Music I don't understand

Sometimes I prefer listening to college and independent radio because they play music that other stations don't--the playlists are up to the dj and the variety isn't predictable. Actually, if technology will ever allow us to run music from the internet directly in our cars, terrestrial radio is going to be in trouble.

Yesterday I was listening to a world music show and heard a lot of stuff from Zimbabwe, then music from Southeast Asia. It all sounded great, so I kept listening. I was making my way through the north side of Chicago, which has a lot of different kinds of ethnic neighborhoods, and then it hit me: what if the music I'm listening to has some bizarre lyrics? I thought about all the times I've listened to Indian music and Arabic music and Jamaican hip hop and other stuff, and I could be listening to a bunch of garbage. I remember hearing Cuban music, then watching the English subtitles on television, and realizing the music was all about admiring a woman's behind and wanting her. Great--that's really what I want to listen to [NOT]. So it made the interesting music raunchy and I just couldn't appreciate it anymore. One time, I was having dinner with a fluent Spanish-speaking friend of mine, and she was telling me what the Spanish hip hop that was playing in the background was all about. Not something that women would want to be subjected to, even though they put up with that trash all the time in English hip hop.

So I still appreciate music from different countries, but I can't help but wonder what they're really saying.

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