Despacito's Role In Unifying The World

Despacito's Role In Unifying The World

Creating a community, music is the key to international understanding.

There are a couple of things you can find all over the world, things that transcend cultural boundaries and country borders to just truly be universal--a smile, good food and music. Yes, every culture on our planet has some form of music made with some form of instrument, an expression of the soul that reflects life and culture. And now, more than ever, this is essential.

Because, while music allows for personal expression of identity and struggles that are definitely identifiable across cultures, one specific song or artist can sometimes transcend the divides between us. Worldwide pop stars, like Taylor Swift or Shakira, are recognizable everywhere and tour internationally, sometimes playing in their native language and sometimes translating. As Americans, we are used to everything being in our language--after all, our Hollywood sends movies around the world, and the majority of contemporary music is sung in our language. Many foreign songs, like "Bailando" (Enrique Iglesias), are largely translated into English for us.

Yet, finally, we are starting to see it going the other way. The current top-charting song is called "Despacito" ("Slowly") by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee, although the charts feature a remix with Justin Bieber singing an English hook. This song is almost entirely in Spanish, even many of Bieber's parts, making it the first time that a mainly-Spanish song has charted in America since the Macarena. In 2012, PSY's song Gangnam Style also topped the American charts although it was entirely in Korean.

This is a good thing--while it is true that some racism and cultural insensitivity can arise, including the "hilarious" videos of people singing Despacito as "I don't know the words, so I just say 'burrito'", it is mainly a way of bridging misunderstandings between people. This world is becoming increasingly international, especially as America heads towards a "minority majority", so greater acceptance of languages other than English is quickly becoming a necessity. But above all, it brings the world together as a community.

As terrorism seeks to target that community, the latest of which being the Manchester attack on Ariana Grande's concert, it is more important than ever that we protect it. Music is meant to be the unifying force, the bridge across oceans and years of struggles to create an escape from the present. It is meant to create friends, start conversations and let strangers dance with one another. It is the key to bringing the world together and ending our stereotypes of other cultures because it lets us learn about each other and grow. Protect it. Cherish it. And, as violence leaks in, turn the bass up just a bit louder.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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To The Parent Who Chose Addiction

Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.


When I was younger I resented you, I hated every ounce of you, and I used to question why God would give me a parent like you. Not now. Now I see the beauty and the blessings behind having an addict for a parent. If you're reading this, it isn't meant to hurt you, but rather to thank you.

Thank you for choosing your addiction over me.

Throughout my life, you have always chosen the addiction over my programs, my swim meets or even a simple movie night. You joke about it now or act as if I never questioned if you would wake up the next morning from your pill and alcohol-induced sleep, but I thank you for this. I thank you because I gained a relationship with God. The amount of time I spent praying for you strengthened our relationship in ways I could never explain.

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Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.

The amount of hurt and disappointment our family has gone through has brought us closer together. I have a relationship with Nanny and Pop that would never be as strong as it is today if you had been in the picture from day one. That in itself is a blessing.

Thank you for showing me how to love.

From your absence, I have learned how to love unconditionally. I want you to know that even though you weren't here, I love you most of all. No matter the amount of heartbreak, tears, and pain I've felt, you will always be my greatest love.

Thank you for making me strong.

Thank you for leaving and for showing me how to be independent. From you, I have learned that I do not need anyone else to prove to me that I am worthy of being loved. From you, I have learned that life is always hard, but you shouldn't give into the things that make you feel good for a short while, but should search for the real happiness in life.

Most of all, thank you for showing me how to turn my hurt into motivation.

I have learned that the cycle of addiction is not something that will continue into my life. You have hurt me more than anyone, but through that hurt, I have pushed myself to become the best version of myself.

Thank you for choosing the addiction over me because you've made me stronger, wiser, and loving than I ever could've been before.

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5 Mac Miller Songs You Need To Listen To Keep His Legacy Alive In 2019

Months after his passing, Mac Miller's music is still in my constant rotation.


If anyone reading this follows me on social media or talks to me somewhat consistently, they already know how much recently I have been in a niche for Mac Miller. A few weeks ago on Twitter, an NPR Tiny Desk concert popped up on my feed (check out that NPR video here) and it just pushed me into a craving to listen to some Mac Miller.

While it was extremely difficult for me to funnel this down to five songs, I found it suiting to limit myself to this. By no means am I saying that any of these songs are the best off the album or the best from Mac in general, just some that I find very powerful.

1. Self Care - Swimming

This song came off his last album released shortly before his passing. This is personally one of my favorite songs of all time. The idea of 'self care' is something that has overtaken multiple social media platforms and slowly has become something that's original meaning has been taken out of context. Miller battled heavily with addiction and in other songs talked about his struggles. In this song, many are comforted by the lyrics, "Self care, I'm treatin' me right, yeah
Hell yeah, we gonna be alright."

2. BDE Bonus - Best Day Ever

The beginning of this song is a crescendo into a beat that loops for most of the song. Its combination of uplifting sound and carefree lyrics are a throwback to Miller's beginnings in the music industry. Miller also talks about his rise to fame in the music industry and how people used to not believe in him. "No matter where life takes me, find me with a smile. Pursuit to be happy, only laughing like a child. I never thought life would be this sweet. It got me cheesin' from cheek to cheek, aye, aye"

3. 100 Grandkids - GO:OOD AM

The first lines of this song are somber for me. The first time I listened to this song after Mac Miller's passing I seriously cried, "I made a promise to my momma. That I'll bless her with some grandkids, she can spoil them". Miller continues talking about how he is just living life until he meets the one to settle down with and love. I have grown to love the lyrics more than feel sad for them and this too is on my list of favorite songs.

4. Stay - The Divine Feminine 

This songs focal point is asking for his love to not leave him and, fitting with the song title, stay. The lyrics express not only the pain he feared from his relationship ending but the love that he had for his companion and the time they had shared together already.

5. Knock Knock

This song has hella nostalgia to me, this was the first song by Mac Miller I heard back in 2010. I vividly remember being 9 watching the music video for this one night on Music Choice back before AT&T U-Verse became DirecTV (talk about a throwback). The upbeat lyrics and beat made me giggle and the music video was even more entertaining. His album "K.I.D.S." came out that summer featuring other classic Mac Miller songs like 'Nikes on My Feet', 'Senior Skip Day' and 'Kool-Aid and Frozen Pizza'.

This one goes out to you Mac, rest easy. If you would like a playlist that includes some artists that have similar sounds or often collaborated with him, check out one of my playlists here.

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