Maluma, a reggaeton artist heralding from Colombia, won the Best Latin award for his track, “Que Pena.” He did so, after performing live, another of his international hits, “Hawaii.” It’s his first VMA win. Upon winning it he dedicated to his song to fans and his family in Medellin, Colombia. “Everything I do, I do for my family,” said a thrilled Maluma, accepting the award.
Because it was nominated, you may already know that “Que Pena” lyrics describe, in soft, slow rhythms the sultry beginnings of a steamy love encounter between a man and woman who are just getting to know each other. “How embarrassing, I don’t know your name, but I remember your face,” Maluma sings (via Billboard).
You were prepared for “Que Pena,” but did “Hawaii” take you by surprise? Maluma’s live performance carried us to a moonlit, tropical landscape, where, amid steady drumbeats, bikinis, and palm trees, Maluma sings a reggaeton anthem of love that’s (not quite?) lost.
Maluma sings about a love triangle in Hawaii
It’s impossible not to hear the bittersweet heartbreak in Maluma’s voice as he performed “Hawaii” at the VMAs. That’s the magic of reggaeton. You know what it means when you dance to it. The lyrics are almost optional. Almost. Because Hawaii is about a love triangle that’s too good to pass up.
When Maluma starts singing, he takes the part of your ex-lover. He’s sure that all the pictures that you (his ex-girlfriend) are posting to Instagram are there to make him jealous. (As if, are we right, ladies?) He knows that your new flame is a gentleman, but he insists, “he doesn’t love you like, I love you” (via Genius). You’re on vacation with your new beau in Hawaii, but he complains, you’re lying to all your Instagram followers. You can’t be happy. “After me, there aren’t any more loves,” Maluma sings to you, getting more and more desperate. “Baby, you’re not happy with him,” Maluma tries one more time. But you are. Or are you? Because in Maluma’s official music video, when he shows up at your wedding, you have doubts.
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