Dancehall king Sean Paul and reggaeton royal J Balvin released visuals for their latest track, “Contra La Pared,” which means “Against the Wall.” The duo had previously joined forces on the 2017 Major Lazer song “Buscando Huellas.”
In the Tainy-produced reggaeton-hall track, Balvin calls to mind an old Spanish nursery rhyme in the chorus, in which he tells a demanding lover that she has his back against the wall: “Cúcara, mácara, dique fue,” he sings, “Ya me tiene’ contra la pared.” Between playful verses in Patois, Paul sings the chorus in Spanish as well, and without missing a beat.
Directed by Andy Hines (Big Sean, Logic), the new video sees the superstars and their dance crew circle Utah’s Lake Powell in dune buggies — sporting designer puffy jackets and snow pants. According to Paul, however, the winter wardrobe was purely incidental: “When we decided to shoot in the dessert [sic] in Utah & Arizona I thought it would be hot!! But it was freezin!!!” he wrote in a comment on YouTube. “The vid came out hot though! Me and Balvin been talking about doin a collab for years!”
“It was great working with J Balvin,” Paul said earlier in a press release. “He’s a star from the Latin world who has such a great knowledge and respect for dancehall music… When the dons of dancehall and Latin team up, the result is pure fire!”
Popular on Rolling Stone
“Working with Sean Paul was a real blessing,” added Balvin, a professed longtime fan of Paul’s. “Since reggaeton obviously has strong roots [in] reggae, it was really exciting to bring our worlds together.”
Dutty rocker Paul has boasted a slew of hit singles in the past few years, from the international Number One success of Sia’s “Cheap Thrills,” to his Dua Lipa-assisted track, “No Lie.” After having just featured alongside Selena Gomez in the Tainy and Benny Blanco cut, “I Can’t Get Enough,” Balvin will continue work on the follow-up to his hit-laden LP, Vibras, which was named one of Rolling Stone‘s 50 Best Albums of 2018.