"Molotov Cocktail Party": Protest and Humor in the Music of Molotov
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Molotov, a Mexico City band mixing elements of rock and hip hop, blends elements of humor and socio-political critique that place it as a staple of protest music in Mexico by articulating problems present in the country and giving voice to those who are subjugated. This thesis analyses their music as it engages with ideology, language and globalization. First, by framing the Mexican multimedia television network Televisa through Louis Althusser’s theories of ideology, and analyzing what it presents its viewers as a distorted version of reality, Molotov music videos are examined as a direct attack to government-supported ideology. These videos, which articulate issues of unethical journalism and exploitative entertainment practices, showcase an opposite dystopian reality antithetic to Televisa’s broadcasts. Second, Molotov’s use of albur, a Mexican coded language packed with erotic humor, is analyzed, through Mikhail Bakhtin’s theories of carnivalesque, as transgressing against ethical norms of speech by giving its users a linguistic tool for uttering what is meant to remain in silence. In addition, through the constant use of vulgar lyrics that critics would rather see removed from language, Molotov pushes the boundaries of freedom of speech and expand it to what is often interpreted as hate speech. Finally, the band’s musical covers, often referred to as tributes that simultaneously parody, are observed through the lens of globalism where politicians demand Mexico become modernized and universalized with the world around it. These covers display Molotov’s ability to recontextualize language, musical and linguistic, in order to adapt it for local listeners. When looking at these issues as a whole, Molotov illuminates how those in Mexico navigate the ever-changing culture they inhabit.
Garcia Jr., Salvador (2019). "Molotov Cocktail Party": Protest and Humor in the Music of Molotov. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from