Only a month after it was released, FIFA's official World Cup theme song, "We Are One (Ole Ola)" has taken heat from angry Brazilians, who pose that it's a little strange that only fifteen seconds of the song are given to Brazilian musician Claudia Leitte to sing.
According to reporting by the Associated Press, in discussions that have found a space under the hashtag #VoltaWakaWaka and elsewhere, critics have questioned why Bronx-born Puerto Rican artist Jennifer Lopez and Cuban-American artist Pitbull were asked to sing the theme song for a Brazilian World Cup when the country itself has such a rich musical history.
"What I don't like about the music is that it's a poor, dull, generic pop theme," said Gaia Passarelli, a Brazilian music journalist and a former VJ for MTV Brazil. "It's a shame considering Brazil's rich musical tradition, which is admired all over the world."
"In the end, we lost a chance to do something rich, inspiring and cool. I'm feeling 'saudades' for Shakira," she said, using a Portuguese word that roughly translates as painful longing.
But even the confusing hashtag has somewhat misguided intentions. Shakira, who performed the World Cup South Africa's 2010 theme song, "Waka Waka (This Time For Africa)", is of Colombian descent.
"The music in other World Cups was also stripped of local color," said Leonardo Martinelli, a composer and music critic who lives in Sao Paulo.
"Whether it's in South Africa, Germany or Japan-Korea, the regional musical element was used only as a very light seasoning, just enough to give it a discreet local color," he said. "In the case of this latest song, the seasoning has its right amount of cliches and stereotypes usual with commercial music."
The World Cup in Brazil is only two weeks away and is already facing calamitous beginnings. Protests have spread quickly throughout the South American country, arguing that the $15 billion price to host the soccer tournament should have been spent on social projects.