Music Video Relapse: "Hips Don't Lie" (2006) by Shakira

Posted by Adam Fairholm on February 4, 2014 in Music Video Relapse

Staff Post


Last week we got a taste of something no one even knew we were missing - Shakira and Rihanna together, hanging out sexily in a music video. It has been insanely popular, which is really no surprise given that Rihanna touching Shakira's butt is not exactly a hard sell.

As is the whole point for artist collaborations, I'm sure there are some Rihanna fans that are watching this video who have never heard of Shakira or her music. Lucky for them, we have a music video history of Shakira gyrating her hips that goes back more than a decade.

In fact, newcomers to Shakira might be happy to know that Shakira has made a career on doing much more dancing that we get to see in "Can't Remember To Forget You," and one of Shakira's biggest hits is a song called "Hips Don't Lie" which would be a major let down if the video didn't feature some hips. Let's take a look - it's from 2006 and was directed by Sophie Muller.

I've always found "Hips Don't Lie To" to be kind of a weird song. It is basically a version of Wyclef Jean's "Dance Like This" with Shakira on it, adding the "hips don't lie" lines. ("Dance Like This," in turn, samples the brass intro to "Amores Como el Nuestro" by Jerry Rivera.) In every version of this song I've encountered, though, Shakira's vocals are mixed so far to the front that I've always assumed I was listening to a bootleg pre-mastered copy. But nope, buy Oral Fixation Vol 2 and it still sounds just as awkward.

Anyways, with a song with a title like "Hips Don't Lie," we're obviously going to see some hip action in this video, and Shakira doesn't disappoint. At that point in her career she'd had a lot of practice in videos like "Whenever, Wherever", which almost exclusively features her dancing in various nature settings.

In this video, however, Shakira has plenty of friends. It takes place partially at some sort of carnival (apparently Columbia's Barranquilla's Carnival), and features Wyclef Jean doing a little bit of performing, but mostly he's just watching Shakira. In fact, pretty much everyone is checking out Shakira. She's the center of attention throughout this event, and the video consists of various set ups that feature her.

One of the best parts of this video is because it takes place at Barranquilla's Carnival, there are a lot of interesting people wearing costumes on display. My favorite is a small child who is dressed head to toe as a mummy. He is never featured in the video at all, but he is frequently in the background, just standing there completely still.


The most remarkable thing about this video for me is the sheer variety of dancing Shakira manages to pull off. She is dancing almost the entire video and barely repeats herself, something that I think helped earn her an MTV VMA for Best Choreography for this video. Shakira's brand has always been as a dancer first and foremost, and even though this is a sexy video, it's a great showcase for her creativity and talent as a dancer. She would later arguably take this talent too far, but 2006 is the sweet spot. It's interesting that her video collaboration with Rihanna has no real technical dancing at all.

This video may have also given Shakira some practice in "dancing alone with a bunch of cultural stuff behind you."



Shakira, always a multi tasker.

Adam Fairholm is the co-founder and lead developer of IMVDb. You can find him on twitter at @adamfairholm.

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