By Steve Weinstein
By Bryan Bierman
By Lindsey Rhoades
By Chaz Kangas
By Ben Westhoff and Sarah Purkrabek
By Jena Ardell
By Jesse Sendejas Jr.
By Katherine Turman
Pleasure One: It's funny and adorable to hear lovin'-every-minute Spanish women try to deal with Sugarhill's chorus. They think they don't get it because it's a foreign language; how could they know it's nonsense already? Garbage in, garbage out: Don't waste your high school Spanish translating "Aserejé" back into English. It's still nonsense: The meaningless title wants to be "I said a hip," and it just gets cuter from there.
Pleasure Two: The chorus-length hook is grippy enough to climb a Billboard, but what the song shares with plenty internationalismo and old-skool hip-hop (and almost no other anglophone music) is how the vocals lead out the rhythmcascading joyously over a neutral Spanglobeat you'll never even notice, racing away from technique toward a good time like the crypto-dance-craze Las Ketchup demo in the video.
Pleasure Bonus: A whole cultural theory! The verse tells the story of some guy named Diego I don't quite follow, but along the way it mentions rumba, ragatanga, rastafari afrogitano, mambo, and salsa. We got the beat, the song says. We got our own phonemes. You might have the language of Empire; we're not gonna take it.