Are Officials Trying to Put Out Fire With “Gasolina”?

Last week Orlando Vistel Columbié, who runs the official Cuban Music Institute, gave an interview to the government-run Granma newspaper that has local reggatoneros up in arms. Effective immediately, artists are not allowed to perform music with anything the government deems to be obscene lyrics. Vistel Columbié made clear that the new ban on expression may affect other genres as well: “We are not just talking about reggaeton. There is vulgarity, banality and mediocrity in other forms of music too,” Vistel Columbié said. “But it is also true that reggaeton is the most notorious. “On the one hand there are aggressive, sexually obscene lyrics that deform the innate sensuality of the Cuban woman, projecting them as grotesque sexual objects. And all that is backed by the poorest quality music.” The penalties include taking musicians off government-approved lists that would make it difficult to get gigs. Radio and TV stations are also being forced to stop playing reggaeton, and new laws are in the works to limit what can be played at public events. This isn’t the first time Cuban officials have lashed out at the sexy hybrid of dancehall, hip-hop, and Latin sounds. The government criticized local reggaetonero Osmani Garcia’s hit song “Chupi Chupi” last year, saying that it “put the soul of the nation in the balance.” Check it out and judge for yourself.  Video After The Jump…

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