Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Bleep

I love music.  I love the expression, the creativity, the way it can penetrate clear through into your soul and being.  I love to watch an artist mature, to watch their vulnerability, to share their thoughts. 

Music really is the soundtrack of our lives.  There are so many songs that can instantly transport me to a time and place in my past, sometimes with unanticipated raw emotions.  Music becomes a part of who we are.

While I was back in Southern California this last time, I was reminded again of how different the music is there.  More people equals more choice.  More choice equals more music.  And more choice, more importantly, equals better music. 

Coming back here to Colorado I noticed something almost immediately.  There is a song that has been in very heavy rotation on the pop stations for a while now, California Gurls by Katy Perry.  It's only the biggest song of the summer, no big thing.  Bet you've never heard it, right?

Anyway....they do something to that song here.  Radio edit it.  They take something out.  And the removal is what offends me.  It is so very wrong on so many levels.  It really doesn't make much sense anyhow as her lyrics are virtually all innocent and suggestive simultaneously...which honestly worries me a little more as a parent than what has been removed from the song.   By the way: I heart Katy Perry, I'm just not sure I love that my daughters heart her too. 

If they aren't taking lyrics like "We'll melt your popsicle" out, then what are they removing, you ask???

Snoop.  They took out the rap portion.

I object to the
De-Snoopification
of my music!

Yes, I did it again.  I totally made up a word.  It's a good one, though.  

Music censorship isn't anything new.  It's been going on for as long as there has been music.  Religion, political incorrectness, politics...the reasons given in an attempt to justify it are many.  Elvis shook his hips too much back in the day.

These days, the FCC gets to decide what you can and can't say on the radio and when.  Specifically from 6am to 10pm, you aren't allowed to broadcast anything offensive or indecent.  Two very vague words, they are.

Most of the music censorship these days is done, not as the result of any rule or law, but because of corporate decisions.  Walmart notoriously refused to carry Nirvana's album in the 1990's until they altered the packaging.  

Some artists choose to record self-censored versions of songs or whole albums for sale or broadcast, but most don't.  Most send their works out there into the world to be mangled by radio edits in the name of protecting us all from hearing something inappropriate.  

Should foul language be edited out?  Yes.  I won't argue that one (at least during the specified hours, after 10pm I'd like to be able to hear music unedited thank you very much).  But what is and is not a foul word is a gray area, subject to the interpretation of whoever has their finger on the button.    

That gray area extends these days to words like "gun" and "joint" and "smoke"...all of which have been removed from popular songs. 

Never before now though, have I heard an entire portion of a song edited out.  I'm curious as to what the justification is for removing Snoop's part.  Is it just because the words are rapped?  No, that can't be it because the station plays hip hop and rap all the time.  Is it because he uses offensive words?  The most offensive phrases in his portion are "squeeze her buns", "no weenies" and "I'm all up on ya".  Frankly, those are mild compared to half the songs on the station.

So then, why?  WHY???? 

Do they just hate Snoop?  What gives?  Don't be hatin.  Give me back my Snoop.  I object.

1 comment:

  1. Agreed. Also props to local bands staying far from MTV. I cover it all ways in MTV's 1994 "Gangsta Rap" 'Rockumentary. Man, that's when Eazy E was still alive. And Tupac. All on there too. For Xmas I've finally asked for my VHS of it to get transferred to DVD. I'll burn you a copy. Just remind me. By the way, Vegas is wayyyyyy more liberal of course. They leave "bitch" in some songs. The mother of Mariah's 'kind-of' friends says to her that b i t c h is okay if it's in a song. Um, yeah.

    Team Katy Perry!

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