imho

Despacito Is Actually A Song About Nasi Lemak

IMHO, it's all in the lyrics.

Cover image via The Hive Asia; text - Fa Abdul

The Malaysian government has just banned my favourite song “Despacito” by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee

The track, which has accumulated over 4.6 billion streams worldwide, has been accused of consisting obscene lyrics.

Watch the full video here:

I don’t know how many Malaysians there are who understand Spanish, but I for one, don’t

Despite the Spanish classes I took not too long ago which only lasted for three months, I assure you that no entiendo espanol – which means I do not understand Spanish (thanks, Google translator).

And I believe no one at the Malaysian Islamist party, Amanah (who called for the ban) understands Spanish, neither does Salleh Said Keruak, the minister at the Communications Ministry (who made the decision to ban the song).

Upon finding out about the ban, I was curious to know how obscene the lyrics could be

I mean I grew up listening to Marvin Gaye’s ‘baby, I'm hot like an oven, I can't hold it much longer, it's getting stronger’ in the 80s; Inner Circle’s ‘I wanna make you sweat and if you cry I’m gonna push it in some more’ in the 90s; all the way to the recent Florida’s ‘can you put your lips together and blow my whistle slowly baby’.

It made me wonder - how bad could the lyrics be for the authorities to order all public radio stations to ban the song while urging private radio station to censor it?

So I checked it out.

And you know what came to my mind upon reading the lyrics of Despacito? Nasi lemak. Yes, nasi lemak.

Image via paricilemonde

I found Despacito to be a beautiful song which showcases one’s love for nasi lemak through its brilliant lines.

Here, let me share some of the translated lyrics for you:

Despacito lyrics:
“Yes, you know that I’ve been looking at you for a long time
I must dance with you today
I saw that the look in your eyes was calling me
I am getting closer and making a plan
Simply thinking about it makes my heart race”


What it actually means in a Malaysian context:
I have been staring at the nasi lemak bungkus for a long time
I know I need one today
Just by looking at it I knew it was calling me
And so I got closer and made a makan plan
Simply thinking about it made my heart race.

Despacito lyrics:
“Now, I’m already liking it more than usual
All of my senses are asking for more
We cannot do this in a rush
Slowly”


What that means in a Malaysian context:
I am liking nasi lemak more than usual
All my senses are asking for more
I can’t do it in a rush
Slowly, I need to eat it slowly.

Despacito lyrics:
“I want to undress you slowly
And of your body, I want to create a manuscript”


What that means in a Malaysian context:
I want to unpack my nasi lemak slowly
And as I eat the nasi, the newspaper wrap I will read.

Despacito lyrics:
“Up, up, up
I want to see your hair dance
Want you to show my mouth
Let me trespass your danger zones
Until I make you scream
And you forget your last name”


What that means in a Malaysian context:
Up, up, up
When I eat the spicy sambal
My bulu roma will go up and dance
I can show you my mouth
So you can see how spicy the sambal is
It will trespass your danger zone
Until it makes you scream
So spicy you can even forget your name.

Despacito lyrics:
“If I ask for a kiss come give it to me
I know that you’re thinking about it
I’ve been trying to do it for awhile
Mami this is giving and giving it to you
You know that with me your heart goes bom bom bom”


What that actually means in a Malaysian context:
If I ask for some more sambal will you give it to me?
I know that you’re thinking I shouldn’t ask more
But I have been wanting sambal for awhile
And this is not like my mami's nasi kandar
Although she is giving and giving it to me
But heart goes bom bom bom only with nasi lemak.

Image via YouTube

Despacito lyrics:
“Come try my mouth and see if you like its taste
I want to see how much love fits in you
I’m not in a rush I want to experience this trip
Let’s start slowly, step by step,
We come up against each other, little by little
When you kiss me in that state of distress
But to finish it here I have the missing piece’’


What that actually means in a Malaysian context:
Come try what’s inside my mouth and taste the sambal
I want to see how much it fits you
I’m not in a rush, let’s experience this together
Let’s start slowly, step by step
We eat together
If too spicy we drink water little by little,
Don’t be in the state of distress
I’m here if you can’t finish your nasi lemak.

Despacito lyrics:
“Let me trespass your danger zones
Until I make you scream
We’re gonna do it on a beach in Puerto Rico
Until the waves scream Oh Lord
So that my seal stays with you
Step by step, we come up against each other,
Slowly”


What it actually means in the Malaysian context:
Come let’s trespass your danger zone
Add more sambal until I hear you scream
We can have nasi lemak anywhere, even picnic in Puerto Rico
When you get extra egg let’s scream Oh Lord
So we can get some ikan bilis too
And step by step we shall eat them together
Slowly and slowly.

Well, do you still think Despacito is an obscene song?

I don’t. I guess it is all in your head – if you have a dirty mind, any lyrics would seem obscene. And if it was up to me, I’d even recommend Despacito to be one of our national patriotic song. But that’s just me.

Oh Despacito!

This story is the personal opinion of the writer. Contribute a story as a SAYS reader by emailing us at [email protected]

Other songs some people think are obscene:

More on the Despacito ban:

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