Viva Raperos: How Music Can Interact With Politics Essay

1971 Words 8 Pages
Introduction

Passion: what does it mean? According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, passion is defined as: “a strong and barely controllable emotion”. Humankind has expressed passion in multitudes of ways for as long as humans have possessed communication skills. Through art, science, literature, music and even politics humans have showcased passion. Passion can be either supportive or oppositional. Music has been the greatest medium for humans to express passion, due to the great range of emotions that can be realized through song. Due to the high level of passion felt in both music and politics, politically-themed music has become a marriage made in heaven. There are untold numbers of songs and musical genres that have
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By looking back into the history of Cuban music and its interaction with Cuban politics, we can create a foundation to help us understand the current state of the Cuban anti-government hip-hop underground movement. By telling the histories of Cuban music and politics independently of one and other a background knowledge can be obtained, which will facilitate the analysis of the Cuban hip-hop movement.

1. History of Cuban Music

To begin to understand how music and politics are so closely tied in Cuba, one must first understand the history of music in Cuba. This understanding of Cuban music history is crucial because Cuban music was born and matured in a constant state of political unrest, which led to a unique blend of art and politics.

1.1 Traditional Music of Cuba Traditional Cuban music has its roots in African music, brought over by slaves from West Africa in the 18th century. While the roots of Cuban music are in West African rhythms and storytelling lyrical styles, the Spanish musical tradition of the slave owners began to blend with the slaves' African styles and a unique new musical genre was born. This forced blending was the first example of music in Cuba being created during times of unrest. The slaves did not appreciate their slave owners forcing them to learn white European music that they did not understand or love. This blending of
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