On the 6
|On the 6|
|Studio album by Jennifer Lopez|
|Released||June 1, 1999|
|Jennifer Lopez chronology|
|Singles from On the 6|
On the 6 is the debut studio album by American singer Jennifer Lopez. It was released June 1, 1999, by the Work Group. Beginning her career in musical theater, Lopez re-entered the music scene with her portrayal of the title role in Selena (1997). The role inspired her to launch a career in music; critics deemed it risky, noting that failure would be embarrassing and could damage her career. Lopez worked with several producers on the album, including Rodney Jerkins, Cory Rooney, Dan Shea and her boyfriend at the time, rapper and record producer Sean Combs.
Critics greeted Lopez's musical debut with a positive-to-mixed response. On the 6 was praised for its conservative (although dynamic) musical style and combination of Latin music with R&B and pop. Lopez' vocals were praised for their versatility, and described as "seductive" and "sultry" by critics. Some found the album's material underwhelming considering the hype, but a solid effort. The album was successful on the charts, reaching the top ten in the United States and other countries (dispelling preconceptions that it could ruin her career). On the 6 has sold nearly three million copies in the United States (certified triple platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America) and over eight million copies worldwide.
On the 6 produced five singles, most of which were commercially successful. "If You Had My Love" peaked at number one in the United States, while "Waiting for Tonight" peaked in the top ten. "No Me Ames", a ballad with Lopez and future husband Marc Anthony, was a hit on Billboard's Latin charts, while "Let's Get Loud" has become one of the entertainer's signature hits. The music video for "If You Had My Love" became a fixture on MTV and VH1, with "Waiting for Tonight" and "Feelin' So Good" receiving a similar response. At the time of the album's release several other Latin recording artists (including Ricky Martin and Marc Anthony) were achieving success in the mainstream music market, considered a Latin "explosion" and "ethnic boom" led by Martin and Lopez. On the 6's success allowed Lopez to evolve into an icon of pop culture in the years after its release.
Since her girlhood, Lopez' Puerto Rican parents stressed the importance of a good work ethic and the ability to speak English. They encouraged their three daughters to put on performances at home, singing and dancing in front of each other and their friends so they would stay out of trouble. During her final year of high school, Lopez learned about a casting call for several teenage girls for small film roles. She auditioned and was cast in My Little Girl (1986), a low-budget film co-written and directed by Connie Kaiserman. After filming her role, Lopez knew that she wanted to become a "famous movie star". She told her parents, but they told her it was a "really stupid" idea and "no Latinos did that". Her disagreement with them led Lopez to move out of her family home and into a Manhattan apartment. During this period, Lopez performed in regional productions of several musicals before being hired for the chorus in a musical which toured Europe for five months. She was unhappy with the role, since she was the only member of the chorus not to have a solo. She got a job on the Japanese show Synchronicity as a dancer, singer and choreographer. Lopez then obtained her first high-profile job as a Fly Girl dancer on the television comedy program In Living Color. She moved to Los Angeles with then-boyfriend David Cruz to film the series, and remained a cast member until 1993 (when she decided to pursue a full-time acting career).
After a series of co-starring film roles, Lopez received her big break in 1996 when she was cast in the title role of Selena, a biographical film about American singer-songwriter Selena. In the film Selena's voice is used for the musical sequences, but Lopez would sing the lyrics instead of lip syncing. When asked in an interview if Selena inspired her to launch a music career, Lopez said "I really, really became inspired, because I started my career in musical theater on stage. So doing the movie just reminded me of how much I missed singing, dancing, and the like..." After filming Selena, Lopez was "really feeling [her] Latin roots" and recorded a demo record in Spanish. Lopez' manager sent the song ("Vivir Sin Ti") to Sony Music Entertainment's Work Group, which was interested in signing Lopez. Tommy Mottola, the head of the label, suggested that she sing in English and she began recording On the 6. Lopez was aware that she received her recording contract on her looks and reputation, and wanted to prove that she had musical talent. Before her first album, critics wondered why she would take the risk of launching a musical career: "If the album was a flop, not only would it embarrass Lopez but it might even damage her career."
Recording and title
For On the 6 Motolla and Lopez met with several producers, but producer and writer Cory Rooney later recalled that when he met Lopez, they "immediately hit it off". He played piano and sang "Talk About Us" for them, which Motolla and Lopez liked; she recorded it the next day, and worked closely with Rooney on the rest of the album. Other contributors to On the 6 included then-boyfriend Sean "Puffy" Combs, future husband Marc Anthony, Rodney "Darkchild" Jerkins, Poke & Tone and the husband-and-wife team of Emilio and Gloria Estefan. Grammy Award-winning singer and vocal producer Betty Wright, known for her hit "Clean Up Woman" (1971), worked closely with Lopez on the album and provided her with "plenty of inspiration". Lopez said Wright had "an amazing spirit": "She was in [the studio] with me, day in and day out, helping me. I'm a young singer, you know? A young studio singer. I may have sang all my life, and I may have sang on stage and stuff like that, but it's different to record in the studio. And you need somebody who really can guide you through that".
The album's title refers to the 6 subway line in New York City, which Lopez used to ride to and from work in Manhattan as well as her home in the Bronx during her early career. Lopez felt that recording her first album was "worlds apart" from being a film actress in Hollywood: "The movie business is so structured with time frames and such. But the music business is so loose, you can come in whenever you want". She hoped On the 6 would appeal to people like her: "English is my first language. I grew up here. I was born here, I didn't have a career in Spanish first. I think it [the album] appeals definitely to my generation of people, we grew up in America but had Latin parents or parents of different ethnicity". She wanted the album to reflect both sides of her, regarding Hispanic people as her "core audience".
Music and lyrics
On the 6 primarily consists of R&B and Latin music, which Lopez called eclectic Latin soul. Although she described herself as bilingual and the record has Latin influences, Lopez chose to sing in English. The Los Angeles Times described the album as not only Latin soul, but "state-of-the-art dance pop". Lopez said, "The whole vibe of the album is R&B and Latin music. It has both those influences...It still has a pop feel to it, but I definitely wanted to mix the two because I feel that [is] very much who I am, growing up in the Bronx, being of Latin descent". The album incorporates different parts of Lopez's life and upbringing and marked the beginning of her musical exploration of love, a theme she continued in future albums. "If You Had My Love" is a slow-paced mid-tempo pop song in B♭ minor, with piano and guitar instrumentation. On the track Lopez establishes a number of "ground rules" for her admirer before giving herself to him: "Now if I gave you me, this is how it's got to be/ First of all I won't take you cheatin' on me/ Tell me who can I trust if I can't trust in you/ And I refuse to let you play me for a fool". "Let's Get Loud" is a "fiery, soulful" salsa dance song originally written for Gloria Estefan, who gave it to Lopez (who, she felt, would have more fun with it). Lopez asserts her Latin heritage in the song, which opens with the "sassy" declaration "Ya Jen llego, presente!" ("Jen has arrived!"). "Feelin' So Good", a mid-tempo hip-hop song featuring Big Pun and Fat Joe, samples Strafe's "Set It Off". Lopez sings about feeling so good and declares that "Nothing in this world could turn me around", as Big Pun shouts "Jenny, you da bomb!" "Waiting for Tonight" is a dance song highlighting the album's "upbeat side". Aaron Beierle of DVD Talk said the song has a "rich groove", while Entertainment Weekly's David Browne described it as "club-hopping".
Lyrically, several soft ballads on the record have Lopez portraying a woman who is heartbroken. "No Me Ames" is sung by Lopez and Marc Anthony, who became her third husband several years after the album's release. The ballad (which Lopez didn't want to sound "too Latin") is described as "smoldering". A tropical version of "No Me Ames" was included; Heather Phares of Allmusic said that the remix "emphasizees Lopez's distinctive heritage". "Open Off My Love" is one of the album's upbeat songs and is inspired by R&B Latin; the arrangement includes horns, keyboards and percussion. It has several sexual innuendoes, with lyrics such as "When I touch, you get hot" and "Touch you in that place you like/ You'll be open off, my love". "Should Have Never" is one of the album's "smooth" ballads, in which Lopez sings about regret. About writing "Should Have Never", Lopez said "I would listen to it and listen to it, and then I was like, "I have an idea of what I want to write about: when you're with somebody, and somebody else comes into your life, and even though you love this person, somebody else is there...". The song concludes with a "Spanish moan". On the 6 features several other ballads, including "Too Late" and the "flamenco-flavored", bittersweet "Could This Be Love". Lopez shows her vulnerable side on "Talk About Us" and "Promise Me You'll Try".
A 20-second sample of the radio edit of "If You Had My Love", one of 1999's most "infectious singles"
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"If You Had My Love" (Lopez' debut single) was released as the lead single from On the 6 on May 4, 1999. Produced by Rodney Jerkins, LaShawn Daniels, Fred Jenkins III and Cory Rooney, the single was an instant hit (reaching number one in the United States). It was also an international success, reaching number one in Australia, New Zealand, Finland and other countries; it reached the top ten in over ten countries. Reflecting on the song's success in the United States, Lopez said "Still I think about that and still it's like wow, my first record I ever did went to No. 1. It's just an overwhelming feeling... This is a very special thing." A music video for the song, directed by Paul Hunter, caused a stir for its theme of voyeurism and became a fixture on the music-video channel MTV. It was well received by critics, with Entertainment Weekly grading it A-minus. "No Me Ames" (with Marc Anthony) was the album's second single. Although it was released as a B-side single to "If You Had My Love", both songs were provided to radio stations and it charted on the Billboard″s Hot Latin Songs chart.
"Waiting for Tonight", the album's third single, was released on November 15, 1999. Its New Year's Eve party-themed music video featured a Y2K dance party, and it is considered the best single (and music video) of her career. As the year 2000 approached, "Waiting for Tonight" rose on the Billboard Hot 100 until peaking at #8 (making it Lopez's second top-ten single). On January 25, 2000 "Feelin' So Good", with rappers Big Punisher and Fat Joe, was released as the album's third single. Big Punisher failed to appear on Saturday Night Live, where Lopez and Fat Joe performed the song at the time of its release; it was later announced by MTV News that the rapper had died of a heart attack related to his weight. Lopez later issued a statement regarding his death: "He was a source of pride for the Latin community, a great artist and a great person. We will miss him terribly". Amid the rapper's high-profile death "Feelin' So Good" failed to recreate the success of the album's earlier singles, peaking at #51 in the United States; however, it received heavy airplay on MTV. Another music video had Lopez "and her girlfriends prep for a night on the town, then dash past the turnstiles of reality to enter a subway headed for Manhattan". That June, "Let's Get Loud" was released as the album's final single before Lopez turned her attention to recording a new album.
On the day of the album's release, Lopez appeared at the Virgin Megastore in New York City and signed copies of the CD for fans. On June 4, Lopez appeared at the Wherehouse Entertainment Store at the Beverly Connection in Los Angeles, California to publicize the album. According to Yahoo! Music, "She will be making a grand red-carpet entrance and signing autographs for the crowd expected for the event". On July 9, Lopez and Ricky Martin appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show to discuss the "Latin explosion" in the Anglo music market. The next day, she performed at the closing ceremony of the 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup at the Rose Bowl. On August 12, Lopez was a presenter at the Teen Choice Awards. A week later, BET aired a documentary entitled 24 Hours With Jennifer Lopez – From Fly Girl to Major Star. August 23 saw Lopez on MTV's Making the Video (episode 108), where cameras followed her while she filmed the video for "Waiting for Tonight". That October MTV aired a documentary about the entertainer, which retraced her "steps into the spotlight as one of show business's hottest stars" by returning "to her pre-headline days during her childhood in the Bronx, where her dream to perform was first ignited at age five as a ballet and flamenco student". On December 8, 1999, Lopez first performed "Waiting for Tonight" at the Billboard Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, where she opened the show.
On December 27, 1999 Lopez and then-boyfriend, rapper and producer Sean Combs (who co-produced On the 6), were arrested with two others in connection with a shooting outside the Times Square Club in New York. They were charged with criminal possession of a weapon and stolen property. Lopez was soon exonerated; her attorney released a statement that "Jennifer Lopez does not own a firearm nor does she condone the use of firearms", while Combs' publicist said that Lopez "had absolutely, positively nothing to do with this shooting". However, Combs was indicted by a Manhattan grand jury. The controversy was expected to dent On the 6's promotion, but a spokeswoman for Lopez said that was unlikely; the shooting had attracted attention primarily in New York. With the release of "Feelin' So Good" as a single, Lopez dove back into another sea of promotion with several TV interviews at the beginning of 2000. On February 23 Lopez wore a plunging, exotic Green Versace jungle dress to the 42nd Grammy Awards, which overshadowed the shooting and became one of the best-known red-carpet dresses in history. At the 13th Annual Kids' Choice Awards, which aired on April 15, 2000, Lopez performed "Feelin' So Good". On May 2, she again performed "Feelin' So Good" and "Waiting for Tonight" on Saturday Night Live. That November a video album entitled Jennifer Lopez: Feelin' So Good was released by SMV Enterprises, the home-media division of Sony Corporation's music-and-entertainment label Sony Music Entertainment. The album provides a documentary-style look at the launch of Lopez's music career with a mixture of interviews, behind-the-scenes footage, music videos and live performances.
On the 6 was a commercial success. For the week ending June 19, 1999 it debuted at number eight on the Billboard 200, selling 112,000 units during the same week "If You Had My Love" spent its second week at number one on the Billboard Hot 100. The next week the album dropped to number 12, although its lead single remained atop the Hot 100. Its third week saw the album remain at #12. According to Nielsen Soundscan, On the 6 sold 400,000 copies during its first three weeks. Throughout July the album performed steadily, remaining on the Billboard 200's top twenty. By August 21 the album had spent ten weeks on the top twenty, while "If You Had My Love" had been on the Hot 100's top ten for twelve weeks. By October, On the 6 had sold 1.6 million copies in the United States. After a one-year run on the chart the album fell off on June 3, 2000 after charting at number 173. It re-entered two weeks later at number 179, before dropping to number 186 and falling off the chart the following week. Overall, On the 6 enjoyed a 53-week run on the Billboard 200. The album also peaked at number eight on Billboard's Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, and was certified triple platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America for shipments of over 3,000,000 units. By October 2010 Billboard's Gary Trust reported that the album had sold 2.81 million copies in the United States, making it Lopez' second-bestseller overall.
The album also enjoyed international success, reaching the top ten in a number of countries. In Germany, On the 6 entered the charts on July 19, 1999 at number eight; after two weeks, it peaked at number three. It was certified gold in that country by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) for sales exceeding 250,000 units. The album also peaked at number three (and was certified gold) in Switzerland, where it sold 15,000 copies. In Canada On the 6 peaked at number five, and was certified five times for shipments of over a half-million copies. In Belgium, the album reached number ten in Flanders and number six in Wallonia. On the 6 entered the Dutch album chart at number 55 for the week of July 10, 1999. Nearly a month later, on August 7, it peaked at number six. The album spent a total of 82 weeks charting in the Netherlands, and was certified platinum for sales of 60,000 copies. On the 6 was moderately successful in Australia, where it debuted (and peaked) at number 11 on July 18, 1999. In 2002 it was certified platinum by the Australian Recording Industry Association for selling 70,000 copies. On the 6 peaked at number 14 in the United Kingdom, and was certified platinum by the British Phonographic Industry for sales of over 300,000 copies. The album entered the French album chart at number 24 on July 3, 1999, peaking at number 15 two weeks later. It spent a total of 38 weeks on the chart, and was awarded a double-gold certification by the Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique for sales of 210,000 copies. By November 26, 1999, On the 6 had sold 2,000,000 copies worldwide. By 2003, the album had sold over 8,000,000 copies worldwide.
|Los Angeles Times|||
On the 6 received critical acclaim from contemporary music critics. Elysa Gardner of The Los Angeles Times gave the album a positive review, praising its blend of "urban and Latin textures and grooves with shiny pop savvy" and Lopez' vocals, which she described "as seductively emotive as her work on screen." The NME said, "Millionaire movie star Jennifer Lopez sidles into the music biz and her sultry purr singlehandedly eradicates all public need for the likes of Houston, Dion and the rest of the world's favourite shag-anthem divas...Mariah Carey's ongoing quest for cool has just been dealt a severe blow". Rolling Stone's Rob Sheffield gave the album three out of five stars, complimenting Lopez's conservative attitude to her music: "The happy surprise of On the 6 is that she knows what she's doing. Instead of strained vocal pyrotechnics, Lopez sticks to the understated R&B murmur of a round-the-way superstar who doesn't need to belt because she knows you're already paying attention." Sheffield described Lopez as a "song-and-dance woman", who "makes a little va-va and a whole lot of voom go a long way." Allmusic's Heather Phares was also positive, writing that the album "showcases the actress' sultry, versatile voice in a number of settings." However, Newsday said that "the slick packaging and production are better than Lopez' personal sound". David Browne of Entertainment Weekly gave the album a mixed review, dissatisfied with Lopez' vocals despite the album's rich production: "As soon as Lopez opens her mouth, though, all this advance work falls by the wayside. On record, the husky-voiced voluptuousness that has become Lopez's trademark in films like Out of Sight simply vanishes." He wrote. Browne felt that while her voice was "thinner" than expected, it wasn't "embarrassing, but sadly ordinary." Overall, he felt that despite "all of the wads of money spent on fledging" her music career, Lopez comes across as "a little more than a mild Spice Girl". Robert Christgau called "Let's Get Loud" the best song on the album, making it a "choice cut". Aaron Beierle of DVD Talk described On the 6 as a "confident singing debut;" although Lopez's vocals aren't "terribly noteworthy," they have a "smooth" and "warm, sensual quality:" "The more up-tempo songs have a greater kick than before, with beats that sound deep and dynamic, while ballads are presented with greater clarity and a more open, airy sound."
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Lopez and fellow recording artists Ricky Martin, Enrique Iglesias, Christina Aguilera and Marc Anthony have been credited with popularizing music by Hispanic artists during the late 1990s. At the time, it was noted that Latin musicians were "creating a stir" in American entertainment. According to The Dallas Morning News, a Latin pop crossover "explosion" and "ethnic boom" was occurring. Since she is of Latin descent and crossed over to the mainstream music market, Lopez is considered "crossover royalty". Mark Guarino of the Daily Herald said of Lopez and her fellow Latin artists, "judging from their records, their cultural identity was identified as cultural baggage by their record companies and those suitcases were shucked en route to stardom". Lopez and Anthony noted that they wanted the "Latin invasion" and "hype" to die down so they could be viewed as normal artists and "regular people". Anthony asserted that their music "is not Latin music" (although it has Latin influences), but "it isn't representative of what Latin music is": "To stand out because you're Puerto Rican or because you're Latin is really weird". Lopez said, "I don't think Latino is a phase [or] like it's this year's hot thing. Being that you're talking about people, I don't feel that way, really". The Hartford Courant said, "All have conquered mainstream pop charts by toning down the spice of their native salsa and especially by singing in English". Later, Lopez noted:
It's funny that they create a 'movement' thing because three people come out with an album at the same time, or whatever it was. Yes, I'm Latin. Yes, I made an English pop album because I grew up here in the United States. I don't know...It didn't bother me in any way. I didn't think of it as a negative thing, but I also didn't think it was fair to do it because it makes it seem like people are a fad—or a culture is a fad.
Six months after the release of On the 6 Lopez had successfully transformed from a film star into a pop star, joining an "elite circle of actors to venture successfully into the music arena". She became the latest of a small number of stars to achieve this, following Martika and Vanessa Williams (who crossed over during the late 1980s and early 1990s).
The provocative music video for the album's lead single ("If You Had My Love") was a hit on MTV channels worldwide, with Lopez popular in a field previously dominated by Madonna and Janet Jackson. "Waiting for Tonight" and its music video created a musical craze in association with the new year, and was a celebratory anthem for the new millennium. In 2013, Andrew Barker of Variety described the single as her "breakout club hit", observing that it "seemed to anticipate the rise of Euro-centric dance pop a decade before EDM became a buzz term" and noting that when DJ culture became a trend Lopez turned away (instead released the Spanish-language Como Ama una Mujer in 2007).
Since the release of On the 6, Lopez has been widely regarded as a triple-threat performer: the most-influential entertainer of Hispanic descent in the United States and a pop culture icon. The Los Angeles Times wrote, "Making the transition from hot actor to singing star is a risky proposition—anyone remember Philip Michael Thomas' musical moment? But Lopez is going about it in a most agreeable way: with a light heart and even lighter feet". Entertainment Weekly, which gave the album a mixed review, said "In the year 2020, this album will be part of someone's doctoral thesis on the dangers of crossover". Lopez has used her film and music career to build a successful empire. In April 2011 The Palestine Times wrote, "From Fly Girl on In Living Color to judge on American Idol, she has taken her talent beyond the triple threat of being a dancer, singer and actress and now helms an empire that includes fragrances, a production company, lucrative endorsements and a place once again atop the charts, having sold tens of millions of records over the years". Lopez has sold 75 million records after On the 6, and received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2013 for her contribution to the music industry.
Credits adapted from the liner notes of On the 6.
|1.||"If You Had My Love"||Jerkins||Jerkins||4:25|
|4.||"Feelin' So Good" (featuring Big Pun and Fat Joe)||
|5.||"Let's Get Loud"||
|6.||"Could This Be Love"||Lawrence P. Dermer||Dermer||
|7.||"No Me Ames (Tropical Remix)" (duet with Marc Anthony)||
|8.||"Waiting for Tonight"||
|9.||"Open Off My Love"||Kyra Lawrence||
|10.||"Promise Me You'll Try"||Peter Zizzo||Zizzo||Wake||3:52|
|11.||"It's Not That Serious"||
|12.||"Talk About Us"||Rooney||Rooney||
|13.||"No Me Ames (Ballad Version)" (duet with Marc Anthony)||
|14.||"Una Noche Más"||
|International edition bonus tracks|
|16.||"Theme from Mahogany (Do You Know Where You're Going To)"||
|Special edition bonus disc|
|1.||"If You Had My Love (Dark Child Master Mix)"||4:25|
|2.||"If You Had My Love (Metro Remix)"||6:08|
|3.||"Waiting for Tonight (Metro Mix)"||5:53|
|4.||"Waiting for Tonight (Future Shock Midnight at Mambo Mix)"||8:36|
|5.||"Feelin' So Good (Bad Boy Remix)" (featuring Big Pun and Fat Joe)||4:31|
|1.||"No Me Ames" (duet with Marc Anthony)||4:36|
|2.||"If You Had My Love"||4:25|
|3.||"Una Noche Más"||4:06|
|6.||"Let's Get Loud"||4:00|
|7.||"It's Not That Serious"||4:16|
|8.||"Amar Es Para Siempre"||3:53|
|10.||"El Deseo De Tu Amor"||3:37|
|11.||"Talk About Us"||4:35|
|12.||"Could This Be Love"||4:26|
|13.||"No Me Ames (Tropical Remix)" (duet with Marc Anthony)||5:03|
|14.||"Waiting for Tonight"||4:06|
|Millenium Special Package bonus VCD|
|1.||"If You Had My Love" (Video)|
|2.||"Waiting for Tonight" (Video)|
- ^a signifies a co-producer
- ^b signifies an executive producer
- ^c signifies a vocal producer
- ^d signifies a music producer
- ^e signifies an additional producer and remixer
- ^f side A of the cassette version contains tracks 1-7 and side B contains tracks 8-14
|Canada CRIA||5× Platinum||500,000|
|France SNEP||2× Gold||210,000|
|New Zealand RIANZ||2× Platinum||30,000|
|United Kingdom (BPI)||Platinum||300,000|
|United States (RIAA)||3× Platinum||3,000,000|
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