Censorship of Dancehall Music
Music is the free expression of the ideas, emotions and way of life of a people in such a way that it appeals to our senses, thus making it enjoyable. But when this expression becomes offensive in the sense that the ideas conveyed are considered socially unacceptable, then it is no longer allowed its reigns of liberty. When this happens courses of action are taken by those deemed responsible, to protect what is in their eyes, the true virtue of society. The group of people responsible is the Broadcasting Commission, and the questionable course of action they have chosen is to censor the only genre of Jamaican music that not only gives our music an edge, but that also provides a pellucid look into the way of life of people in the inner city and the struggles they endure due to poverty, the controversial, yet popular, Dancehall Music. Music censorship is the suppression of musical material considered to be objectionable, harmful or inconvenient to either the government or various media organizations as determined by a censor. Censorship is present in two main forms; partial and total censorship. Partial censorship, when utilized, edits the parts or lyrics of a song or album seen as offensive. After editing, one now has what is known as the clean version of the song. Complete censorship, however, includes total omission of the song from airplay. But why is this done? Is the Broadcasting Commission genuinely interested in protecting and preserving society’s values, or is there a hidden agenda to slowly collapse a significant part of our musical culture on the premise of improving it? However, if their intentions are true, one has to agree with partial censorship since the content of some songs is too explicit and offensive to be appropriate, but total censorship is too drastic. Every human has the guaranteed right to freely express his or her ideas. Total censorship would be like a knife cutting the cord of self...
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