What is censorship?
Music censorship has been around for a very long time.
As the music industry has digitalised itself there’s been far more censorship going around. As music has progressed and moved on from old values, the amount of censorship is overwhelming. Words that some people find offensive, like swear words for instance, are being edited or bleeped out on radio stations, artists YouTube channels and artists are now even releasing a clean and an explicit version of their album. Some radio stations seem to pick and choose what words they edit out, so one radio station might play a clean version of a song and one might play the explicit version. I think this needs to change, if censorship really is so important then there needs to be a clear and consistent guideline for all stations on the words that can’t be played. There’s no point in letting a word not be heard on one radio station if it is heard on another. It defeats the purpose of censorship.
Is conditioning really a bad thing?
In my opinion, although it may be an unpopular opinion, swear words are words. Just words. The same as any other word. They’ve only become offensive because over years people have created new meanings for them. Maybe letting a word stay in a song, would dilute the offensiveness of the it overtime because if you here it enough, you’ll just become conditioned to hearing and it’ll lose the meaning that it’s been given. How can one single swear word really hurt anyone. It’s a word. I mean, when I hear a word bleeped out of a song I know it’s a swear word, which kind of – once again – defeats the purpose of censorship, because you can normally tell what word it was. Plus, many artists use a lot of swear words in one single song and editing them out only ruins the song, it doesn’t make it better in any way whatsoever.
However, I’m not saying that censorship needs to go completely as its does do a lot of good. For example, racial or homophobic slurs, or any other word that offends a specific group of people, editing them out is a great thing, because I think overtime we have been conditioned to not be shocked by these words. Which is wrong. We should be at a point in this society where we don’t idolise an artist who uses offensive slurs. But we do. Maybe overtime musicians will realise that having these words in their songs is pointless because no one’s going to hear them if they don’t have the album and that could help eradicate these words. Even if it only helps a little.
Who really has the control?
We’re also at a point where artists have lost control of their music. What happened do the days where the musician decided what went into the music. There’s so many restrictions on, not just the lyrics themselves, but song titles, album titles and what artists can and can’t say publicly or online. Whatever people say there will always be one person who finds it offensive, that’s just life.
The whole point of music is so that people can have a say. They should be able to write a song without fear of judgement. Censorship could possibly threaten the future of music all together if things don’t start to change. Labels can’t give in to the pressures of, lets say parents, who don’t have control of what their children do. If they are so worried about what a song their child will listen to or watch on YouTube, then that is their problem, they should deal with that problem themselves.
Unnecessary censorship needs to go.