Jennifer Lopez is gearing up for the release of her tenth studio album this June. She spoke to PopCrush about the project and dished on her new single, “I Luh Ya Papi” (and it’s super sexy video), working with Chris Brown for a few of the songs, and what life experiences helped shape the album.
Check out a few excerpts:
What inspired the concept of your ‘I Luh Ya Papi’ video? Is it something you had in mind when recording this song?
It’s funny, when I was doing the song, I felt like it was very tongue-in-cheek. I’m saying in the verses how I’m gonna put it down on you and how I want you and all this stuff, but then it’s kind of like what guys do to girls. So in the song it’s like, you know, they’ll be with you and they’ll talk about how much they want you, and then it’ll be like … oh yeah, I didn’t see it. I really love you. It’s kind of that type of thing. And then [with] the video, we decided to do the same thing. The director came up with the concept to kind of flip the rap video — to make me the rapper and, you know, just turn the tables in that way … instead of having girls in bathing suits, have guys in bathing suits. Instead of having me be the soft girl in the video, be the rapper who’s in the mansion and the yacht. It was all meant to be in good fun, but you know, I knew people would get the joke.
“Let me tell you something: Guys have been doing these videos for years because it’s fun to do!”
You reworked the famous Versace dress you wore to the Grammys several years ago for this video. What made you decide to bring that back?
Well, you know, when you think about those type of videos with those rappers and the mansions and the yachts, they always have these Versace shirts on — and it was shot in Miami — we had to have some Versace in the video. And so I sent them out to get those type of clothes, with those patterns and everything on it, and they came back with the jungle print, which is the green dress that I wore at the Grammys a few years back. I was like, oh my God, we have to do this. That’ll take everybody right back to those videos, too, from that ‘Jenny From the Block’ era, so we thought it was perfect for that.
That’s just perfect timing! Now, with your new album coming out in June: Did you approach anything differently with recording it this time around?
I’d come off the tour, so I really was inspired to get back into the studio right away. I’d been working on it since last February — for over a year now. My goal was to just be as honest as I could. You know, I’d gone through a lot in my life right at that point when I went on tour. I’d been through a divorce. A lot of things had happened. I really felt like it was a turning point in my life. I’d learned a lot about myself. I grew out my perspective on a lot of things — changes, including love — and there was just a lot that I had to say. Plus I had grown as a performer and as a vocalist on the road. All of that stuff is in this album. What I realized is that I just always have to be me. If I’m approaching something creatively, I have to be who I am. I’m the same girl that I always was, while I’ve evolved and I’ve grown and I have more experience. And I have to put that into this album — and I think I really did.
We’ve already heard a teaser of a song called ‘Same Girl,’ a song that you worked on with Chris Brown that has very different feel from ‘Papi’…
Yeah, he came in and wrote a few songs for me on the album. We had a great time working together. He’s a very talented boy.
How do you think his style affected the sound of those tracks?
It absolutely did. I mean, he knew he was writing for me, but at the same time it was very organic to what he does. But when you hear the songs, I don’t think you would think, like, “Oh, he wrote ‘Same Girl.’ He wrote ‘Emotions.’” There’s very different things that he did for me on the album.
Another big part of your life right now is ‘American Idol,’ with you working with Keith Urban and Harry Connick, Jr. Have you and Keith ever talked about surprising everyone with a pop/country crossover song? Are you a country music fan?
I’m a BIG country music fan. I love country music. I would say, you know, besides hip-hop, country music is one of my favorite genres. I love it. I love the storytelling in country music. I love the lyrics. I don’t know… we haven’t talked about doing a country song together, but we’ve talked about performing together. Harry and I have talked about doing maybe an original Christmas song together. You know, different things. But I don’t know, maybe we should! Maybe that would be a good idea.