Music And Censorship Essay

2029 words - 8 pages

There were many questions posed concerning whether or not music such as heavy metal and rap music are influencing our society in a negative aspect. This question has posed a lot of controversy streaming from the public opinion of explicit lyrics, to musicians defending their right of the First Ammendment.

What is going on here? Why have some forms of music reached such a low level, denoting a nationwide controversy? Some of today's music refromers say, the industry is saturated with songs whose sole purpose is to degrade women, celebrate promiscuity, promote "shady" lifestyles, and encourage violence.

One of the major problems come in when the record industry executives and artists have refused to take reponsibility for the influence their music has on young people. Delmar "Daz" Arnaud, and Ricardo "Kurupt" Brown apprentice of Snoop Doggy Dog and Dr. Dre feel they are being pegged down by society. Daz comments, "People are going to be shocked. Just call us the profanity kings."

Rap artists expecially feel that the controversy of record executives not releasing their album under their label, is a black- white issue. Andre Harrell, founder of the CEO, attributes theis treatment to, in part, the lack of blacks in decision-making positions with in the industry. "Blacks are left in powerless positions at these record companies, and that it is sad because white execs can't relate to our cultural issues or experiences, and don't want to."

So this is a black-white issue? I do not feel that artists have the right to proclaim their album not being signed as a racist issue. To prove this issue from the opposite angle, let me take you back to a time in history where on of the first impacts of social distortion using music was implemented.

Picture it the mid-seventies Great Britain. The whole country was collasping, the rich embodied more money, while the poor were it had hard by Britain's economic situation. In order to protest the situation, a group of lower-class mostly white youths spawned the evolution of the punk movement. The punks presented themselves as society's garbage, as if to say, "We are your children, what do you think of your creation?"

The mainstream rock culture, bourgeois society, Western civilization, history, the Beatles, and umployment were just a few of the objects of punk venom and contempt. The Sex Pistols exploded into the scene in 1976, with a message declaring open rebellion on the ruling ideology of the time.

Certainly the punk's screamed about the government, but no one before the Pistol's so blatantly spoke. Songs such as "God save the Queen," "No Future," and "Anarchy in the U.K.," expressed the social distortion of the country. The lyrics to one of their first singles "God Save the Queen," clearly demonstrates the angst towards the government and society.

The Sex Pistols were assailed by adverse public opinion and the recalcitrant employees of EMI records refused to press the records. EMI cut the Pistol's from their...

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