channel/pop

The Song Behind The Viral Dancing Alien Is Actually 20 Years Old And You Never Knew It

cosita challenge
courtesy via Imagine It Media

By now you've probably seen your social media feeds filled with videos of a dancing alien and are probably wondering why. The viral video has become all the rage on the Musical.ly app, where many users are imitating the little green fella and putting their dancing videos side-to-side, like so:

The challenge has been making the rounds since about March and has been blessed as the Dame Tu Cosita Challenge in honor of the song the alien is dancing to. Dame Tu Cosita, for those who don't understand Spanish, basically means "give me your thing."

The music video, which is based on the 3D animation made by ArtNoux, and has images produced by Juston Records/Play Two and direction by Sihem Ouliani, was released by Ultra Records in early April and with nearly 300 million views, it's already on its merry way to joining YouTube's Billion View Club.

Its worldwide success is undeniable, but if there's one thing you ought to know about this production is that the song is actually 20 years old.

The story behind Dame Tu Cosita

The original song was written in 1998 by Panamanian producer Rodney Clark, a.k.a. El Chombo. It was born at the Sonic Sound Recording Studio in Kingston, Jamaica with the voice of Cutty Ranks. Ranks, a local dancehall singer, did not know Spanish, which is why he was assigned to sing three simple words: Dame, Tu, and Cosita.

The song was later remixed in 2002 by various artists from Puerto Rico and it was that remix that inspired a 3D animator from Madagascar, Africa to create a dancing alien 16 years later.

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#tbt 1997 Kingston Jamaica Sonic Sound Recording Studio.

A post shared by "El Chombo" (@elchombo_official) on

Now, in 2018 and 20 years after its release, the song has become a huge internet sensation and has even landed El Chombo on the Billboard Hot Latin charts—a first in his career.

Dame Tu Cosita is the first track you'll listen to in El Chombo's 1998 album, Cuentos de la Cripta 2: a nearly one-hour long album that plays 24 back-to-back catchy reggae plena songs from Panamanian, Puerto Rican, and Jamaican artists. So yes, you know it's been a party since 1998!

Listen to the OG track below:

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