Trap Music and Practicing Tolerance

By Esther Zoza

HAVANA TIMES – Blasting music can be heard again during the COVID-19 lockdown. Some things never change; the only thing we can do is be tolerant.

Trap music has become a part of the neighborhood’s routine, with its machista songs. There’s a lot of erotic word play and gloating about taking drugs and using guns. Closing the windows does nothing, trust me.

Astonishment, shame, disgust and outrage, are some of the emotions that closest resembled what I first felt when I heard the lyrics of some of these tracks. Full of obscenities, where women are devalued, singing an ode to the most abominable machismo.

My blood pressure went through the roof, of course, but after taking a few deep breaths in and out, and repeating that my body is my temple and that even I couldn’t hurt it, I finally reached acceptance.

Every one of us decides want we want to see and listen to. I’m sure that young people need to feel like they are in charge of what they choose to consume. Their family and society can only guide them. Every generation is marked by a countless number of challenges.

Teenagers today are constantly being bombarded with information. Consuming the widest range of genres that comes from different cultures is a privilege my generation didn’t have.

However, many of us decide to think for ourselves. We choose what music to listen to and what to read.

I still remember when I read “Paradiso” by Lezama for the first time, and “Lenguaje de mudos” by Delfin Prats. But I especially remember how I felt when I finally had Cabrera Infante’s “La Habana para un Infante difunto” in my hands, this brilliant author whose books are banned on the island.

Young people want to decide for themselves

Today, it’s trap music, maybe because it’s irreverent and takes delight in marginalization. Maybe it’s because dancing to its easy beat, full of chorus,’ leads them down the road of casual hook-ups. Maybe it’s because it frees them from having to hold up appearances.

Many of us are worried about the music our young people listen to, the violent movies and pornography they enjoy. We are also worried about the hours they spend in front of computers or their phone screens. However, who are we to curb Nature’s growth process?

Who are we to say what’s right and wrong? Why don’t we let our young people find their path like different generations before them did?

It’s easy to talk about tolerance and acceptance, but when we listen to music like Trap for hours on end, without even knowing where it comes from, we discover that tolerance is a practice that we can all benefit from.

Read more from Esther Zoza’s diary here.

Esther Zoza

I was born in the 60s. I love my country and its simple and sacrificed people. I like the arts, particularly literature. In music I enjoy traditional and contemporary trova, also opera and instrumental music. I respect all religions. I like esoteric and mystical subjects; I also enjoy the enigmas of the universe. I believe above all things in God. I am persistent and disciplined to meet my goals. I like the countryside. I live near the sea. I believe in relationships and love in all its manifestations.