I Luh Ya Papi is a song recorded by Jennifer Lopez for her upcoming album featuring guest vocals from rapper French Montana.
The song was released on March 11, 2014 as the lead single from the album through 2101 Records and Capitol Records.
It was co-written by Jennifer, Andre Proctor, Karim Kharbouch and Noel "Detail" Fisher, the latter of which also handled the song's production.
Musically, "I Luh Ya Papi" is hip hop and synthpop song, backed with synths and metallic beats, that lyrically contains innuendoes and references to Lopez's body.
The song received generally positive reviews from music critics, who praised the song itself, but criticized its title.
The song's accompanying music video was shot by director Jessy Terrero, a previous collaborator of Jennifer's.
The video was filmed in Miami, Florida and depicts her in fantasy, following a concept of Jennifer objectifying males.
The video was met with positive reviews from critics for confronting music industry sexism.
The single was promoted with a performance on season thirteen of American Idol, where Jennifer also serves as a judge.
French Montana joined Jennifer on stage for the performance which also featured appearances from previous season contestants Jessica Sanchez, Allison Iraheta and Pia Toscano.
Song Background & ReleaseEdit
On March 5, 2014, a version of "I Luh Ya Papi" featuring French Montana premiered on the radio station Power 106.
In addition to the original version, a remix of the song featuring Big Sean was also premiered.
Speaking of Jennifer's decision to have French Montana feature, she said:
"We’re both from New York, and we both have similar backgrounds, and I wanted this record to have that vibe and he was just perfect for it so I was so happy when he heard this record and wanted to be a part of it."
According to the Nielsen BDS, "I Luh Ya Papi" was the second-most added song to rhythmic radio stations in Canada.
"I Luh Ya Papi" is a hip hop and synthpop song that was produced by Detail.
According to Michael Cragg of The Guardian, the song is "all a bit bonkers" with synths sliding in reverse and metallic beats "clanking in the distance."
Jennifer raps and sings in three different accents.
Jeff Benjamin of Fuse.tv also called the production of the song a "mixing electro bloops with a hip hop beat."
It contains a range of innuendoes and "overt references" to Jennifer's body. Such can be heard in the lyrics "Got that hourglass for you, baby look at these legs" referencing her famed hourglass figure.
A music video for "I Luh Ya Papi" was directed by Jessy Terrero in Miami, Florida.
On February 12, 2014, Jennifer was photographed on a large luxury yacht in Miami filming a music video.
She was clothed in a "skin-tight long-sleeve cut-out top" and "white hot pants", while wearing gold sunglasses and sporting a "sleek sectioned ponytail".
Jennifer was surrounded by shirtless men. The clip for "I Luh Ya Papi" is a comic concept video that "speaks out about men objectifying women in 'every single video."
Speaking of the music video, she stated:
"The director came up with the concept to kind of flip the rap video — to make me the rapper and, you know, just turn the tables in that way...instead of having girls in bathing suits, have guys in bathing suits. Instead of having me be the soft girl in the video, be the rapper who’s in the mansion and the yacht. It was all meant to be in good fun, but you know, I knew people would get the joke."
The video opens with Jennifer and two of her female friends consulting with a record label executive on treatment ideas for her new music video, who suggests that it be filmed in a water park or zoo.
Her friends complain about females being objectified in music videos and begin fantasizing a concept video where Jennifer objectifies males.
Their fantasy video then begins with Jennifer in a "morning-after scene" where she walks around a mansion filled with partly naked men ("for no reason") wearing a tracksuit inspired by her famed 2000 Green Versace jungle dress.
Then, she and her friends (clothed in denim shorts) are seen dancing in a driveway, where they later view topless men cleaning cars.
In a poolside scene, Jennifer and her friends are taking pictures of the men and are fed by them.
Later, Jennifer is clothed in an all-white outfit on a yacht, where she and her friends continue objectifying the males.
Towards the end of the clip, Jennifer, French Montana and her friends all appear singing, rapping and dancing in a studio-lit setting.
Rosie Swash of The Guardian stated that "gender politics are confused but the outfits are fabulous."
Lily Rothman of Time magazine similarly stated:
"If she and her girlfriends are upset enough about women being objectified in music videos to make a whole video skewering that tradition, why respond by objectifying other people?"
Rothman also noted the two female back-up dancers who act as "decorative objects" for French Montana's appearance in the clip, and wrote:
"They don’t play characters, they don’t really show off any particular dance skills, you can barely see their faces — it’s pretty much a textbook case of the “video vixen” objectification that’s derided in the video’s intro."
The Huffington Post's Emma Gray stated that:
"There is something simply wonderful about seeing a mainstream pop star – one who has been working within the confines of music industry sexism for decades – explicitly call out a gender-based double standard."
However, Gray noted the video's "empowering undertones" to fall apart in French Montana's scene:
"With the entrance of a powerful male character, the scripts are immediately flipped back to normal."
Speaking of the video's theme, Daisy Buchanann of The Telegraph wrote:
"I suspect she’s savvy enough to know that full frontal feminism would lead to a commercial disaster, and she knows she can’t fix sexism within the industry with one video, but she can start a conversation about it."
Nadeska Alexis of MTV News praised the video's role reversal:
"Lopez is actually waving a flag for women in the accompanying music video, as she should since March is Women's History Month and all."
Alexis called the clip "Basically 'Blurred Lines' For Women."
The video racked up 9.5 million views on Vevo, during its first week of release.
While criticizing the song for being "ridiculously-titled," Michael Cragg of The Guardian wrote that the hook "may actually require surgery to get out of your head."
Similarly, Mike Wass of Idolator said his "eyes rolled" upon hearing the single's title, but commended it as being "actually rather great."
Despite Wass calling the lyrics "questionable," he compared the song to Jennifer's 2011 single "I'm Into You" and wrote:
"The production is jam-packed with catchy hooks and the chorus is terrifyingly catchy. It’s only a matter of time before this becomes a meme."
Scott T. Sterling of Radio.com called the song a "sunny and infectious tune is sure to soundtrack many beach parties once the temperatures soar. Yes, this winter will eventually end."
Jennifer performed the song live on the March 20, 2014 episode of American Idol, where she is a part of the judging panel.
The performance opened with an a cappella introduction that featured Jennifer singing with the former contestants of "American Idol": Jessica Sanchez, Allison Iraheta and Pia Toscano.
French Montana joined Jennifer on stage towards the end of the performance.
Jennifer wore a "skimpy" pair of denim cut-offs "paired with glittery tights and a furry parka" while being accessorized with "big earrings, white wedge sneakers and a tight bun."
The stage, according to Idolator's Lisa Timmons, was a "throwback to the gritty fabulous Bronx in the ’80s with Jennifer and a gang of fly girls."
However, not all of the reception was positive; some fans accused Jennifer of lip synching the performance.