Cuba To Ban Reggaeton In Public Places

Dec 14, 2012

Daddy Yankee, and other reggaeton musicians, will be banned from Cuba soon.
Credit S, Flickr

The Cuban government officially doesn't like reggaeton. As some of you know, reggaeton is that mix of Jamaican dancehall music and Spanish hip hop that you hear blasted through car speakers all over Miami and in almost any club you go to in the city.

I would say reggaeton is an acquired taste, but the Cuban government was some pretty serious feelings about this.

According to The Guardian, the Cuban government is starting to crackdown on music like reggaeton because officials say it is vulgar and disrespectful to women.

A crackdown on reggaeton and other unnamed musical styles that are threatening the revolutionary country's traditional musical culture will punish artists and fine those who programme it, according to Cuban Music Institute boss Orlando Vistel Columbié.

"We are not just talking about reggaeton. There is vulgarity, banality and mediocrity in other forms of music too," Vistel told the official Granma newspaper. "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."

Musicians in Cuba are now being told that if they play reggaeton they will be taken off official rolls that list musicians in the country, which will make it really hard for them to work. Music catalogs are also being purged of reggaeton recordings.

However, Cubans will still be able to pick up radio signals from Miami-- where you definitely hear tons of it.

It is worth noting that the ban is not an outright ban on the music overall.  The Cuban Music Institute's Orlando Vistel told Cuban state newspaper Granma that “obviously, people can listen to whatever music they want in private... But that liberty does not include the right to reproduce (certain types of music) in restaurants, state run or privately owned cafeterias, buses and public spaces in general."

In 2006, The New York Times had started reporting that Cuba's Rap Agency was growing weary of the genre because it was taking over hip-hop. The government there has taken a lot of time through the years to promote and control rap music and hip hop in the country, but the music was losing ground to reggaeton.

In case some of you still don't know what reggaeton is, here is one of the most popular songs from that genre that launched it into the mainstream.