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Carlos Santana can’t stop — won’t stop — pretending Maná doesn’t suck

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Look at Santana’s face. It’s obvious that he’s suffering. In the picture above, he’s telepathically trying to tell anyone in the audience to shoot him directly in the lung. Carlos is asking for a quick, painless death because, ever since the late ’90s, he’s been living in deep shame.

I know why. You see, Santana used to be cool; he made great music, played the right gigs (Woodstock), hung out with legendary people. But, as José Manuel puts it, in order to avoid being shelved in the oldies section, in 1999 Santana released Supernatural, which became a huge hit, but was also a deal with the commercial Devil.

The LP didn’t blow up because it was a groundbreaking piece of musical work, but because it featured some of the most bland, boring, and popular artists of the day, such as The Dave Matthews Band, Rob Thomas, and Maná.

Santana hails from the grand hippie generation, a time when “selling out” — musically, commercially, ethically — was considered just as shameful as being pro-government, or pro-war.

Carlos may have damaged his credibility when he released Supernatural — while keeping his bank account fed, sure — but in addition to fucking with his legacy, the poor man continues to humiliate himself by attending Hollywood Walk of Fame events where he proclaims Maná, a horribly generic rock band, if there ever was one, has “light,” and “essence,” and other new age-y adjectives.

Listening to a legit rockstar like Santana praise Maná probably gives Fher & Co. a hard-on the size of a rolled yoga mat. But if rock ‘n roll truly has a soul, then Fher & Carlos have violently sharted on it before leaving it for dead on the side of the road.

Still, if you feel like cleansing your corporate rock aura while listening to Fher say “raza” over and over, here’s a video of the ordeal:

 

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Pope Francis dropped the sickest mixtape ever, and nobody noticed it

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Titled Pope Francis: Wake Up!, Jorge Mario Bergoglio, aka the Dope Pope, dropped the sickest mixtape the streets of the Vatican will ever produce, and nobody noticed it.

No, you won’t hear Francis doing a trap version of “Spirit in the sky.” Jorge is darker. On his street-wise LP, Sir Preach-a-lot churns out hard-ass monologues, all of which have been written and recorded with various collaborators:

“Under the art direction of Don Giulio Neroni, who also curated other albums for Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI, various Italian artists and producers also contributed to the music like Giorgio Kriegsch, Mite Balduzzi, Giuseppe Dati, Lorenzo Piscopo, the orchestral director Dino Doni, and former member of Italian progressive rock band Le Orme.”

Sure, Bergoglio is not producing his own tracks à la Dr. Dre, but that doesn’t make Pope Francis: Wake Up! any less incisive, penetrating, and epic — like, Cradle of Filth level of epic.

Take “Wake up! Go! Go!” — sadly, it’s not a Wham! cover — but a fine prog rock track that’s been mixed with a horn section from the middle ages. On “La fe es entera,” Francis tells his listeners that “it’s scandalous that God arrived and became one of us — it’s just a scandal. The scandal of the cross is… well, still a scandal.”

But the real scandal are the Pope’s rhymes, which are quite somber. On “¿Por qué sufren los niños? [why do children suffer?], Bergoglio, true to Catholic dogma, preaches all the hard truths, such as “this world needs to cry more.” Why? Because Catholics mustn’t have any happy thoughts without feeling terrible about it. Doing so is like pounding ten rusty nails into Jesus’ already-mangled appendages.

Perhaps not sonically, but thematically Pope Francis: Wake Up! makes Bauhaus’ “Stigmata martyr” sound like “Despacito.” Not all of it, of course. “Pace! Fratelli!” sounds like an Enya-penned track that’s been produced by Giorgio Moroder, but sung by castrated monks.

Pope Francis: Wake Up! really makes me feel like Jesus inside me, and I’m not talking about some Mexican dentist.

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Letters to Rictus: “My girlfriend supports #MeToo, but loves reggaeton. She’s tripping, right?”

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Doña Rictus, my girlfriend is smart, young, fun-loving Latina. She’s college-educated, has a good job, pays her taxes, and comes from a relatively conservative family, like most Latinos.

She’s cultured and politically active. Earlier this year she participated in the Women’s March and, when she’s not going to design fairs, or some indie rock concert, she’ll digest all the lefty publications.

Then she gets drunk. After she sips on the Devil’s nectar, she turns into a Sábado Gigante model who’s been hypnotized and asked to sweep the floor with her ass. She’ll scream “¡Hasta abajo!” and “¡Dale con todo!” and other shocking phrases our Bernie Sanders-voting friends always reel from.

“In reggaeton they call you a whore, woman. Get it through your head.”

As a progressive, and as a woman, she’s obviously very supportive of the #MeToo movement. But we’ve gotten into arguments over how reggaeton has always been at odds with true feminism. She’s not a silly Maluma apologist yet, but I’m afraid she may turn into one soon, and that’s a strain our relationship can not handle.

You write about reggaeton, its influence, and its popularity quite often. What’s you take on all this?

Sincerely,

Yo También Quiero Que Te Respetes

*Takes off reading glasses*

Curiously, dear Rictus reader, NPR’s Alt-Latino published a podcast about this subject earlier today. In it, the participants discussed the advances “el género” (reggaeton) has made towards being less misogynist.

Most people will probably agree that old-school reggaeton is, without a doubt, extremely misogynist. New reggaeton has been sanitized for mass consumption. It’s less offensive, but calling it “feminist” would be like calling Don Francisco “entertaining.”

In fact, besides a few female performers, such as Ivy Queen, women still have almost no representation in reggaeton (see #7 here).

Some disingenuous people have been trying to pass “Despacito” as an achievement for women because it was co-written by a woman, but the harsh truth is that Luis Fonsi’s song is still about a guy who aggressively hits on a girl, and the lyrics leave a lot to be desired:

“Si te pido un beso, ven dámelo (If I ask you for a kiss, come give it to me)… Quiero, quiero, quiero ver cuánto amor a ti te cabe (I want to see how much of my love you can fit in)”

But talking about misogyny in music — or life, really — remains an uncomfortable subject. Even Roxanne Gay, a very smart, popular, and beloved feminist, has conflicting feelings when it comes to enjoying hip-hop, reggaeton’s first-world cousin:

“It’s really difficult. You hear some hip hop, and it’s just such great music, or great lyrics, or a great beat, and it grabs your interest. Then you pause and you listen to the lyrics, and they’re really damaging, or unnecessarily misogynistic. And you’re like, ‘What do you do?’

If you’re so principled that you decide that I’m going to have a zero-tolerance policy, the reality is that you’re not going to be listening to anything.”

I do have an idea, mijo. Wisin, a popular reggaetonero, revealed that women used to make up over half their audience, even when their music was at its most offensive:

“In the early days [of Wisin & Yandel], our lyrics were much more explicit and a lot of times it came across as offensive to women, who found it degrading. But women still made up about 60 or 70 % of the people buying our music, not just physical albums but digital sales.”

Considering those high numbers, it’s very much within the grasp of Latinas to influence the music industry through their buying power.

So fuck misogynist reggaetoneros. Next time your girlfriend gets wasted, begins to mop the floor with her butt, and starts shouting those aggressive phrases the Bernie Bros don’t know what to do with, put on some Mula, not Maluma.

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