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Released: 2023

Features: Fuerza Regida

Straight off the bat, “El Jefe” by Shakira, featuring Fuerza Regida, packs a high-octane critique of oppressive employment practices and the struggles of the working class. The song unveils a relatable narrative, spotlighting the mundane grind of the daily 9-to-5, juxtaposed with the stark reality of income inequality and social mobility.

The song opens with the frustrating morning ritual – the grating alarm, the longing to stay in bed, and the banality of the same kitchen, coffee, and brutal routine. Shakira’s lyric, “Otro día de mierda/Otro día en la oficina” (Another shitty day/Another day in the office), essentially encapsulates that universal sense of monotonous drudgery.

A strong thread running through the track is the singer’s resentment of her wealthy boss. The lyric, “Tengo un jefe de mierda que no me paga bien/Yo llego caminando y él en el Mercedes Benz” portrays the glaring wage inequality brilliantly. In other words, she’s busting her rear while her boss cruises around in a Benz. The colloquial phrase “hijo de puta,” if you cut through the swearing, gives a deep-cutting critique of oppressive bosses.

The chorus, “Estás soñando con irte del barrio/Tienes todo pa ser millonario/Gustos caros, la mentalidad/Solo te falta el salario” reflects the yearning for a better life and the cruel paradox of having the mindset and tastes of a millionaire without the corresponding financial means.

An interesting take in the lyrics is the line “Estudié y nada pasó, maldita vida tan dura” (I studied and nothing happened, damn life is so hard); a direct shot at the false promise of prosperity through education that society frequently peddles. The line “Te matas de sol a sol y no tienes ni una escritura” powerfully summarizes the hardship of those who labor exhaustively without acquiring any assets to their name – a reality all too familiar for many in the working class.

“El Jefe”, in all its pop glory, hits home, not just with its catchy beats, but with its potent commentary on the economic disparities and the unending grind of the working-class life. Kudos to Shakira and Fuerza Regida for giving voice to the silent struggles of the daily grind.

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