"Loca" (English: "Crazy") is a song by Colombian singer-songwriter Shakira, taken from her ninth studio album, Sale el Sol (2010). It was released by Epic Records as the lead single from the album. The Spanish-language version features Dominican rapper El Cata, and was released on 10 September 2010, while the English-language version features British rapper Dizzee Rascal, and was released on 13 September 2010. It was written and produced by Shakira, with additional songwriting from Edward Bello, Armando Pérez, and Dylan Mills. The song is a Latin pop and merengue track that lyrically describes Shakira's eccentric infatuation with a man. In August 2014, a senior US district judge found "Loca" to have been indirectly plagiarised from "Loca con su Tiguere", a mid-1990s song composed by Dominican songwriter Ramon "Arias" Vasquez. The case was dismissed in August 2015 after it was found that Vasquez had fabricated the evidence he had presented in court.
Upon its release, "Loca" received generally favourable reviews from music critics, who complimented the inclusion of merengue music on the recording. The English version of the song became a worldwide commercial success and peaked inside the top five of the record charts of countries including Austria, Belgium, France, Hungary and Italy. The Spanish version peaked atop the charts of Spain and Switzerland, and became a hit on the Latin record charts in the United States, topping the BillboardHot Latin Songs, Latin Pop Airplay, and Tropical Songs charts. "Loca" received record certifications in various countries around the world, including a diamond certification in Colombia and multi-platinum certifications in Italy, Mexico, and Spain.
Its accompanying music video was filmed in Barcelona, Spain in August 2010, and was released the following month. It features Shakira interacting with a beach crowd, and dancing in front of the sea wearing a golden bikini. It generated a favourable response from critics, many of whom praised its concept for matching the vibe of the song. For additional promotion, Shakira performed "Loca" on several television shows and on her The Sun Comes Out World Tour.
"Loca" was written by American rapper Armando Pérez, better known by his stage name Pitbull, Dominican rapper Edward Bello, and Shakira, for the singer's ninth studio album Sale el Sol (2010). The album marked the first time she worked with Bello, who is better known by his stage name El Cata, and their collaboration started after Shakira expressed her desire to experiment with merengue music, saying "I grew up listening to merengue— that was a big part of my life, and I was missing it". Merengue is a type of music and dance originating in the Dominican Republic, and after being referred to Bello by Pitbull, Shakira travelled to the country and began recording sessions with him in his "tiny" studio in Santo Domingo. Bello talked about his collaboration with Shakira, saying "If I was thinking that this little studio was going to be in the world’s vision at this time, I wouldn't believe it". "Loca" is a Latin-pop song composed of horn-laden merengue beats combined with techno dance percussion beats. Lyrically, the song is about Shakira expressing her erratic and obsessive behaviour towards her lover, more so than his other leading lady, prominently heard in the lines "She'd die for your love / But your love's only mine, boy" and "I'm crazy but you like it".
Two versions of the song are present on the album; the English-language version features vocals from English rapper Dizzee Rascal (who also wrote the lyrics of his parts), while the Spanish-language version features El Cata. Speaking about the collaboration, Dizzee Rascal said that "I know it sounds a bit mad now, but you'll see it and see what's going on". He further said "It's me doing something different man, on a merengue tip." In an interview with Billboard, Dizzee Rascal said about Shakira that, "she's a bit of a trendsetter -- she does loads of different things on a major scale" and added "You'd expect her to use an American rapper [for the song], but she chose me. It meant a lot." He then commented about the song that, "I'd like to be in that Spanish market. I got into the whole reggaeton thing when it came out, so I always wanted to get around to something like that". "Loca" served as the lead single from Sale el Sol. The Spanish version of the song, featuring El Cata, was released on 10 September 2010. The English version, featuring Dizzee Rascal, debuted later on 13 September 2010.
On 19 August 2014, Alvin Hellerstein, senior judge of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, concluded that the Spanish version of "Loca" had been indirectly plagiarised from "Loca con su Tiguere", a mid-1990s song composed by Dominican songwriter Ramon "Arias" Vasquez. He testified that he had met Bello in 2006 and had introduced him to two of his songs, including "Loca con su Tiguere". According to Vasquez, Bello was impressed by the song and asked him to record it. However, Bello claimed that the song was originally his and was based on his relationship with his ex-wife as opposed to Vasquez's claim that "Loca con su Tiguere" was based on his sister's relationship with a street-tough boyfriend. Hellerstein ruled in favour of Vasquez and found the two songs to be similar in structure and rhythm. As the Spanish version of "Loca" features Bello singing numerous portions, the judge reasoned that it too was plagiarised from Vasquez's song. After a trial phase, SonyATV Latin and Sony/ATV Discos (the distributors of the Spanish version of "Loca" in the United States) will pay damages to Mayimba Music, the owner of the rights to Vasquez's song and the plaintiff in the lawsuit.
On 10 August 2015, the case was dismissed by Hellerstein after Sony Music brought forth new evidence suggesting that Vasquez had fabricated the cassette tape that he had earlier produced in court to prove that the song was originally recorded by him. Hellerstein said the evidence given by Sony Music provided "competent and substantial proof" that the cassette tape was fake.
Upon its release, "Loca" received generally favourable reviews from music critics. A reviewer from Billboard complimented Shakira for displaying her unpredictable musical choices by having Dizzee Rascal sing over a merengue beat, which they termed as a "jarring combination". Robert Copsey from Digital Spy also reviewed the song positively, and labelled the song "bizarre yet thoroughly enjoyable". Jennifer Schaffer from Stanford Daily marked Dizzee Rascal's rap as the highlight of the song. James Reed from The Boston Globe termed it as an "irresistible merengue hybrid" and deemed the Spanish version of the song as an album essential. Michelle Morgante, again from The Boston Globe, was impressed by the song's effectiveness in both its Spanish and English version, which she commented is "lost in some of Shakira's other attempts at language switching". Allison Stewart from The Washington Post, however, claimed that there was "little appreciable difference" between the two versions of the song.
Barcelona local authorities fined Shakira after they saw video footage of her dancing in the Pla de Palau fountain (pictured) without permits.
The music video was filmed near the beaches in Barcelona, Spain in August 2010, and was directed by Jaume de Laiguana, who had previously worked with Shakira on the videos for the songs "No" and "Gypsy". The music video was shot in "guerrilla-style", utilizing hand-held cameras to shoot many of the scenes. Shakira talked about the video, saying "I decided to just do something more spontaneous, and be myself and be free and feel free about it because that is what this song is about". The music video was released on 29 September 2010, and the Spanish and English versions of the video were individually released on iTunes on 11 October 2010, and 13 October 2010, respectively.
The video starts with Shakira roller-skating with many fans surrounding her. After roaming about the city, including numerous scenes of dancing, she publicly changes her wardrobe and hitches a ride on a motorbike. Further on, she dances and jumps into a fountain. During the next verse, she is seen belly dancing with a man by the beach and, near the end of the video, she dives into the sea along with many fans and celebrates. Scenes of Shakira dancing wearing a gold triangle bikini and gold sequined pants are also interspersed throughout the video. Dizzee Rascal also makes an appearance during his part of the song.
Walter Frazier from Billboard reviewed the video positively, and appreciated Shakira's craziness in the video. James Montgomery from MTV gave the video a very positive review, calling it a "rare video" which perfectly complimented the nature of the song. The music video was nominated for "Best Short Form Music Video" at the 12th Latin Grammy Awards in 2011, but lost to the video of Calle 13's "Calma Pueblo". At the 2011 Premios Nuestra Tierra award ceremony, the music video won the award for "Mejor Video Musical Para Artista Colombiano" ("Best Music Video for Colombian Artist"). It was nominated at the 2011 Premios Juventud for Mi Video Favorito (My Favorite Video). Having received 100 million views on YouTube, the music video was given a VEVOCertified Award.
Shakira performed the song with Dizzee Rascal together for the first time on the MTV Europe Music Awards 2010 on 7 November. Gabi Gregg from MTV chose the performance as the best on the show, praising Shakira's dance moves and noting that "she actually sounds the same live as she does recorded". Jillian Mapes from Billboard included the performance on her list of "5 Must-See Moments at the 2010 MTV European Music Awards". Shakira performed the Spanish version of the song live during the 12th Latin Grammy awards ceremony. The song was included on the setlist of The Sun Comes Out World Tour in 2010 and 2011. During the performances, Shakira wore a pair of neon leopard-print pants and performed a dance routine with "intricate and urban choreographies". On 25 October 2010, Shakira was leaving the Honda Centre parking lot in California after a concert, but got out of her limo and performed "Loca" with two dancers on top of a car.
^"Media Forest – Weekly Charts. Media Forest. 14 February 2011. Retrieved 3 July 2018. Note: Select 'Songs – TV'. Romanian and international positions are rendered together by the number of plays before resulting an overall chart.
^"ČNS IFPI" (in Slovak). Hitparáda – Radio Top 100 Oficiálna. IFPI Czech Republic. Note: insert 201103 into search.