Censorship in the music industry is a very controversial topic. One that has stirred up much debate in the past two decades. There have been many different arguments, however a question still remains. Should music be censored or should it should not be censored. Before you can form an opinion on this, you must hear both sides of the argument. Some people believe that music should be censored so all audiences can hear it without it containing any controversial lyrics. Others believe it should not be censored, and that musical artists should be able to speak, sing, rap, or rhyme freely without anyone filtering out their own personal views or messages. Censoring makes the process of constant change and evolution of society very difficult by preventing new ideas from being presented to people.
"All Censorships exist to prevent anyone from challenging current beliefs and existing institutions”. (George Bernard Shaw). This quote is extremely accurate. Religious or moral beliefs have a great influence on how a person feels about censorship, and as new generations come along, they will pass on their common beliefs. This allows the possibility of change. Right now in modern times, America is more free and uncensored then we have ever been before in history. However, things were very different just a few generations ago. Certain individuals think that music should be censored. Those same people have come to this conclusion because they believe that the language musical artist’s use is ill-mannered, offensive, and crude. Also, they strongly support their argument by stating the fact that music is played on Media such as radio and television, which are free to listen to by all audiences, and that there are many parents that would not wish for their kids to hear foul language. As a result, the radio and television censor any controversial language by either silencing, or editing out by a soft sound. Some artists make two versions of their songs; one that is made for the artist's album, which is uncensored; and one for television and radio with any controversial words change to be acceptable for all audiences. This does not affect cable television though, because it is ordered and bought by people who are required to be over 18. "Preventing or punishing speech…is a clear violation of the First Amendment." (Censorship. Opposing Viewpoints, Greehaven Print). When you really think about it, it is a violation of the First Amendment. "Congress shall make no law… abridging the freedom of speech or of the press". The First Amendment guarantees the right to freedom of speech, and censorship is violating peoples' freedom, and right to say whatever they want to say. Many musical artists feel that when they are forced to change the lyrics that they wrote their rights are being violated. The purpose of particular songs is to express feelings toward somebody or something, and it hurts the artists purpose to be censored because the new words implemented are not from his or her heart. The artist feels that they are being held down by the ignorance and will of the government. Due to the amendment made by our founding fathers, I do not believe there will ever be an answer to the question whether or not music should be censored. The way I see it, it should not be censored. Many children often hear explicit language from older siblings or parents at an early age. They believe that since someone they look up to uses those words, they should too. Eventually, everyone will be exposed to language they do not find acceptable. Foul language is not permitted on media such as television or radio because it is an all audience source. However, on albums the artist is allowed to use any words he or she sees fit. Censorship on television channels such as Nickelodeon, or PBS is understandable due to the fact that mostly young children programming is broadcasted on those stations. However I find it unnecessary to censor stations generally viewed by older audiences. It is now a requirement by law for record companies to put stickers on tapes and compact discs that say "Parental Advisory. Explicit Lyrics". The reason that law was passed was because many angry mothers and fathers sued artists and record companies for releasing albums that contained explicit lyrics, and did not warn the consumer. In most cases, this consumer was the angry parent’s child, and now their child apparently feels the need to go around and repeat their newly learned words. I would tend to believe that many of those parents used those same bad words in front of their children at one time or another. Many parents also complain that the art on music albums' covers and insides. They argue saying that too is vulgar and should not be allowed. I believe music should not be censored due to our First Amendment right. When a parent hears foul language on their child's radio or television, they should not complain to the network or record company, they should complain to themselves. The government is doing all they legally can to protect the children’s' ears from the foul language that is out there. If they do not wish for their child to hear foul language they should have supervised their children more closely. If they take their child to a record store and buy them a new tape or C.D., the parent should have listened to the music by him or herself and decide for themselves if they find anything that they are hearing questionable. If they don't like the content, they can always return it to the store. This way they can be positive that their child is listening to music that is acceptable in their eyes. In conclusion, censorship in music is wrong. Artists should be allowed to say whatever they want. That is what our founding fathers based this country upon freedom. The government is doing an excellent job in making the First Amendment suitable for all. If parents have a problem with it, it is because they did not properly supervise their children.