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Justin Bieber Literally Does Not Know the Spanish Lyrics in "Despacito"

An investigation into how we ended up with "I don't know the words so I say Dorito."
Lauren O'Neill
London, GB

Bieber was doing OK, man. A new hairdo here, a cute DJ Khaled feature there. Things were looking up! But now, as it always, inevitably does, a video of a drunk ass Justin Bieber has emerged to ruin everything. Peep Exhibit A, Justin Bieber singing the hit remix he made with Daddy Yankee and Luis Fonsi – "Despacito" – and extremely not knowing the words:

"I don't know the words so I say Dorito / I don't know the words so I say poquito" is, by anyone's standards, Not Brilliant ("Dorito," dude? Really?) and the internet's Latinx community is rightfully pretty pissed – it's one thing to not remember the words, but it is kind of another to replace them with anything you can think of that sounds vaguely Spanish. However, it is also clear that Justin is absolutely wasted in this video. If you're a particularly forgiving soul, you might be inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt: it's his song. Of course he knows the words! Plus, who among us hasn't been gone off that final and obliterating whisky sour, realising halfway through a karaoke rendition of a song we definitely knew, that we wouldn't be able to recall half the words if they weren't flashing by in Times New Roman on a screen? Come now, this must've just been a one-off for Bieber.


To which I say: "ehhh." Having done some investigating, I would like to propose the case that Justin Bieber genuinely does not know the words to this song. Feast your eyes on Exhibit B, which sees him literally onstage with Luis Fonzi:

Bieber's part of the song starts at about 1:21. At about 1:36, the camera zooms in on him and he is pretty much just walking around the stage smiling like he's taken an especially delicious pinger, as the backing track, which features his Spanish language vocals, blares out for the crowd. So far, so little evidence that Justin Bieber doesn't actually know the lyrics to "Despacito."

Exhibit C: an Insta Story live video of Bieber noodling on guitar, then singing a bit while looking at himself on his phone. "Despacito" comes in around 16:00:

"Despacito / na ba da ba da ba da ba da ba de bo." Doesn't know the words does he? This sounds more like "Blue" by Eiffel 65 than his own song.

Thus, it is proven that Justin Bieber literally does not know the words to "Despacito" (probably, he should learn them out of respect for the culture that all but handed him a pre-packaged hit single). Another win for investigative journalism.

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Update: A previous version of this post misspelled Luis Fonsi. It has been corrected.

(Image via Wikimedia Commons)