If you turn on any current mainstream music radio station right now, you're almost guaranteed, within an hour, to hear the up-tempo summer smash, 'Despacito Remix'. Originally released by Puerto Rican artists Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee earlier in the year, the addition of a Justin Bieber verse has taken the hit from Latin American favourite to international Spanglish smash; and to say Northern America has taken to it to heart is putting it mildly. At the time of writing it's on its fifth week at the top of the Billboard 100 and the infectious summer jam has well and truly hit the open tops cars of the European shores.

Luis and Daddy made a successful and savvy move by bringing on the unstoppable Canadian Biebs for the remix, but the lad can't sing the song live. After being filmed butchering the complex Spanish chorus by substituting words he can't pronounce with 'Dorito' and the ever-articulate "blah blah blah", he told a crowd he'll no longer be performing the song. Someone swiftly threw a bottle at him after this announcement in assumed disappointment.

Whether they have a Hispanic background or not, since the late 1980s artists have been peppering their lyrics with Spanish phrases, most notably was Madonna who with her Italian and French-Canadian ancestry used Spanish to give her tracks 'La Isla Bonita' and 'Who's That Girl' an international and a presumably exotic appeal. Now, for the first time in over 20 years, 'Despacito', a track with a largely Spanish lyrical approach has topped the American charts. There's something about the Spanish culture continues to inspire young pop professionals to temporarily adopt the language with alacrity.

Cast your mind back to the era of low-slung-jeans, chunky highlighted hair and boot cut jeans aplenty and the late 1990s might spring to mind. This was a time before 'bling bling' hit and the fear of a Millennium bug consistently ravaged the pages of the print press. Pop stars were cookie-cutter cute, and while sex was sold by putting Britney in a short-skirted school uniform, most of the music heat radiated off of the Spanish language the mainstream pop lyrics were being sung in.

Back then the scale of Spanish-language chart music almost outstripped the English speaking American presence in the U.K. In 1999 Carlos Santana, a Mexican and American musician who first rocketed to fame with his band, Santana in the early 1970s pioneered a fusion of rock and Latin American music, which unexpectedly became inescapable after the release of his 1999 album, Supernatural. Tracks like 'Maria Maria' with The Project G&B and 'Smooth', which was a collaboration with Rob Thomas of Matchbox 20 fame sounded like sultry international escapism with a touch of relatability. Both tracks hit the No 1 spot across the globe and Smooth maintained the position on the Billboard Hot 100 from mid-October 1999 until January 2000.

The lyrics tell the story of leading lady Maria Maria growing up in a Spanish Harlem and who fell in love in East L.A, which in 1999 and in 2017 is a true reflection of the international nature of the United States and a familiar love story. In a modern anti-establishment move, the streaming figures for Latin American music have rocketed in recent times; even with Ivanka's Dad and his expansive quest for international division. It doesn't come as any surprise that typically left-leaning chart music artists' are choosing this period to play with the sound of the Spanish once again. Of course, it helps that the language is the second most popular in the world after Chinese. But in this digital age of cultural appropriation questioning, is this flagrant adoption and flippant use of authentic lingo something we ought take a different look at.

In an interview for Remezcla, Jezebel Culture Editor Julianne Escobedo Shepherd said "Spanish is highly politicized in this country, and so for Bieber to use the language to increase his pop market share and then shit on it - I don't care if he was drunk, Biebs stans stay out of my mentions - is the utmost disrespect. And I thought it was racist, to be honest."

Luis Fonsi has given Bieber a get out of jail free card by explaining to us that the chorus of the track is exceptionally tricky and he recently told NBC News that "...it's about coming together. Language is not a factor anymore." But if Bieber and pals are going to continue tap into the growing markets of Latin American music and Reggaeton surely they need show the utmost respect for the culture. And Bieber has previous; many would argue he wore black culture as a cloak to help release him from his teen popstar shackles.

'Wild Thoughts', a song from DJ Khalid's upcoming album that features Rihanna and Bryson Tiller samples the instantly recognisable guitar riff from 'Maria Maria'. Filmed in Miami's Little Haiti neighbourhood, the rich and beguiling jewelled tones that saturate the video almost mirror the look at feel of the original Santana street party performance. DJ Khalid (Bieber's pal and oft-collaborator) doesn't quite exude the smooth deliverance of The Project G&B, but he does have the same star pulling power that Santana had back then.

Perhaps the summer of 2017 is gonna be a scorcher, and perhaps the dulcet tones of many a Spanish themed song will carry us all through the ever-present and palpable political unrest. But for those of us who are Spanish-language unschooled, why not dig out the Rosetta Stone app and make an attempt to learn the words being sung instead of reducing them to a slightly ignorant blah blah blah. 'Despacito' means slowly in a sexy way, so it's a pretty good place to start.

You can find Sophie over at Twitter: @Sophie_OKelly_.