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I’m Sorry. I Tried To Be Tolerant…

But…

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Here comes the old grumpy lady again.

HEY! YOU! CLOUD! I’M TALKIN TO YOU! ARRRRGGGGGGHHHH!

I’m writing this piece days after the recent MTV Video Music Awards.

A ceremony that may no longer be for my demographic – because I don’t know most of the artists that performed.

I did not watch the full ceremony. The didn’t get my attention until the Red Hot Chili Peppers were there. In the meantime, I found better things to do.

So I didn’t see the attempted controversy in the Bad Bunny performance…

…nor did I see him receiving the Artist of the Year award:

(Not to mention that I could guess in advance who was going to win Video of the Year, because the artist in question attended the ceremony… but that’s another thing…)

In the last weeks, I read in the Billboard headlines that the latest album of this performer has been Number One in the Billboard 200 for… I can’t remember how many non consecutive weeks.

He is also been considered for more acting gigs and will be starring a Marvel film.

This really annoys me.

I don’t find for whatever reason this man’s success. It goes beyond my understanding.

I wish I could be able to find something nice to say about him. Many weeks ago, I read a headline that said something about how he threw away a girl’s cellphone in the middle of a concert. So apparently on top of it all, he has become a big headed.

But as you might know, he’s not the only one currently enjoying the reggaetón’s success.

We can find a number of artist or performers (I can’t call them singers because I don’t hear anything remotely melodic in those songs). And even decent or acceptable singers had to adapt themselves, collaborating with the main stars from this genre.

The problem about this genre, besides the misogynistic, cheap, and even offensive lyrics, is that most of the time you can’t tell the difference between one artist from the other.

This happens with female artists too. There are examples. Like:

(see the originality in those stage names)…

… etcetera…

All you can hear are nasal, monotonous, lifeless and auto tuned voices. I have to say that Karol G could be an exception, because at least she can carry a tune:

It would be inaccurate to say that I don’t like this musical trend, “just because.”

Actually I’ve realized that it represents the exact opposite of one of the musical genres that I like the most: disco.

Unlike disco, reggaetón…

It’s just controversial and divisive.

I have mentioned before that I don’t listen those songs by choice. It’s because of the co worker’s radio, and the car sales building near the place I’m working. They put their speakers really loud, so I can’t evade this kind of music existence.

For me, it is very unusual to listen a song that then becomes memorable after awhile. One example is Todo de Ti by Rauw Alejandro, probably because of overplaying or payola, or maybe just because the rhythm is catchy.

(Although, like the co worker says: Until you listen the lyrics closely, you realize the vulgarities they are actually singing about)

I thought for months that it was an Ozuna song. Once again, you can’t see the difference among some of them, unless they name check themselves at the end of their songs.

As they say where I come from, I can’t seem to find “the light at the end of the tunnel” because everything in the music business now is more about the quantity over quality.

I think it’s heartbreaking, if you’ll allow me to use that word,; to know that there must be lots of musicians that would like to say meaningful and important things, but they are drowning in this wave of insanity.

Unless a debacle a la Milli Vanilli happens, I don’t think that there will be a cultural reset and go back to basics anytime soon.

I have a theory that American and Latin American music industries are living in a kind of “happy marriage”, since they joined forces and their main fuel are the insane amounts of numbers from streaming.

Well, I hope when the “divorce” comes, it gets nasty.

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5

Edith G

Single Hispanic female. I wish I’ve been a storyteller, but it is what it is.

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cstolliver
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September 7, 2022 5:14 am

Upvoted for your passion!

thegue
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September 7, 2022 9:26 am
Reply to  cstolliver

Agreed!

…but I don’t know ANY of the music you’ve cited.

(calling a particular dog, can you add “reggaeton” to your list of things to do??)

Virgindog
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September 7, 2022 12:16 pm
Reply to  thegue

I know about as much as you do, so it’ll take some research. Funny, but Edith’s article doesn’t really make me look forward to it.

cappiethedog
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September 7, 2022 1:54 pm
Reply to  thegue

Nicky Nichole is way more interesting than Becky G. and Natti Natasha. Eventually, I think she’ll record an English language album. Nichole’s appearance on NPR’s Tiny Desk turned up on my YouTube algorithm because I like Francisca Valenzuela. Acoustic set.

dutchg8r
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September 7, 2022 10:29 am

Edith, I am in total agreement with you on all of the above, and I’ll be happy to join you on the Grumpy Old Lady Bench, lol. It is absolutely baffling to me how the Bad Bunny et al’s are so dominant right now, because there really is nothing about it that gives you a communal spirit. I cannot connect to any of it at all.

I do recognize Becky G, but that was only because she’s in some Xfinity cable company ad and MrDutch thought she was cute and was shocked it was a singer I could not identify, 😄. But I’ve felt pretty out of it for awhile, not recognizing about 70% of performers and presenters at these music award shows anymore. I’m cool with that though, I’ve got other priorities in my life now, not like I’m a teenager still, able to devote all of my waking hours to staying on top of this stuff!

Aaron3000
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September 7, 2022 11:40 am

I feel your pain, Edith, even though my exposure to reggaeton is limited. I’ve heard a grand total of one Bad Bunny tune, and a duet between the two G ladies that got some radio play recently. Aside from that there was the brief period about 15-20 years ago when there were something like ten hit songs all using the same “riddim” beat at the same time, and Daddy Yankee’s “Gasolina” which was all over the place. I can see how one could tire of it quickly (and your contrast of reggaeton with disco’s joyousness is spot on).

mt58
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September 7, 2022 1:01 pm

Counterpoint:

I try to be really, really careful in these types of conversations.

I well remember my father‘s head exploding when his weirdo teenage son would try to commandeer the car radio, and turn up the volume. As a World War II vet and Big Band kind of guy, I’m sure that his ability to comprehend something like “Frankenstein” was a challenge, at the very least.

Fast forward to the 2000s, when I myself was an older guy. Intellectually and structurally, I understood what a lot of the songs were trying to do. But they just meant nothing to me. The de-evolution of a strong melody, and having too much reliance on studio tricks and other “wizardry” left me cold. Much of the music seemed to have no heart or purpose, and it just wasn’t for me.

But I always try to remember: I got to have my “wacky young person” music in my day, and each generation of young people should get to do the same. It’s their time, and I’m not so sure that I should get to have an opinion on it.

I don’t like a lot of it. And the songs that are overtly mean and offensive will get no defense from this corner. But time and trends will always March on, and as hard as it is sometimes, I’ll always try to have an open mind.

mt58
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September 7, 2022 1:32 pm
Reply to  Edith G

Being able to express a strong opinion in an objective way is an attribute. Like Chuck said, I appreciate your passion.

(My hot button? Ask me sometime about Facebook. I have some things to say about that. )

I’m lucky to have you and all of our other writers and commenters participate at our site. Good on you, @Edith_G.

Virgindog
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Virgindog
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September 7, 2022 2:24 pm
Reply to  mt58

Hey mt58, what do you think about Facebook?

On second thought, never mind. This is a family website.

cappiethedog
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September 7, 2022 2:07 pm
Reply to  mt58

I found a great rap site called Hip Hop Golden Age. Ari Melber is always quoting from hip hop artists. It sparked my interest. They rank the forty best albums from every year since the advent of the genre. In five years, I will blow people’s minds with my “street cred”.

Phylum of Alexandria
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September 7, 2022 3:37 pm

I didn’t know Bad Bunny before today, but I kind of like that linked track!

I don’t hear reggaeton all that often, but I understand how it can get annoying.

I tend to like the artists who take reggaeton into weirder directions, like Rosalia, or Arca’s recent stuff:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NL-tvd8jeBc

Last edited 20 days ago by Phylum of Alexandria
Pauly Steyreen
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September 7, 2022 9:18 pm

I’m kind of with mt on this one.

I absolutely don’t get it and it’s not my cup of tea (not Bad Bunny nor any reggaeton). But I will defer to the younger generation on this one. I’m not the target audience. Just as my parents dissed both rap and heavy metal, and their opinion was beyond unimportant (to the zeitgeist or to me), so is my opinion utterly irrelevant to the conversation about reggaeton. I’m not a fan, and that’s ok.

ozcorp
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September 19, 2022 1:39 am

actually regegaton is exactly like disco in that its purpose is for people to dance. noting else. i’ve seen people do the opposite of your three x’s , have fun, dance and get together.
Now me, i consider reggeaton the only music that has the hability to be boring and irrititating at the same time, so i dance many other stuff
(because for sure the people that dance reggeaton cant’ really seem to dance to anything else).

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