Freedom of expression in Spain is under threat

The hiphop song “Muerte a los Borbones” by Pablo Hasél causes frustration in the face of the paradox of the old regime. 

Spain, a country of the European Union with what purports to be (and that supposedly has) a progressive government, has censored and condemned a young artist from the hiphop community. The news of the verdict that has sentenced the artist to jail for not retracting has gone around the world, making headlines in international media such as the BBC and TeleSur.

In the 21st century, a media professional can empathize and even understand Pablo Hasél when he offers such strong lyrics in his hip hop song about the Spanish monarchy. In this sense, the freedom of expression contained within the Fundamental Charter of Human Rights is in question in Europe, the cradle of our civilization. We are faced with the dilemma of the so-called modern or contemporary democracy, coexisting with the hypocrisy of a family that has demonstrated over and over again its corruption.

Now, if we stick to the content of the piece that lasts six minutes thirty-six seconds and is going viral on YouTube, one might think that more than a hip hop song, it is a plea of ​​the singer to call attention to what he considers a situation of injustice. The Spanish  “king emeritus” is today on the run, accused of corruption and other illicit dealings, along with several members of his family (i.e., the royal family) who are also accused of corruption.

However, let’s pay attention to some parts of the song that, beyond violence or aggression, have a high symbolic and critical content. Thus, it cannot be said that the song incites violence or that it is a threat to public safety. 

Hasél  starts by saying that there are a lot of lies in Spain, such as that the emeritus king put an end to fascism after ascending the throne at the fall of the Franco dictatorship. Therefore, the lyric tells us that the crowns fall and the costumes burn. He tells us about the anger contained in the people, and the propaganda strategies to clean up and maintain an image of decorum. I do not want to be a subject of any monarchy, is the premise of the piece, since we have arrived at the Third Millennium. The monarchy spends on one dress what you earn in ten years, he says, which is a way of saying and putting in concrete economic terms what it takes to have a real house. 

The young Hasél also assures his listeners that Spain is experiencing another fucking dictatorship. And the chorus of the piece tells us that King Emeritus Juanca is not a friend of the people, but of the bank — that is, of money, of economic interest. In addition, they hide reality, and the protest becomes the crime instead of a human right, with which Hasél in his poetry denounces the police state. 

Hasél calls out the pirate king emeritus. And he assures that justice is in mourning. In Spain a phony is great, thanks to God, and thus they keep sucking the throne, the piece tells us. The author ends by announcing that we live in the kingdom of amnesia. 

A case is presented by Hasél. We are given the opportunity to ask ourselves: what is democracy? In Federico Garcia Lorca’s country, we say with him: half bread and a book!