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Friday, Aug. 29, 2014

Getting down and getting crude

Posted Monday, February 1, 2010, at 3:29 PM

One performance at Sunday night's Grammy awards provides a glimpse at one thing wrong with our world today.

From the Associated Press:

"An arresting performance of "Forever" and "Drop the World" with rappers Lil' Wayne, Drake and Eminem was rendered virtually incomprehensible by craters of silence inserted by CBS censors."

The phrasing of that sentence sounds like AP writer David Bauder may have disagreed with the censors.

But:

The lyrics of "Forever" contain 18 instances of a word which crudely refers to human waste, and that's just the beginning. The amount of foul language in that song and "Drop the World" is ridiculous, and I don't consider myself a prude.

So much rap and hard rock today is filled with hate and filth, and what's worse is that performers, critics and many listeners are critical of and attack those who are offended.

More and more, some forms of rock and rap (so-called "alternative" rock, especially) seem to be the realm of those who are alienated from the world - or, maybe more accurately, those wounded by others or what they see as life in general.

There's a message within those sometimes unpleasant-to-hear raps and songs -- a message of some groups of people crying out to be heard and accepted by a world which seems to have turned its back. Maybe we should be noticing the deeper feelings behind the lyrics.

But is the foul language necessary?


Comments
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[Show most recent comments first]

no it isn't, but because today's youth has become so numb to it, they think nothing of it, a good bar of soap would not hurt either.

-- Posted by michaelbell on Mon, Feb 1, 2010, at 7:21 PM

"alternative rock"...? I'm confused by that one being included...

A lot of the rap seems to be written to offend; the initial idea was that if you weren't offended, you weren't listening; and that one needed to look at the meanings and not just the words themselves. But they HAVE become desensitized to it; and now it's just there because that's what the pioneers of that industry set to them as an example.

I think it's Will Smith who went out of his way to note that it takes more talent to entertain without using expletives than it does with them. Because people ARE offended, or shocked, or embarrassed by such words; using them gets the reaction that youth in general are seeking to get from adults regardless.

What I find more disturbing by all of this is the generation of children being raised by twenty-something parents that listen almost exclusively to that music. They will claim that they are being sensitive to issues affecting the black community, and the poor; they will identify with it as they are typically underworked and underpaid, struggling to make ends meet, and surviving through government subsidy care.

They won't listen to jazz or the blues, however; and think old-school hip-hop or rap is too tame.

If this generation were to hear the "Banned in the USA" song by 2 Live Crew, which were forbidden from performing in Florida, they would laugh. To them, THAT song is too tame; it doesn't say it the way they're used to hearing it now.

So when their "precocious" child says "f--k" at age five, they think it's cute. They'll tell the child it's a bad word (sometimes), but keep using it as an adjective in all of their conversations, and most of their music. Ask the teachers in high schools, locally, how much the decorum has changed (of children) in the classrooms, and how much younger they are coming in with that vocabulary ready on their lips.

There is no circumstance I can envision where a child needs to be dropping the F-word, or even the N-word. Nothing wierds me out more than when a kid, race regardless, introduces one of his friends as "My nigga". And I don't accept it as a term to describe myself; the history of the word in the USA is not one that needs to be desensitized, as it still means "hate" and "hurt" to a generation of older black folk, who endured that racism first hand.

That said, I cuss an awful lot myself. You can't work around construction crews these days and NOT pick up that habit. But that doesn't mean it's okay to teach it to the kids, before they're even exposed to it in school.

What's the point of only letting your children watch G and PG movies, if your own music and vocabulary is R or X rated?

As for the song that was censored, I don't believe in censoring lyrics. If censoring the lyrics makes the song incomprehensible, maybe the lyrics lack artistic contribution, and should just be removed from the broadcast altogether. Just play an instrumental version for everybody else - or insert a warning that the next performance contains graphical references.

I don't personally care to watch the Grammy's, as it seems rather pretentious in the current state of the economy, to really be high on my list of interests. Other people should be trusted to change the channel, or mute the station, if they don't want to hear it either.

-- Posted by Analytical Mindset on Tue, Feb 2, 2010, at 11:51 AM

I don't need to know who censored the words, I don't need to know who the rap group was, I don't even need to know the title of the piece, What I need to know is who called what they were doing entertainment or even a song?

-- Posted by chs61 on Wed, Feb 3, 2010, at 11:27 AM

I agree with "chs61". I watched the first 30 min. or so and turned the channel. It was not anything I would come close to calling entertainment.

-- Posted by ontheoutside on Wed, Feb 3, 2010, at 4:42 PM

"I watched the first 30 min. or so and turned the channel"

So... I didn't really miss anything then. Good to know. :)

I forget the film / show, but in answer to a similar question a person once said, "It isn't written for you (us)."

-- Posted by Analytical Mindset on Wed, Feb 3, 2010, at 7:20 PM

the only crude thing on the Grammys was Taylor Swift singing... now that was some T. Pain

as for those of you who don't like or can't understand anything that doesn't fit your narrow vision of music... guess what, it's not for you.

-- Posted by deathtongue on Fri, Feb 5, 2010, at 12:10 AM

"guess what, it's not for you."

The true cop-out of the masses.

Yeah, I saw that movie too. :p

-- Posted by Analytical Mindset on Sat, Feb 6, 2010, at 10:23 PM

I completely agree that it is offending.

But I also find it so funny that the people that say we cannot exercise our RIGHT of free speech, are the ones that are allowing this stuff to be put on television. What has happened to America?!?

-- Posted by GOD Bless America on Wed, Feb 10, 2010, at 8:55 PM


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David Melson is a copy editor and staff writer for the Times-Gazette.