Santana feat. The Product G & B – Maria Maria

First Hit #1: April 8, 2000

Just like Santana’s last hit, we get an attempt to bring Santana into the world of current trends. This time, we get Santana and R&B, even going so far as to put some slightly awkward braggadocio in there to reference Santana’s guitar playing. Of course, Santana’s guitar is outright excellent, and if he’s a guest on his own track he’s at least given the best part and really makes the song work. The Product are fine, but the do sound like hired guns, moreso than Rob Thomas ever did on Smooth. They provide a decent performance, but they’re not the driving force and even seem to be there just because instrumentals don’t sell – they are simply there to provide another instrument, and the vocals are really secondary to the instrumental parts of the song. It’s not the happiest blend of styles, just because the vocals seem like an afterthought, but it clearly worked since this was a big hit.

That said, I kind of want to scrub Wyclef Jean from the track. It’s the same problem as Jay-Z on Heartbreaker, taken to a larger extreme – he has nothing to do, in fact he has so little to do he doesn’t get a credit. So instead, he just talks over the track, giving us snippets of wisdom like “Yo Carlos you’re making that guitar proud.” Yes, Jean, we have just heard the song, we know how good the guitar was. We have functioning ears, this does not need to be on the track.

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One Response to Santana feat. The Product G & B – Maria Maria

  1. RBerman says:

    The beat is the same as that in “Independent Women” by Destiny’s Child, which we’ll get to discuss soon enough. We get another lyrical reference to Spanish Harlem, and yes, it is weird to reference Carlos Santana in a song played by Carlos Santana, but then again he’s sort of a guest star on his own track again.

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