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- When Latinos Find Your Interest in Local Music to be Weird
Just a few days ago, I was visiting a Mexican chick named Angie in Mexico City.
Along the way to her apartment, I found it difficult to get there actually because one of the metro lines was closed due to part of metro collapsing some months ago.
Therefore, instead of changing lines where I normally would, I had to travel north to Centro Medico station before going east.
Then traveling south on the blue line to Portales.
Anyhow, I finally made it.
We took a long ass walk looking for some food...
And there was one street place that had fries that looked pretty dope but she wouldn't sell me them individually.
You don't want to make a profit on the fries? I'm not interested in anything else you got to sell!
As a side point, it does frequently seem like people down here have less common business sense.
To be fair though, stupid shit like that happens in the US also.
To be fair....
Anyway, we kept on walking and I found a place selling chicken wings and fries.
Then we watched a Spanish version of American Psycho at her place.
By the time that I was getting ready to leave, I turned on some music from my phone while getting my stuff together.
This song specifically was one of them playing.
As it was playing, Angie recognized that it was a cover song of the hit "Sweet Dreams."
And, in short, she found it weird that I liked the song.
From my impression, it seemed that she found it weird for a gringo to like anything from Latin America music wise.
Which, as a side point, was weird to hear her express that idea because she knows how long I've been down here.
And also knows that I enjoy some cultural aspects to life in Latin America.
Including the music.
Still, I thought the song was alright.
It's definitely not the greatest hit of this century but it's fine to listen to.
But Angie reacting this way isn't too unusual in my opinion.
Now, to be fair, you do have some locals down here who do try to "introduce" us to some of the music.
Just a way at being nice and introducing something about their country.
Maybe, in the thinnest of hopes, trying to persuade that some of the music is good.
Sometimes, it is.
Other times, it is not.
On the flip side, you also have other locals who can find it weird if any of us foreigners actually enjoy a local song made in Latin America.
And I'm not talking some weird shit like vallenato or banda.
Could be a normal rock or hip hop song.
Of course, there's one exception to all of this -- reggaeton.
Generally, Latinos seem to get that gringos can enjoy reggaeton.
Though, be like me with a lot more knowledge of older reggaeton music, and you might raise eyebrows.
For some Latinos, our reggaeton exposure can go no deeper than Bad Bunny.
Which is retarded because, first off, who the fuck calls themselves Bad Bunny?
Second, he's one of the least impressive reggaeton artists out there in my opinion.
This ain't no Tego Calderon or De la Ghetto.
Still, outside of enjoying the very latest lame ass reggaeton hit by comfortable singer who probably wears panties (not Bad Bunny necessarily but I'm just saying)....
You'll notice that, sometimes, a local might find it weird if you enjoy other forms of Latin music.
For reasons we'll get into now that come to my impression.
As you can read in this article here, there's a concept out there of "going full Latino."
It's basically the white kid trying to be black from high school.
Or really anybody trying to act in a stereotypical manner what we expect of people from a different racial group.
In this case, a non-Latino trying to pass as Latino.
Now, I don't believe myself to ever try "going full Latino."
As I wrote here, I generally feel more "American" or gravitate towards my heritage the longer I live down here as a foreigner.
Still, if we are being fair here, this type of person does need to be mentioned.
It could be the case that the gringo in question is generally "going over the top" on trying to act like a local.
In this case, it would be if the gringo in question never liked anything that is from his own country, maybe always talks shit about his home country along the lines of "the West is dead" and only expresses interest in the local culture of whatever Latin country.
Said gringo going "full Latino" can manifest itself in other ways.
But you get the idea.
For this reason, the Latino in question might be more fairly confused at the sight of such a gringo trying to mimic a Mexican, Colombian or whatever else.
Maybe a Nicaraguan? That'd be fun to see.
Latinos Being Gringos?
However, it goes both ways in my opinion.
As I wrote here, you also have Latinos in Latin America who "go full Gringo."
In this case, you have these urbanite upper class fresa Latinos who never seem to associate with their home country.
Who maybe watches American sports, always wants to speak English and seemingly only listens to foreign music in English.
Now, to be fair, said Latino might actually have some connection to the US like having family from there.
Other times, said Latino literally has no connection to the US.
Among women, some of these manifest into being "gringo hunters" that, while only listening to American music, also only fucks and dates foreign dudes.
Being honest with you, Angie is kinda like this.
She has dated local men from Mexico but generally does have a strong attraction to foreign men and I have only heard her listen to music in English most of the time.
Sometimes a reggaeton song here and there that is popular.
And she never speaks English with me too much at all.
So she isn't "going full gringo" but sometimes she rubs off that way.
And, when it comes to music, as I said, she mostly listens to English language music.
I have a neighbor also that is kinda like this also.
Another urbanite who is young, relatively comfortable and only listens to English language music.
Never once heard him play anything in Spanish and he has been blasting his music out of his apartment every day for months now.
I don't complain because the music is always pretty good -- The Doors, Tool, Radiohead, etc.
So he's got good taste in music!
The day he decides to play Nickleback though, I'm knocking on the door.
But you know what's funny?
One time I walked out of my apartment to the kitchen and we made some small talk...
He's a nice guy but found it curious my taste in music.
Specifically, I had this song playing from my room that you can see here.
But, like I said, some Latinos can't comprehend how a gringo can like a reggaeton song if it isn't currently being blasted on the radios.
He didn't find it distasteful that I was listening to it but was just generally curious how I came about finding it.
Still, in the case of Angie or him, it's been hinted at now that the ones who especially get confused are "most Americanized" to some degree.
Which doesn't mean at all that they have any real connection or roots to the US.
It's just that you have a type of younger, upper class or relatively comfortable Latino that comes from a more developed city of Latin America.
This type of Latino, as I implied, prefers to practice their English either because of their perception that it'll open doors for them or to basically show off to other people how "educado" they are from my impression.
To having gringo token friends...
And, you guessed it, literally only listening to English language music and nothing from their own country.
Being honest with you, I consider these folks to be "cultural cucks."
You can say the same for the gringos who go "full Latino."
According to Urban Dictionary, there's only one definition of "cultural cuck" that we have available here:
"Stemming from the term "cuckhold" being when a man has completely abandon all of his pride and manhood by allowing his wife to have sex with other men.
The term "culture cuck" is when a self hating white person (man or woman) has abandon the pride and loyalty to their own race, and has praise for another culture/race (typicaly the black race).
This betrayal is typically based off a form of white guilt due to being raised in a privileged home, or being indoctrinated via liberal college professors."
It's a topic that I've been thinking of writing on for some time but I want to do it justice as to how it applies to Latino.
Anyhow, I'm bringing it up here briefly.
Now, in my opinion, I'd expand the definition used above to not just white people.
Because, as we covered, we have "gringos going full Latino" and "Latinos going full gringo."
And, in relation to the "Latinos going full gringo," you notice the same thing with them.
At times, some of them, in my opinion, do come across like they prefer foreign culture to their own culture.
For some, you could argue that there is a bit of "self-hating" and a desire to not come across as "full Latino."
Perhaps because of some strong autistic attraction to that foreign culture like you got chicks in the US who admire all things Japanese culture...
To, in my opinion, there being an association that some seemingly have between being tied to "something foreign" and "being more educated."
In the same way that plenty of Latinos know that having a foreign last name can get you better job opportunities.
To, funny enough, the stereotypical Argentine that identifies as "European" and not "Latino" even though the person literally has nobody in his recent family that was born in Europe.
Or, in relevance to the topic of this article, the Latino who is hyper obsessed with practicing his English all the time and who only listens to English language music and literally not one song in Spanish ever.
So, in the eyes of this type of Latino, you giving appreciation to any song in Spanish is going to come across as weird.
But, to be fair to the Latino or the gringo listening to music in the other person's language...
I just want to emphasize that the Latino listening to an English song or the gringo listening to the Spanish song doesn't make either one a "cultural cuck" and there is nothing wrong with enjoying the culture of another country.
Hell, I don't really give a shit if you only listen to English music anyhow and do disassociate yourself from your own culture.
Like the neighbor mentioned? His musical tastes are good!
Still, I just want to emphasize that there is a distinction between enjoying the other culture's music and never appreciating anything from your own culture.
Still, here's a relevant song to end this point on for both gringos and Latinos.
And, on top of that, sometimes our tastes can seem weird for more normal and obvious reasons beyond the gringo in question being a "cultural cuck" of his own.
How Did You Find This Song?
This actually could've been the thought process that Angie had actually.
Or when a Latino finds it peculiar when a gringo likes a reggaeton song that isn't currently popular on the radio.
Perhaps when said gringo even likes some band that is considered relatively obscure.
At the end of the day, there isn't necessarily judgement coming from the Latino at the sight of this but just a genuine curiosity as to how you found out the song.
Like the neighbor before?
He wasn't an ass about my musical tastes.
He was just curious because, as a foreigner, how would I have found out that song?
Which comes up the next point....
When You Going Back Home?
Next, you have some Latinos who, in my opinion, they aren't really accustomed to the idea of us foreigners living in their country.
Now, to clarify, this depends heavily on where you live in Latin America.
For example, in cities that have more gringos actually living there, it's not as big of a mind fuck to the Latino when they realize you live here.
On top of that, age plays a factor also in my opinion.
I feel, as a theory, that older folks might be, on average, less likely to see you as someone who lives in their country.
And, even if they do see you as someone who lives in their country, always understand that just about any Latino (I'd say basically all) will always see you as an outsider.
Even in cities with most foreigners living there, you'll also have neighborhoods where you don't have too many if any foreigners in those specific parts.
Consequently, the perspective that you are an outsider is even more intense and less likely to see you as someone who lives there.
Versus, instead, seeing you as someone who is just a tourist who'll be leaving next week.
More on that topic I wrote here on Latinos being seemingly bewildered at the sight of gringos living in certain communities down here.
Still, because of all of that....
You have to understand that it would be even stranger then to said Latino to see you actually enjoying any Latin music that isn't just the latest reggaeton hit popular on the radio right now.
As if you are seen as an outsider always and, even more importantly, someone who is assumed to be leaving next week (even if you've lived here for years with no intention on going back), then it'll be harder for anyone to understand how you've come to appreciate most Latin music.
Especially if the song in question is from some band considered obscure or maybe not even known by the local in question.
Like that Sweet Dreams song from way above?
The artist, Rita Indiana, is Dominican.
So not as many Mexicans would know of her anyhow and would definitely see her as "more obscure."
If Angie was Dominican, then maybe it wouldn't have been as different to see me playing the song.
OK, That Song is Weird!
Finally, you do have cases where the song in question is weird!
In which said gringo is listening to something that either is so damn obscure that you do really wonder how the fuck he ever learned about it....
To the music in question just not seemingly something you would expect a gringo to enjoy.
Which is why the main photo at the top of this article is apparently some random vallenato artist.
That would be weird to see a gringo dancing along to that!
In part because the music does sucks ass so much that you wonder if the dude is deaf?
Anyhow, I can safely say that I have been guilty of this also....
Specifically, I do find myself once every 6 months listening to this song below.
Either because I am working intensely on something and just want some random ass, repetitive music playing in the background without any damn Youtube advertisements.
Something where I don't have to look for a new song every 3 minutes and I can just have some noise in the background while I work on something.
It's either that or...
Sometimes I also like to drink a shit ton of rum while staring into the distance of my balcony with this song playing...
Being extremely drunk, the song helps me imagine in the darkest hours of the night that I'm some rich, white Bolivian of a nice, well educated European background....
And I have lots of cocaine to ship into the US!
Maybe with a hot Colombian gal laying in my bed moaning out "oh papi, ya ven! Quiero tu rico amooooor."
To which I walk back inside with a Nicaraguan cigar.
A man can dream, can't he?
So, in all seriousness, the musical tastes in question just might be a little bit weird because said Latino genuinely would not expect you to like such random ass music.
I've never had anyone accuse me of "cultural appropriation" for liking any song made in Latin America.
Yet to happen!
Personally, I don't see any locals down here getting bitchy about it or thinking along these lines.
However, if I was living in the US, I could absolutely see some insecure American Latino who doesn't speak Spanish perfectly and who has his panties in a twist over the fact that a non-Latino is enjoying some song in Spanish.
Granted, I'll give American Latinos more slack here and say most wouldn't give a fuck either.
But the young, college campus type who is part of the 0.1% that uses the word "Latinx?"
Yeah, I could see those finding your musical tastes as a gringo living in Latin America weird.
Though, in this case, I would argue that they probably find it offensive actually.
So, to sum it up, there are, what I would call, more genuine reasons for why the Latino finds your musical tastes weird.
On the other hand, you could argue there are more bullshit reasons too.
Depends on the person!
Anyhow, got any comments yourself on this topic?
Drop them below in the comment section.
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Thanks for reading.