To call J Balvin's "Mi Gente" vibrant and diverse would be a severe understatement, as the global smash does so much more than bring everyone to the international dance floor.
Balvin sat down with MTV News to discuss the origins of his track with Parisian DJ/singer Willy William, and it turns out that the words and policies of one xenophobic world leader in particular inspired their all-inclusive collaboration.
Donald Trump's comments, specifically about Mexico, prompted Balvin to pen an anthem that sought to break down borders instead of build them up. "I was like, 'OK, let's do a song to unite the people,'" he tells MTV News. "I don't want no discrimination; I just want to send a message. I did 'Mi Gente' for my people around the world. The lyrics are so strong, besides the beat. This music is for the world. We don't discriminate nobody. It's a lot."
Balvin literally works this mission statement into the first verses of the track, as "Mi música no discrimina a nadie" (or "My music doesn't discriminate against anyone") is the third line he sings. "Mi Gente" took shape shortly after William sent him an intensely hypnotic beat — one crafted by Swedish/Congolese performer Mohombi — and he was promptly hooked on the sound that would serve as the song's backbone.
"Immediately when I listened to the beat, I was like, 'This is what I was looking for,'" he says. A banger that works in multiple languages, artists from different continents, and aims to unite the whole damn planet in the face of hatred? We can get on board with that.