To Label Or Not To Label? This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

By
   Are labels on records, tapes, and compact discs warning the consumer of explicit lyrics really necessary? After a somewhat over-blown controversy a little more than a year ago concerning the lyrics and live performances of many artists, especially of the rap group 2 Live Crew, there is still no answer to this question. Some feel these labels are beneficial because they let the consumer know exactly what they're in for when they listen to the record. Others feel these warning stickers are wrong because they violate the musician's right to freedom of speech. Maybe I'm strange, but I agree with both sides.

I think warning labels should be on all types of music that may be considered offensive, whether it's thrash metal, rap or whatever. They inform the listener of the subject material, which I feel is a good feature, especially for younger music fans who may not fully understand the issues approached in certain songs.

However, I also feel warning stickers can go too far. A prominent record store chain refuses to sell labeled items to consumers under the age of eighteen, which I think is absolutely ridiculous. Don't get me wrong; I think an age restriction is acceptable in some cases. For example, it's okay when a ten-year-old tries to buy music for more mature audiences. But when a sixteen-year-old junior goes into a store to purchase a particular CD and is turned away simply because she "isn't old enough," that's where I draw the line. I feel that once a person reaches puberty, each should be allowed to make certain decisions, like the kind of clothes to wear and the type of music to listen to.

If parents instill good values in their children, one song with lyrics considered offensive by some cannot destroy their moral structure! If I personally found something to be insulting, I would not listen to it. But I would never condemn someone because they listen to it nor would I try to prohibit them. n


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






Post a Comment

Be the first to comment on this article!

bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback