“Hips Don’t Lie” by Shakira (ft. Wyclef Jean)

The title of this song originated from an idiom Shakira developed in regards to her profession. And basically the way the story goes is that the movements of her hips would indicate to her coworkers whether or not a song they all are working on is actually slappin’.

However, as you probably already know, the lyrics of this track are centered more on dancing in a public setting. And yes, the movement of Shakira’s hips are, as mentioned in the prior case, indicative of her feeling the music. But more to the point of the song is that her bodily gyrations are turning the men in the vicinity on. 

This idea is brought home most-effectively by Wyclef, who raps about the mesmerizing effect the motions of a particular dancer, i.e. Shakira, is having on him and others who ‘cannot ignore the way her body moves’. Indeed the subject of this song is inconspicuous at first, just another lady in the crowd. But once she hits the dance floor she becomes the center of attention.

By the time the second verse comes around we see that her dance is inspired by a male who is also representing in that regard. So basically her movements are based on following the lead of this guy who is “half animal, half man” on the dance floor. This would indicate that the performance they are giving is, to some degree, wild in nature.

During his second rap verse, Wyclef veers of the primary topic of this song.  Instead he alludes to his lengthy rap career and the fact that the likes of “Colombians and Haitians”, i.e. the nationalities that Shakira and he respectively represent, may be oppressed in the United States. And at this point it should be noted that this track does have a very-strong Latin American influence. In fact a good part of the lyrics are actually recited in Spanish.

But regardless of Clef’s brief deviation, “Hips Don’t Lie” is very much a dance song. So at the end of the day, the title would be based an idea akin to the movement of the singer/dancer’s hips being indicative of the truthfulness of some type of reality. To some degree it would indicate her sensual attraction to the “boy” she is addressing. But more to the point is that her bodily gestures are proof of her proficiency on the dance floor.

Lyrics of "Hips Don't Lie"

Release Date of “Hips Don’t Lie”

This is the second single from Shakira seventh-studio album, “Oral Fixation Vol. 2”.  The track was released by Sony Music Entertainment and Epic Records on 28 November 2005.

Writing Credits

Shakira, Wyclef Jean and Jerry “Wonder” Duplessis served as writers and producers of “Hips Don’t Lie”.

The other writers are:

  • Omar Alfanno
  • LaTavia Parker

In terms of Wyclef’s contribution, he based “Hips Don’t Lie” on a track he dropped in 2004 alongside Claudette Ortiz entitled “Dance Like This”.

Music Video

The music video to this song, which was directed by the accomplished Sophie Muller, proved to be a successful endeavor. For instance, it took home a MTV VMA (Best Choreography) and a MTV Latin Award (Song of the Year).

Mega Success of “Hips Don’t Lie”

Meanwhile the track itself was actually mega successful. In fact it has been classified as the biggest worldwide hit of 2006 and the top-selling song of the first decade of the new millennium. For instance, according to Nielsen, when it was the released it broke the record for most radio plays by a pop song within the timespan of a week in American history. And it that regard it was played well over 9,500 times during that seven-day period.

“Hips Don’t Lie” also topped the music charts in almost 20 nations, including localities as diverse as Japan, Venezuela and Romania. Also in doing so, Shakira, who hails from Colombia, became the first South American artist to respectively score a number one on the Billboard Hot 100, the UK Singles Charts and Australia’s ARIA listing.

And generally speaking “Hips Don’t Lie” charted in almost 30 countries.  Amidst all of this it has been certified multi-Platinum in seven of them, including six-times Platinum in Australia and four-times Platinum in the United States.

Accordingly this track took home quite a few awards, including a BMI Urban Award and a Latin Billboard Music Award (Hot Latin Song of the Year – Vocal Duet or Collaboration) in 2006.

Notable Live Performances of “Hips Don’t Lie”

Moreover Shakira and Wyclef have performed this song at some of the largest venues in the world. For instance, they did so twice during the 2006 FIFA World Cup, and in both instance the viewership exceeded half-a-billion people. They also performed it at the 2006 Grammy Awards, where it received an award nomination. Moreover Shakira (sans Wyclef) gave an inspired rendition of “Hips Don’t Lie” during the Super Bowl Halftime Show in 2020.

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