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Jenny69’s Viral ‘Corrido Tumbado’ is Not the Riverside Anthem We Needed, But the ‘Buchona’ Masterpiece We Deserve

[dropcap size=big]I[/dropcap]f there’s one thing the internet has taught us, it’s that people are mean—but they are 69 times meaner in YouTube comments. 

Jennifer Ruiz, better known as Jenny69, is a Mexican American pseudo-celebrity, beauty influencer, YouTuber, and self-proclaimed buchona from Riverside, CA. October 1st, she released her first single as an artist through Lumbre Music group, the record label founded by established corrido frontmen Alexander Guerra and Ramón Ruiz of Legado 7. A co-sign of that magnitude is typically needed for a new act to have a listener’s attention. Still, with Jenny’s 1.9 million Instagram followers and 1 million YouTube subscribers, a snippet of the video was all we needed. 

The music video for her breakout hit “La 69” was the talk of the corrido community across social media all weekend long, but seemingly for all the wrong reasons.

Screenshot from Jenny69's 'La 69' music video/Youtube.
Screenshot from Jenny69's 'La 69' music video/Youtube.
Screenshot from Jenny69's 'La 69' music video/Youtube.
Screenshot from Jenny69's 'La 69' music video/Youtube.

In the initial 10-second trailer posted on Jenny’s Instagram account, she is wearing an all-white pants suit, with a matching white tejana smoking a joint as a dramatic heartbeat is heard with the date 9.1.21 teased. Two days later, she posted the official artwork in that same all-white getup holding a rooster with the words, “From pobrecita to a bad bitch” across the bottom of the graphic. On Wednesday, September 29th, she finally gave us a snippet of her single “La 69”, which highlighted the lyrics “Soy la 69, soy la chingona que salio de Riversai,” which translates to “I’m that girl 69, the badass girl who came out of Riverside”.

To the surprise of the musical genre’s loyal following across Southern California and Mexico, the song was not a parody of a corrido tumbado (a newer style of corrido popularized by singer Natanael Cano and the label he’s signed to Rancho Humilde, the “Death Row Records” of the Corrido music world). But after giving it a few more listens, it isn’t as bad as the snippet, and anonymous trolls are making the song seem. 

Music-and-harmony-wise, sure it could be argued that “La 69” is bad. Terrible, actually, probably the worst song I’ve heard all year, and I’ve heard thousands, but she does start the song off strong. Her delivery and lyrics are on par. What really sent the song off the rails was the ad-lib in between bars. It sounds like she’s in a massage chair with her mouth open. My problem with that is it doesn’t sound authentic at all. It felt like she felt obligated to put it there to sound *authentic* and prove to us that she knows what a corrido is. That ad-lib is like when Taco Bell puts sour cream on a new burrito. It shows that you know Mexicans love to put sour cream in their food to prove their legitimacy as a Mexican restaurant, but who are we kidding? We all know we’re at Taco Bell, not El Tepeyac

We have to confront and acknowledge that criticizing women is, unfortunately, the most practiced activity on the internet. And maybe it’s time to think about this and how we can start changing this.

However, Jenny does need her flowers for crafting the most catchy and pegajoso hook since Rebecca Black’s “Friday.” Since October 1st, I cannot stop hearing the refrain, “Soy la 69, soy la chingona que salio de Riverside, ohohohhh’' in my head, and I’m not the only one. Countless memes and Tweets have been created online already, with people complaining about having the same chorus ringing through their ears. Another thing I will give her credit for is the visuals. The Inland Empire-based cinematography is exceptionally high quality. It shows her lifestyle, weed, mamalonas, taking shots of Buchanan’s whiskey. Turn the sound off, and you can see the video is comparable to other corrido tumbado greats.

The reaction to “La 69” has been overwhelmingly harsh. A quick glance at the YouTube comments will show people crediting her for curing their “paraplegia” because they got up and turned off her song. As well as people asking her to stop, thanking God for her talent. 

But here’s the real talk reflection of this entire phenomenon: If she were a male artist, the hate wouldn’t be this apparent. A positive to take away from all of this is that this song would most likely not have reached #1 trending status on YouTube with over two million views in two days if it wasn’t so bad. Simply put: It’s so bad that it’s good. This song earned its way to the top with other great songs that were so bad; it’s good, like Vin Diesel’s rolas released during his short-lived music career or this masterpiece gem by Lluvia Arambula.

We have to confront and acknowledge that criticizing women is, unfortunately, the most practiced activity on the internet. And maybe it’s time to think about this and how we can start changing this.

In all reality, this song is probably the first song she’s ever written and recorded, and when was the last time you did something people cared that much about the first time you tried something? The difference is that most of us don’t have a large enough platform to receive this much backlash, even if we tried our hardest to. If two million people read my first article ever and analyzed it, the comment section in my WordPress would have a litany of disgusted English professors and fake blind people saying I cured their blindness by reading my article. 

Music-wise, the biggest takeaway from “La 69” is that the song just feels 100% forced. The song’s title, the ad-libs, and the lyrics introducing her as an artist and told her story for her first single is a bold move worth respecting. Typically, artists don’t start their careers by clarifying things for the listeners and putting their names on the hook because nobody cares yet. 

Many artists will get more personal later in their career when the relationship with the listeners has organically grown. This feels like you’re waiting in line at a restaurant, and the person in front of you turns around and tells you their entire life story before they order their favorite Mexican dish, a Doritos Locos Taco Supreme. In other words, we all love to talk masa about it but given the right circumstances, you’re all down to wolf it all down and face it: enjoy it. 

As they say in the food and music industry, you’re only as good as your last song—or dish—so we shall all see what Jenny69’s next deep cut is. 

Until then, catch you all slipping in Riversai.

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