I've been thinking a lot after hear one of the most controversial news in Latin American music. One of the most popular mass media genres called "reggaeton" was prohibited by the Cuban government because of its sexual content, and its sexual explicit lyrics which, in words of feminist groups, treat women as a sexual object.
To some of you this music is totally unknown, but in Latin America, the reggaeton phenomenon is stronger. Its popularity could variate in many countries. In Mexico everybody could hear it, but is well known that in marginal places the "reggaeton" parties are very popular for teenagers, because they can dance, drink, have sex and take drugs with $10 pesos, the equivalent of five Hong Kong dollars.
For old generations the reggaeton music is very aggressive, for new generations is part of the new society landscapes. Cuban musicologist have a debate regarding prohibit it or not, specially the ones that are working in the broadcast and for the government.
I am asking if prohibition of certain kind of music is useful for a society?
Is that true that music could be strong enough to manipulate masses or is the extramusical aspects linked to the music the ones that could influence the people?
Is reggaeton responsable of the promotion of the Latin American "machismo" or is the new mass media system based on female sexuality images?
The first video of the singer Osmani García is one pointed for the Cuban government for being "misogynist". The song is called "Chupi Chupi", which is a colloquial term for the verb lick and the lyrics have double sense. The singer is talking about lick and eat doing reference to oral sex.
Reggaeton is not monolithic, it is not only talking about sex. The second video is for the Puerto Rican band "Calle 13" and is called "Pa'l Norte" a colloquial term for the phrase "going to the north". This song talks about the Latin immigrant who travel to the north illegally and its conditions.
Adriana Martínez Falcón