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 entertainer Jennifer Lopez. It was released on June 1, 1999 by the Work Group. Prior to its release, Lopez starred in her career-defining role as the title character in Selena, a biopic of the late singer-songwriter Selena. Being on stage in the film reminded Lopez of her early career, when she was a musical theater performer. After recording a Spanish demo, Lopez met with Tommy Mottola, the head of Sony Music Entertainment, who decided to sign her because of her already established name in the entertainment industry. It is very uncommon for an actress to cross over into the music business, and Lopez was eager to prove her musical talent. She found working on the album more loose compared to the strict regime of the film world.
Lopez worked with several producers for the album including Rodney Jerkins, Cory Rooney and Dan Shea as well as her boyfriend at the time, rapper and record producer Sean Combs. The album's primary genre is Latin soul, which is a mixture of Latin and R&B music. Lopez decided to go in this musical direction because it was "very much part" of who she is. Apart from this, the album also contains Pop and Dance material, which The Los Angeles Times labelled "state-of-the-art". Smooth romantic ballads are also a key part of On the 6, as they expose lyrical vulnerability and vocal sensuality. Lyrically, the album predominantly explores the subject of love: romance, regrets, heartbreak and lust, while some upbeat songs such as "Waiting for Tonight" and "Feelin' So Good" have Lopez singing about partying, happiness and satisfaction.
Critics welcomed Lopez's musical debut with a generally positive to mixed response. On the 6 was praised for its conservative though dynamic musical style and combination of Latin music with R&B and Pop. Lopez's vocal's were praised for their versatility and described as "seductive" and "sultry" by critics. However, 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 among other countries, dispelling preconceptions that it could ruin her career. On the 6 has sold nearly 3,000,000 copies in the United States, certified triple Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America, and over 8,000,000 copies worldwide.
On the 6 produced five singles, most of which performed strongly. "If You Had My Love" peaked at number one in the United States and became a commercial success, while "Waiting for Tonight" peaked in the top ten. "No Me Ames", a ballad between Lopez and her 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 music video broadcasters MTV and VH1, with "Waiting for Tonight" and "Feelin' So Good" receiving similar response. At the time of the album's release, several other Latin recording artists apart from Lopez, including Ricky Martin and Marc Anthony, were achieving success in the mainstream music market, which was considered a Latin "explosion" and "Ethnic boom", lead mainly by Martin and Lopez. On the 6's success allowed Lopez to transition into a pop star and icon of pop culture in the years following its release.
Background and development 
From a young age, Lopez's Puerto Rican parents stressed the importance of work ethic and being able 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 that they would stay "out of trouble". While attending her final year of high school, Lopez learned about a film casting that was seeking several teenage girls for small roles. She auditioned and was cast in My Little Girl (1986), an low-budget film co-written and directed by Connie Kaiserman. After she finished filming her role in the film, Lopez knew that she wanted to become a "famous movie star". She told her parents this, but they ensisted that it was a "really stupid" idea and that "no Latinos did that". Their disagreements led Lopez to move out of their family home and into an apartment in Manhattan. During this period, Lopez performed in regional productions of several musicals, before being hired for the chorus in a musical that toured Europe for five months. She was unhappy with the role, as she was the only member of the chorus not to have a solo. From there, she got a job on the show Synchronicity in Japan, where she acted as a dancer, singer and a choreographer. Lopez then gained her first regular 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 regular 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 came in 1996, when she was cast to play the title role in Selena, a biopic of the late American singer-songwriter Selena. In the film, Selena's real voice is used for the musical sequences in Selena, but Lopez would nonetheless sing the lyrics during the scenes instead of lip syncing. When asked in an interview if Selena inspired her to launch a music career, Lopez stated: "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 cut a demo in Spanish. Lopez's manager then sent the song, entitled "Vivir Sin Ti", to Sony Music Entertainment's Work Group, who showed an interest in signing Lopez. Tommy Mottola, the head of the label suggested to her that she sing in English instead. She complied and began recording her debut studio album On the 6. During production of the album, Lopez was aware of the fact that she received her recording contract on the premise of her looks and having an already established name in the entertainment industry, and wanted to prove that she had musical talent. Prior to the debut of her music, critics wondered why she would take the risk of launching a music career. It was noted that: "If the album was a flop, not only would it embarrass Lopez, but it might even damage her career."
The album's title, On the 6, is a reference to the 6 subway line in New York City, which Lopez used to commute to work in Manhattan from her home in The Bronx during the early years of her career. Lopez felt that recording her first album was "worlds apart" from being a film actress in Hollywood. She stated, "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". Lopez said that she hoped On the 6 would appeal to people like her, saying, "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 of these sides of her. The entertainer regarded Hispanic people as her "core audience".
Music and lyrics 
On the 6 predominantly consists of R&B and Latin music, which Lopez branded eclectic Latin soul. She described herself as bilingual, although chose to sing in completely English on the record, which contains Latin influences. 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 Lopez exploring the topic of love, a theme she continued to explore throughout her future albums. "If You Had My Love" is a slow-paced mid-tempo funk and pop song written in a music key of B♭ minor, the song's instrumentation consists of piano and guitar. On the track, Lopez insistently establishes a number of "ground rules" for her admirer before she gives herself to him, with the lyrics "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, which was originally written for Gloria Estefan, who passed it on to Lopez who she felt would have more fun with it. Lopez proudly asserts her Latin heritage in the song, which opens with a "sassy" declaration, "Ya Jen llego, presente!", which means "Jen has arrived" in English. "Feelin' So Good", a mid-tempo hip-hop song which features Big Pun and Fat Joe, samples Strafe's song "Set It Off". On the track, she sings about feeling so good and declares that "Nothing in this world could turn me around" while Big Pun shouts out "Jenny, you da bomb!" "Waiting for Tonight" is a dance song which was regarded as 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-focus ballad songs on the record have Lopez portraying a women who is heartbroken. "No Me Ames" is a ballad performed between Lopez and recording artist Marc Anthony, who would later go on to become her third husband nearly five 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 produced and included on the album's tracklisting. Heather Phares of Allmusic commented that the tropical remix "emphasize Lopez's distinctive heritage". "Open Off My Love" is one of the album's upbeat songs which draws inspiration from R&B and Latin style, which makes use of an arrangement consisting of horns, keyboards and beats. Lyrically, the song contains multiple sexual innuendos, 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, where Lopez sings about regretting a relationship. The song contains a "Spanish moan" at its conclusion. On the 6 features several other ballads including "Too Late" and "Could This Be Love" which is "flamenco-flavored" and contains bittersweet lyrics. Lopez shows her vulnerable side on ballads "Talk About Us" and "Promise Me You'll Try".
A twenty 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" was released as the debut single of Lopez's career and lead single of On the 6 on May 4, 1999. Produced by Rodney Jerkins, LaShawn Daniels, Fred Jenkins III and Cory Rooney, the single became an instant hit, reaching number one in the United States. It was also an international success, reaching number one in Australia, New Zealand and Finland among other countries. In total, it reached the top ten in over ten countries. Reflecting on the song's success in the United States, Lopez said years ago, "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 was released. It caused a stir for its theme of voyeurism, and became a regular fixture on popular music video broadcasting channel MTV. It was also well received by critics, with Entertainment Weekly awarding it an A minus rating. "No Me Ames" featuring Marc Anthony serves as the album's second official single. It was not only released as a B-side single to "If You Had My Love", but both versions of the song were serviced to radio and it subsequently charted on Billboard″s Hot Latin Songs chart.
"Waiting for Tonight" was released as the album's third single on November 15, 1999. Its New Years Eve party-themed music video became famous for featuring a Y2K dance party. It has been considered the best single and music video of her career. As the year 2000 approached, "Waiting for Tonight" progressed on the Billboard Hot 100, until it reached its peak position of No. 8. This made it Lopez's second top-ten hit. On January 25, 2000, "Feelin' So Good" featuring rappers Big Punisher and Fat Joe was released as the third single from On the 6. Big Punisher failed to show up at 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 passed away as a result of a heart attack relating to weight issues. Lopez herself 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". Despite the rapper's high-profiled death, "Feelin' So Good" failed to recreate the success of the album's earlier singles, only peaking at No. 51 in the United States. However, the single did manage to attract a heavy amount of airplay on MTV. In addition, a music video which featured 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 for an instore appearance, where she 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 celebrate the album's release. 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 "Latin explosion" in the English music market. The next day, the entertainer performed at the closing ceremony of the 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup at Rose Bowl, the world championship of women's soccer. On August 12, Lopez served as a presenter at the Teen Choice Awards. A week later, BET aired a documentary/interview entitled 24 Hours With Jennifer Lopez – From Fly Girl to major star. August 23 saw Lopez appear on MTV's Making the Video (episode 108), where cameras followed her while she filmed the music video for "Waiting for Tonight". That October, MTV aired a biographical documentary about the entertainer which retrace her "steps into the spotlight as one of show business's hottest star" by going back "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 performed "Waiting for Tonight" for the first time at the Billboard Music Awards which was held at the Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, where she opened the show.
On December 27, 1999, Lopez and her then-boyfriend rapper and producer Sean Combs, who co-produced On the 6, were arrested along with two others in connection to a shooting outside the Times Square Club in New York. They were charged with criminal possession of a weapon as well as stolen property. Lopez was soon exonerated, having had nothing to do with the crime. Her attorney released a statement stating, "Jennifer Lopez does not own a firearm nor does she condone the use of firearms", while Comb's publicist said Lopez "had absolutely, positively nothing to do with this shooting". However, Combs was charged and given an indictment by a Manhattan grand jury. The controversy was expected to dent On the 6's promotion, however, a spokeswoman for Lopez stated that it was unlikely to affect the album's ongoing promotion project. Infact, at the time, the shooting news had only generated controversy mainly in New York. With the release of "Feelin' So Good" as a single, Lopez then dived back into another leg of extensive promotion with several TV interviews at the beginning of 2000. On February 23, 2000, Lopez wore a plunging exotic Green Versace jungle dress to the 42nd Grammy Awards, which far overshadowed the shooting coverage and became one of the most famous 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, Lopez 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 video album provides a documentary-style look at the launch of Lopez's music career, through a mixture of interviews, behind-the-scenes footage, music videos and live performances.
Commercial performance 
On the 6 was a commercial success. For the week ending June 19, 1999, On the 6 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 following week, the album dropped to number 12, although its lead single remained stable atop the Hot 100. Its third week saw the album remain at 12. According to Nielsen Soundscan, On the 6 had sold 400,000 copies within its first three weeks of availability. Throughout that July, the album performed steadily, remaining within the Billboard 200's top twenty. By August 21, the album had marked ten weeks in the top twenty, while "If You Had My Love" had remained in the Hot 100's top ten for twelve weeks. After a successful one-year run on the chart, the album fell off the chart on June 3, 2000, after charting at number 173. However, 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. Additionally, the album peaked at number eight on Billboard's Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. It 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 2,808,000 copies in the United States, making it her second best-seller overall.
The album experienced success internationally, charting within the top ten in various 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 there 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 achieved sales of 15,000. In Canada, On the 6 peaked at number five, and was certified quintuple times for shipments of over half a million copies. In Belgian, the album reached number ten in Flanders and six in Wallonia. On the 6 entered Dutch Albums Chart at number 55 for the week of July 10, 1999. Nearly a month later on August 7, it reached its peak position of number six. It spent a total of 82 weeks charting in the Netherlands, and was certified Platinum there for sales of 60,000 copies. The record also experienced moderate success 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, selling 70,000 units. On the 6 peaked at number 14 in the United Kingdom and was certified Platinum there by the British Phonographic Industry, marking sales of over 300,000 copies. The album entered the French Albums Chart at number 24 on July 3, 1999 before peaking at 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, and sold 210,000 copies there. 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.
Critical response 
|Los Angeles Times|||
Elysa Gardner of The Los Angeles Times gave the album a positive review, praising the album's blend of "urban and Latin textures and grooves with shiny pop savvy" as well as praising her vocals, which she described "as seductively emotive as her work on screen". A writer from NME declared, "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". They also said, "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, and complimented Lopez's conservative attitude to her musical style. He wrote, "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, a writer from Newsday opined that "the slick packaging and production are better than Lopez' personal sound." Writing for Entertainment Weekly, David Browne gave the album a mixed review, dissatisfied with Lopez's 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 fledgling" 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 from the album, choosing it as a "choice cut". Aaron Beierle of DVD Talk described On the 6 as a "confident singing debut", and although Lopez's vocals aren't "terribly noteworthy", they have a "smooth" and "warm, sensual quality". Beierle additionally commented, "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 along with fellow recording artists Ricky Martin, Enrique Iglesias, Christina Aguilera and Marc Anthony have been credited with popularizing music by Hispanic artists in mainstream music 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. Having been of Latin descent and crossed over to mainstream music market, Lopez is considered "crossover royalty". Mark Guarino of Daily Herald said of Lopez and fellow Latin artists such as Martin, "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." Both Lopez and Anthony capitalized the fact that they wanted the "Latin invasion" and "hype" to die down so they could be viewed as normal artists and just "regular people". Anthony strongly asserted that the music they created "is not Latin music" although has Latin influences but "it isn't representative of what Latin music is". He said, "To stand out because you're Puerto Rican or because you're Latin is really weird". Lopez said, "I don't think Latinos 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". A writer from the newspaper 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 stated:
- 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 in a limited line of stars to achieve this, following Martika and Vanessa Williams who both crossed over in the late 80s and early 90s. Since the release of On the 6, Lopez has been widely regarded as a triple threat performer and the most influential entertainer of Hispanic descent in the United States, as well as an icon of pop culture. 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, whose review on the album was mixed, said, "In the year 2020, this album will be part of someone's doctoral thesis on the dangers of crossover". Lopez has since used her film and music career to build a successful empire. In April 2011, a writer from 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".
Track listing 
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 bonus tracks|
|16.||"Theme from Mahogany (Do You Know Where You're Going To)"||
|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|
- ^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