Cuba lashes out against ‘vulgarity’ in popular music

By Agence France-Presse
Wednesday, November 23, 2011 17:27 EDT
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Cuban dancers. Image via AFP.
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Cuba on Wednesday took aim at “vulgarity” in popular music, decrying the sexually graphic lyrics that are increasingly common in music played by young people on the communist island.

“We note with great concern that in the past few years there has been a… type of artistic expression, including in popular Cuban music, that leaves much to be desired,” read the opinion piece appearing in the daily Granma newspaper.

Cuba sees itself as the birthplace of salsa, which is seen as a national musical treasure.

But like Cuba’s communist officials, some on the island take exception to reggaeton, a hybrid of Puerto Rican, Jamaican and Latin American urban music that is sweeping the island.

Reggaeton often is also combined with rapping or singing in Spanish, and its objectionable, even explicit, lyrics are the main cause of controversy.

Granma railed against the “inexplicable” popularity of music like “reggaeton,” which is wildly popular in the United States as well as Cuba for it driving, upbeat rhythms.

In the lengthy article entitled “Vulgarity in Our Music: A Choice for the Cuban People?,” the government inveighed against the “macho” tone of many of the lyrics, which “reduce sexual relations to something on the level of a transaction between a prostitute” and her client, the official Communist Party newspaper wrote.

Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
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