma, “Pa’Ti” and “Lonely,” seems on the soundtrack for the forthcoming romantic comedy, Marry Me.
Whereas J.Lo was contributing to the trajectory of early 2000s music, Lopez herself was making her mark in trend and sweetness. After carrying the palm-print chiffon Versace gown to the 2000 Grammys — and inadvertently spurring the invention of Google picture search — Lopez’s model shortly permeated into the period’s aesthetic. Athleisure, nude tones, fur-lined puffer jackets, hoop earrings, French-tip nails, and high-heeled Timberland boots proudly channeled her Nuyorican roots and fused them with Hollywood glamour. Lopez rocked the appears in her music movies, which now function stylish time capsules, from the pink terrycloth shorts set in “I’m Actual (Remix)” to the lengthy fur coat and taupe bucket hat in “Play.”
Months after J.Lo was launched, Lopez launched her clothes line: J.Lo by Jennifer Lopez mirrored her personal model and included sweatsuits, bedazzled tops, and denim. “The voluptuous girl is nearly ignored,” Lopez said throughout a press convention. “I need to supply garments which might be splendidly designed and can match girls of all sizes.” It’s exhausting to overstate how the visibility of Lopez’s physique impressed a cultural shift. The ’90s, particularly, had been the period of “heroin stylish,” an not possible commonplace of magnificence that excluded anybody who wasn’t 5’10” and a dimension zero. With a lot consideration mounted to her pure curves, Lopez — repeatedly asked to lose weight early in her profession (she refused) — undeniably contributed to the media’s extra inclusive view of all physique varieties. Her clothes line was a bodily realization of that.
Lopez, in fact, is now on the helm of a multimillion-dollar empire spanning movie, tv, music, trend, and sweetness. She is among the most versatile, influential, and recognizable artists on this planet, not solely growing Latin illustration within the leisure trade by way of the strides she took within the early 2000s however serving to to redefine the whole media panorama alongside the way in which. She’s an icon — an necessary one. And J.Lo, with the reverberating affect it made, was a significant stepping stone in that path: Due to that album, these three letters are eternally embedded within the vernacular of latest popular culture.