Dominican Officials Looking to Censor Lyrics They Say “Praise Lesbianism, Drug Use & Violence”

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Condemning sentiments around Tokischa’s “Linda” are making waves in the Dominican Republic as government leaders look to stop such songs from getting airtime. Officials are currently looking into ways they can censor lyrics they deem obscene. One lyric in question: “Friends who kiss are the best company,” a line from the latest track from Tokischa and Rosalía.

Elpidio Báez, president of La Comisión Permanente de Medios de Comunicación de la Cámara de Diputados, says that legislation needs to be passed to regulate songs with lyrics that “praise” lesbianism, drug use and violence. “Lyrics of urban music are an attack against modesty and a threat to art,” he says. (At Remezcla, we do not use the terms “Urbano” & “Música Urbana.” Read more here.)

The initiative was agreed upon by deputies Amado Díaz, Adelis Olivares, and Luis Vargas. Olivares specifically pointed to the music of Tokischa, although it’s not clear if there were specific songs he hoped would be censored. “It must be sanctioned,” Olivares stated. “A song like that … cannot go out on the street.”

According to Article 49 of the Dominican Constitution, citizens are entitled to freedom of expression and information. “All persons have the right to freely express their thoughts, ideas, and opinions by any medium, without having allowed for prior censorship,” the article begins.

However, the article also reads, “The enjoyment of these liberties shall be exercised respecting the right to honor and to privacy as well as the dignity and morale of people, especially the protection of youth and children, in accordance with the law and the public order.”

It’s apparent that Dominican government officials aren’t in favor of Tokischa’s music — especially given her recent legal orders — so who knows what’s in store for the artist in her home country, along with all the other emerging artists pushing the envelope.