“Love Don’t Cost a Thing” by Jennifer Lopez
The thesis sentiment of Jennifer Lopez’s “Love Don’t Cost a Thing” can be more or less ascertained from its title. The singer is someone who is asserting that money is a non-factor in terms of being the recipient of her love. Rather “all that matters” would be the way her significant other treats her.
But more specifically said significant other, that being the addressee, is in fact well paid. Moreover he’s the type who likes to flaunt his riches in the name of impressing the vocalist. And this also includes him spending a healthy amount of dough on her directly.
But as noted earlier, she’s not even on it like that. In fact in the grand scheme of the relationship, such actions are turning her off. For instance, if she “wants to floss”, i.e. put up a wealthy appearance, her resources are such that she can adequately do so on her own.
Additionally, the addressee is such that he is trying to use his money as a “substitute” to actually spending time with her. And in general, the singer feels as if he is “trying to buy” her love, even though he’s already in possession of it. So overall the way he is treating her, as someone who is interested in him because of his wealth, is becoming offensive as far as she is concerned. Or stated differently yet again, she feels as if he is hiding his true personality behind his wealth.
And on that note, let’s conclude by saying that there’s a lot going on in this song, even though the narrative itself is pretty straightforward. That would likely be why many people have concluded that it is about a specific person, as expounded on in the trivia section. In other words, the featured story doesn’t come off as being indicative of a general sentiment per se. Instead, even though J-Lo is not a credited writer, all details considered it reads like something that she personally went through.
Did Jennifer Lopez write “Love Don’t Cost a Thing”?
“Love Don’t Cost a Thing” served as the lead single from Jennifer Lopez’s second album, which itself is entitled “J.Lo”. Jennifer didn’t write this song. The writing team behind the track consists of the following:
- Amille Harris
- Georgette Franklin
- Jeremy Monroe
- Damon Sharpe
- Greg Lawson
And the producer of the tune, who was an employee of Sony at the time, is Ric Wake. And yes, this track was put out exclusively via Sony Music Entertainment, the parent label that rolled the dice on J-Lo in terms of initiating her music career.
The music video to this track was a Paul Hunter-directed affair. Hunter has worked with some of the biggest names in the game, including being the director of the late Michael Jackson’s 2001 clip “You Rock My World”. And his rendering of “Love Don’t Cost a Thing” did accordingly meet with both general and critical praise.
In terms of the former, during its day it was one of the most-popular clips on all of the big three music-video networks, MTV, VH1 and BET. And regarding the latter, it went on to receive a couple of MTV VMA nominations. Moreover, it did actually win a 2002 ALMA Award in the category of People’s Choice for Outstanding Music Video.
But those who are really adept in J-Lo history are aware that the clip has historical significance also. And that is because it features one Cris Judd in a backup-dancing capacity. Judd is a dancer/choreographer who has worked with quite a few big names himself, including the aforementioned Michael Jackson (1958-2009).
And as fate would have it, he and J-Lo got married on 29 September 2001, about a year after this song’s 2 December 2000 release date. But the reason most readers may have never heard of him is because they barely managed to stay together for even a single year. And just to note Lopez had been married prior, again for a single year, to an actor named Ojani Noa during the late 1990s.
And at the time “Love Don’t Cost a Thing”, J-Lo actually was dating yet another individual, that of course being Sean “Puff Daddy” Combs himself.
So of course some people got to theorizing that it was Combs – the artist who is perhaps most singularly responsible for establishing riches as one of the primary topics in rap music – whom she is singing about on this song.
And such theories were buttressed by the fact that verily the two of them parted way shortly after the track’s release. But that said, as noted above J-Lo is not even one of the writers of the song. Yet the aforementioned Greg Lawson did conceptualize it specifically with her mind.
But also concerning the P. Diddy/J-Lo breakup, it has also been put forth that Lopez and Cris Judd began falling in love during the filming of the video.
In 2021, in recognition of the 20th anniversary of J.Lo, Jennifer Lopez recreated the music video to “Love Don’t Cost a Thing” via Instagram.
J-Lo’s first live performance of this song actually transpired in Sweden. And the event was the 2000 MTV Europe Music Awards, which were held on 16 November of that year.
“Love Don’t Cost the Thing” proved to be a worthy success, topping music charts in almost 10 countries. Most notably it did so on the UK Singles Chart, UK R&B Chart and a couple of Billboard charts – the Mainstream Top 40 and Hot Dance Singles Sales. And in terms of that latter listing, it was actually a version called the RJ Schoolyard Mix which featured fellow Bronx-originated musician Fat Joe which accomplished that feat.
And overall the song charted in over 20 nations, achieving platinum status in the Land Down Under in the process.
The Wedding Planner
This track was featured on the 2001 film The Wedding Planner, a movie that actually co-starred Jennifer Lopez (alongside Matthew McConaughey).