Bands play ballads for drugs

October 21, 2011
By Kellie.Kat BRONZE, Peoria, Arizona
Kellie.Kat BRONZE, Peoria, Arizona
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

Favorite Quote:
"There are no maps. You can't map a sense of humor." - Terry Pratchett

I recently had a friend show me a favorite song of hers. It was funny, it was cute and it was all is Spanish. While I couldn't understand the majority of it, I did enjoy the sound and the lyrics.

This song was called "El Diccionario," which is the Spanish word for dictionary. My friend translated part of the chorus for me, saying that he carries around a dictionary so he can find the right words to say to his girl.

I thought this was clever and a rather cute thing to say. I loved the sound of the saxophone and the keyboards in the band. The music made me feel very much at home, even though no one in my family is from a Spanish-speaking country. 

Later, while still talking about the song, my friend mentioned the sad state that music like that was in. I arrogantly agreed, despite the fact I had no idea what she was talking about. 

"Nowadays, any singers of that genre just sing really dirty and degrading songs," she commented.

Now, this had my attention. Degrading music that wasn't rap? It wasn't possible! I, being the idiot I am, asked about the band of the song she had me look up -- Conjunto Agua Azul being the band. 

"Oh no, not him," she laughed. "Other cheap bands of that same style that make money by promoting drug lords, who pay them and then sell it to people who think they're cool by pretending to be Mexican drug lords. It's sad."

Before this, I had heard about the problems of rap -- how some songs promote gang life, domestic violence and substance abuse. I had heard about the drug war in Mexico -- who hasn't? But for some reason, I had not ever imagined that music could transfer into the politics in Mexico and their fight against drug-related crimes. 

The fact that someone can take a fun song about love and, within the same genre, make a song promoting drug lords makes me sick. Music has always been something to turn to for me. If kids are turning to this music, where can that possibly lead?

Politics should be left out of songs whenever possible A musician's job is to entertain. Mentioning pop-culture items and briefly bringing up political events is fine. But when you go from entertaining to persuading, that is when you have crossed a line.

I encourage all of you -- no matter what languages you do or do not speak -- to look up the song "El Diccionario" by Conjunto Aguascalientes Azul and for everyone to be careful who you're supporting when you buy anything. You never know where the money could trace back to. 

The author's comments:
My friend introduced me to band of a Latin-ish genre, and I came to learn the musical twist the drug wars of Mexico have taken.

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