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No Debes Jugar

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"No Debes Jugar"
Single by Selena
from the album Selena Live!
ReleasedApril 29, 1993
FormatCD single and 12" single
GenreTejano, Mexican cumbia
LabelEMI Latin
Songwriter(s)Ricky Vela, A.B. Quintanilla III
Producer(s)A.B. Quintanilla III, Bebu Silvetti
Selena singles chronology
"No Debes Jugar"
"La Llamada"

"No Debes Jugar" (English: "You Shouldn't Play Around")[1] is a song recorded by American recording artist Selena for her first live album Live! (1993). It was composed by Selena y Los Dinos keyboardist Ricky Vela and Selena's brother and principal record producer A.B. Quintanilla III. The song was produced by Quintanilla III and Argentine music producer Bebu Silvetti.

"No Debes Jugar" was released as the lead single from Live!. It peaked at number 3 on the US Hot Latin Tracks on the week ending 14 August 1993. On the week ending 9 April 2011, "No Debes Jugar" entered the Regional Mexican Digital Songs chart. Lyrically the song describes a woman whose life is centered on being unappreciated by her boyfriend. She finally stands up for herself announcing that she is done playing around and threatens to leave. The central theme explored on the song suggests women empowerment in its lyrical content.

"No Debes Jugar" is an uptempo Mexican cumbia song with influences of Rock en Español. The song received generally positive reviews from music critics who praised its originality and mixing of music genres. "No Debes Jugar" received a "Song of the Year" nomination from the 1994 Tejano Music Awards and the 1994 Lo Nuestro Awards. The song has been covered by Mexican American singer Jennifer Peña, Puerto Rican salsa singer La India, Mexican contestant Érika Alcocer Luna, and Mexican band Banda El Grullo.

Background and composition[edit]

"No Debes Jugar" was written by Selena y Los Dinos keyboardist Ricky Vela and Selena's brother, principle record producer and songwriter A.B. Quintanilla III.[2] It was produced by Quintanilla III and Argentine music producer Bebu Silvetti. The song was intended to be one of three studio tracks for Selena's Live! (1993) album. Vela had written most of the lyrics while touring with Los Dinos in the 1992-93 period. Quintanilla III later co-wrote the song after Vela finished the lyrics. Quintanilla III only made a few adjustments to the song and began adding music notes for pre-production. "No Debes Jugar" was recorded in Corpus Christi, Texas at Selena's father and manager Abraham Quintanilla, Jr.'s recording studio Q-Productions. After recording sessions were done, EMI Latin argued that the song should be the lead single from Live!. Before the album was released, the song was mixed by Brian "Red" Moore, a family friend.[3]

"No Debes Jugar" is an uptempo Mexican cumbia song with influences of Rock en Español.[4] Written in the key of E-flat major, the beat is set in common time and moves at a moderate 89 beats per minute.[5] It centers the organ as its musical instrument foundation.[6] Ramiro Burr of the Houston Chronicle stated that Selena blended Mexican polka rhythms with melodic, synth-driven pop hooks in "No Debes Jugar" and "La Llamada".[7] Lyrically, the song describes a woman whose life is centered on being unappreciated by her boyfriend. She finally stands up for herself announcing that she is done playing around and threatens to leave.[5] The central theme explored on the song suggests women empowerment.[8]

Critical reception and covers[edit]

Jennifer Peña covered the song when she was 12 during a festival in Corpus Christi, Texas

Jim Beal Jr. of the San Antonio Express-News wrote that "No Debes Jugar" "outshines" the rest of the songs on Live! including the two other studio tracks.[9] An editor from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram praised Selena's usage of different genres when recording "No Debes Jugar", which the editor believed helped the song to be distinguished when played on radio.[10] Sally Jacobs of the Boston Globe noted the originality of "No Debes Jugar" as being Selena's trademark. Jacobs also believed that it is one of her cumbia signature songs and most popular cumbia song.[11] "No Debes Jugar" received a "Song of the Year" nomination at the 1994 Tejano Music Awards,[12] and "Regional Mexican Song of the Year" at the 1994 Lo Nuestro Awards Awards.[13] It was among the "Top 10 Spanish Hits of 1993" according to the Orlando Sentinel.[14] According to the Austin American-Statesman, "No Debes Jugar" was the best Tejano single of 1993.[15]

Mexican American Latin pop artist Jennifer Peña covered "No Debes Jugar" when she was 12 at the Jim Wells County Fair in Corpus Christi, Texas.[1] Puerto Rican salsa singer La India covered the song during the Selena ¡VIVE! concert.[16] Michael Clark of the Houston Chronicle wrote that "India belted effortless notes that wafted to the rafters on "No Debes Jugar"".[17] On the second season of La Academia, contestant Érika Alcocer Luna covered "No Debes Jugar".[18] Mexican band Banda El Grullo recorded the song for their album 30 Numeros 1 en Banda.[19]

Track listing[edit]

  • CD Single
  1. "No Debes Jugar" — 3:49[3]

Credits and personnel[edit]

All credits were taken from the Live! album notes.[3]



Region Certification Certified units/Sales
United States (RIAA)[23] Platinum (Latin) 60,000double-dagger

double-daggersales+streaming figures based on certification alone

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Awards ceremony Award Results
1994 Tejano Music Awards Song of the Year[12] Nominated
1994 Lo Nuestro Awards Song of the Year[2][13] Nominated


  1. ^ a b George, Ron (4 November 1995). "Selena's legacy: A 12-year-old could follow Tejano star's footsteps". Corpus Christi Caller-Times. Retrieved 21 June 2012.
  2. ^ a b "Premios Latinos de BMI Latin Awards". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. 107 (51): 100. 23 December 1993. Retrieved 29 June 2012.
  3. ^ a b c Live! (CD). Selena. EMI Latin. 2002. 724354084027.
  4. ^ La época. Epoca de México: University of Texas. 1994.
  5. ^ a b Quintanilla-Perez, Selena; Quintanilla III, A.B. (1993). "Live!: Selena Digital Sheet Music". Alfred Music Publishing. MN090674 (Product Number).
  6. ^ Blumenthal, Howard J. (1997). The world music CD listener's guide (1st print. ed.). New York: Billboard Books. ISBN 0-8230-7663-6.
  7. ^ Burr, Ramiro (December 5, 1993). "Selena in English/With new contract, Tejano star is poised for crossover success". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved November 6, 2011.
  8. ^ "Tejano music celebrates its best". Fort Worth Star Telegram. 13 March 1993. Retrieved 21 June 2012.
  9. ^ Beal, Jim (2 March 1994). "Selena wins a Grammy for 'Live' recording". San Antonio Express-News. Retrieved 21 June 2012.
  10. ^ "A life cut short, potential unmet". Fort Worth Star Telegram. 7 April 1995. Retrieved 21 June 2012.
  11. ^ Jacobs, Sally (19 October 1995). "The canonization of Selena The slain Tejano singer looms larger than life as her alleged killer stands trial". Boston Globe. Retrieved 21 June 2012.
  12. ^ a b "Arts Beat". The Dallas Morning News. 21 February 1994. Retrieved 21 June 2012.
  13. ^ a b González, Fernando (May 16, 1994). "Lo Nuestro, Billboard Honor Latin Singers". The Miami Herald. The McClatchy Company. (Subscription required (help)).
  14. ^ "Music Top 10 Hits of 1993". Orlando Sentinel. 30 July 1993. Retrieved 21 June 2012.
  15. ^ "On the Charts". Austin American-Statesman. 22 July 1993. Retrieved 21 June 2012.
  16. ^ Martin, Marisara (11 April 2005). "Univision's 'Selena ¡Vive!' Breaks Audience Records". Hispanic PR Wire. Archived from the original on 21 April 2012. Retrieved 21 June 2012.
  17. ^ Clark, Michael (8 April 2005). "Modern, traditional mix in vibrant Selena tribute". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 21 June 2012.
  18. ^ "Lerner se une a los alumnos de La Academia". El Siglo de Torreón. 18 March 2003. Retrieved 21 June 2012.
  19. ^ "iTunes > Music > 30 Numeros 1 en Banda". iTunes Store. Apple Inc. Retrieved 21 June 2012.
  20. ^ "Allmusic > Selena Awards". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 21 June 2012.
  21. ^ "Singles Chart Archives > Selena > No Debes Jugar". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 20 June 2012. (subscription required) Note: User must manually input the correct search information to obtain the sourced information.
  22. ^ "Here Are Billboard's Top Singles And Albums of 1993". The Deseret News. 31 December 1993. Retrieved 21 June 2012.
  23. ^ "American single certifications – Selena – No Debes Jugar". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click Type, then select Latin, then click SEARCH. 

External links[edit]