Sometimes in the U.S., it can take us a while to catch onto cultural movements already sweeping other parts of the globe. We’re still humming along to Flo Rida’s “Whistle” and endlessly rewatching the Team USA swimmers lip sync to Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe,” while from South America to Central Europe a new pop phenomenon has taken hold. His name is Michel Teló. And it’s time you jumped on his Brazilian bandwagon.
Teló’s “Ai Se Eu Te Pego” (pronounced “ai see-oh chee pay-go”) is a true guilty pleasure. Its melody is simplistic; its dance is vaguely familiar (think “Macarena”); and its lyrics are so repetitive I learned them in one night and I don’t speak Portuguese. The lyrics translate to something about everybody dancing, a hot girl walking by and oh, if he catches you … Don’t bother looking up the translation or, heaven forbid, Teló’s English version.
Still, I can’t stop singing the damn thing and apparently, neither can anyone else. Its YouTube video had a cool 419,600,547 views as of this story’s publication, and the song has spawned its own series of outtake videos starring famous athletes. Gone are the U.S. swimmers and in step Portuguese soccer stud Cristiano Ronaldo (celebrating post-goal), Brazilian soccer phenom Neymar (in the locker room to the delight of his teammates) and the Denver Nuggets (seemingly taking a break in the weight room for some extracurricular hip-thrusting). It’s become so ubiquitous that there’s even been an online backlash from writers pissed that the Brazilian song to sweep the world is a trite country tune with just one verse. Forget them. This song’s too damn catchy to ignore.