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Ivy Queen: Tiny Desk Concert

This Latinx Heritage Month Tiny Desk is celebrating with an 'El Tiny' takeover, featuring a wide array of artists from all corners of Latinidad.

"La gente tiene la patita del conejo / y yo tengo a Benito completo," Ivy Queen quips, lighting a candle featuring Bad Bunny at an El Tiny altar to reggaeton ("People have the rabbit's foot / I have all of Benito.") Even her jokes flow. Thanks to far more than luck, "La Caballota" has carried and passed the torch since the '90s with an ironclad sense of self and unwavering commitment to the women and femmes she writes for.

And she's done it in no uncertain terms. After a propulsive performance of "La Vida es Así," she soberly says that women are judged no matter what. For a long time, she was the most visible canvas upon which projections of women in reggaeton were placed, and her talent was nurtured from within. "Yo sabía que a mi no había que darmela porque yo la tenía," she later notes. ("I knew that it didn't have to be given to me because I had it.") The road has widened, not without a struggle.

Finally, she addresses the mujeres directly for the song. "Tenemos derecho a ser feliz, tenemos derecho a cambiar, a cuidarnos, a protegernos," she exhorts. ("We have the right to be happy, we have the right to change, to take care of ourselves, to protect ourselves.") "Quiero Bailar," two decades later and literally performed behind a desk, feels as urgent and insurgent now. Or, as she puts it, simply: "Guys, this is for the girls." With Ivy Queen, it always has been.


  • "Reza por Mi"
  • "La Vida Es Así"
  • "Menor Que Yo"
  • "En Que Fallamos"
  • "Quiero Bailar"


  • Ivy Queen: lead vocals
  • Marco Jiménez Santana: violin
  • Lourdes Naomi Negrón: viola
  • Javier Tirado: cello
  • Adriana Lizardi: double bass
  • Barba Blanca: piano, musical direction
  • Special thanks to: Sean Christopher Fears, Juan Luis Suárez, Juan Tamez


  • Producer: Anamaria Sayre
  • Director/Editor: Kara Frame
  • Audio Engineer: Neil Tevault
  • Series Producer: Bobby Carter
  • Videographers: Kara Frame, Joshua Bryant, Keren Carrión
  • Audio Assistant: Kwesi Lee
  • Production Assistant: Alanté Serene
  • Photographer: Estefania Mitre
  • Tiny Desk Team: Suraya Mohamed, Hazel Cills, Maia Stern, Ashley Pointer, Josh Rogosin
  • Series Creators: Bob Boilen, Stephen Thompson
  • VP, Visuals and Music: Keith Jenkins
  • Senior VP, Programming: Anya Grundmann

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    Stefanie Fernández