Is David Guetta's "Play Hard" the Best (and Most Racist) Video On YouTube?!

Guetta vid 0425 1.jpg
Earlier this week, as I was working/editing/writing/procrastinating after a long weekend on the road, I came across the new video for "Play Hard" by David Guetta. Now, I'm not much of a Guetta fan, but I don't dislike him either.

He makes radio-friendly pop songs disguised as house music (or is it house music disguised as pop songs?), and his formula -- dance beat + guest vocalists/rappers = profit!! -- is both adored and despised by music fans and critics across the globe. I'd lump him into the same category as The Black Eyed Peas and Pitbull: talented musicians who have "sold out," making crap music in order to make non-crappy millions of dollars.

In any case, after watching "Play Hard" for the first time, I was baffled and confused. Was this "one of the best videos of all time!" (sorry Beyonce & Taylor), or, as a Mexican-American, should I be offended by what I just saw? There are so many "What the Fuck" moments in this video, I had to play it five times in order to count them all.

Guetta vid 0425 2.jpg
The track itself is pretty good, taking a sample from Alice Deejay's 1998 hit "Better Off Alone." Akon delivers his auto-tuned rapping while Ne-Yo and his signature mini-fedora sing yet another hook on a mega-budget club anthem. This may not be the pinnacle of music, but there's always room for guilty pleasures on my Spotify playlists.

Many commenters on YouTube, mostly from Mexico, implored other users to click the dislike button because of the over-the-top, stereotypical, and overtly racist (in their eyes) portrayal of Mexico and Mexicans in the video.

I definitely understand the basis for their anger, and I agree that some of the visuals and characters may be politically incorrect, but we live in a world that celebrates caricatures, especially when it's "all in good fun."

Plus, shit like this really fucking happens in Mexico! Dudes in skinny jeans and pointy boots really do hold dance contests, dress in Tron-like outfits, and drink micheladas! Why make shit up when reality is so much more interesting?!

Here are my top WTF moments in the video:



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8 comments
AztecScientist
AztecScientist

Whats that girl's name that is in the picture above with the paletas. Referring to the one on the left side that plays Miss Acapulco?

emmanems
emmanems

I'll agree; the video has a LOT of WTF-ness all over; it's weird and some parts don't depict Mexicans or Mexican-Americans in a negative light. I'll also admit that I'm slightly relieved it didn't portray Colombians, for instance, because I, too, would be kinda outraged.

HOWEVER (and brace yourself for the long comment), I'll go ahead and propose that the main message of the song IS VERY accurate, and that, when combined w/the background images--i.e., when they're taken as a whole and not out-of-context--the video only reminds everyone that Hispanics--and Mexicans, in particular--not only work hard BUT ALSO play hard. Which is something that many U.S.-born peeps ignore.

Also, although Mexicans and Mexican-Americans are taking issue w/these images (and I don't blame them), the truth is many U.S. natives who watch it won't even know it's about MX, if you think about it, as many of the references could apply to most LatAm cultures. Sure, there's a part where the pageant gals are wearing sashes stating what part of Mexico they're from, but again, let's face it: Most of those who watch this and are not familiar w/those names or the references won't necessarily associate it w/MX. Plus, much of the WTF-ness can be seen in any MX or LatAmerican telenovela anyways :); we see them as endearing/normal, but there are plenty of worse and more offensive parodies out there! (Some have even been made into awful ads for international companies!)

Again, I'm not originally from MX, which makes it so that I'm not as offended by this (as I usually am by the many typically inaccurate depictions of Colombia). But if it helps, try to think of this video not as one that's making fun of MX itself, but rather one that's embracing our "work hard play hard" way of living. And that is def something to "alabar," don't you think?

(Great article overall, btw.)

MadMac
MadMac topcommenter

No me gusta.

mtorres123
mtorres123

@emmanems thanks for the comment. I certainly see your point(s) and agree with them. Apparently, David Guetta himself claims that he meant no harm with the video and his goal was to poke fun at the stereotypes of Mexico and Mexicans. I get that, too... but that's exactly what worries me: These are real people he is poking fun at. They are not made up. Yes, some are actors, but most are real people that they recruited to be in the video.


Anyway, Fox News picked up the story and quoted me here:


http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/entertainment/2013/04/30/david-guettas-mexico-inspired-video-prompts-backlash-outrage/

emmanems
emmanems

@mtorres123 I saw that! CONGRATS! That's actually where I spotted it :)--I think another org. else quoted that Fox article and that popped up on my FB.

Anyways, you're right. It is ridiculing real people/non-actors, and I wish it had been more fun than funny, if that makes sense.. I mean PSY makes fun of his culture on his videos, too, but the stereotypes he calls attention to and the people he highlights are less ridiculous.

You should def promote your view more though, as it represents what I bet many more wish they had an outlet to say.

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