Music and Censorship...Unconstitutional?

March 23, 2011
Music. Every teenager, adult, and kid in America listens to it. And, as a nation, music is one of the top selling products. Music and censorship are not the two most popular words that most teens think of together when they think of their favorite bands. The constitution protects our music…right? Wrong.

In my beliefs, music is protected under the constitution. It should be that way to all. It should be an unquestioned belief, because if we rely on the first amendment, shouldn’t music artists be allowed to operate in the same way with music? I mean, as a way of expression, it should be protected under the first amendment, the freedom of speech. It is speech, an opinion, put to music. Well, this view is WRONG according to many radio stations, record companies, and organizations across the country. Many radio stations won’t even PLAY a song if an artist refuses to censor certain words. Many people believe that music that is being exposed to the youth of the nation should be “clean.” This means bleeping out anything from “cuss words” to “religious cuss words” such as hell, or, in some cases GOD. This is WRONG to me. These words are bleeped out as “offensive.” The question is...who is this offensive to? Me? The government? Other countries? Other religions…? If this is so, our country is a bunch of hypocrites. The constitution provides the freedom of speech. This includes music. Music is the way of an artist putting their feelings to a beat. If an artist feels that their feelings and thoughts need to include a “cuss”, then let them. If others are “offended” by music, then they can choose other music to listen to. No one is forcing them to listen to the music that they think should be censored. Music they choose doesn’t have to be “bad” music. It is speech. Protected speech. Censorship of words is bleeping out words or phrases. In my opinion, this is almost as bad as taking someone speaking and preventing the public from hearing their opinions, or preventing something from being published. This is unconstitutional. It goes against the original meaning behind the Founding Father’s writing of the Declaration.

With music censorship comes many other music related topics. Music is the second top seller in entertainment spending, with 92% of kids 14-17 owning an MP3, and 84% of adults age 18-24 owning some type of MP3. With this much of the population owning MP3s, the music industry is booming with the sale of MP3 downloads. On the other hand, 63% of people download illegally, and only 52% of music downloaded was paid for. This means that, as a nation, maybe the problem isn’t the “cleanliness” of music, but the way we get this music. The people that support censorship should try to make it harder to download music illegally. By doing this, they would accomplish two things. One, the music industry would grow even more, and two, the “bad” songs with words they feel should be censored would be harder to gain. If people knew they had to pay for this then they might choose their song downloads more carefully. And, let’s be honest, most teens AREN’T the ones that LIKE cussing. It’s generally the high school dropouts that don’t have a family that cares, or the kids rebelling. Sometimes it’s the adults that prefer the cussing in a song. To them they may seem more mature than their coworkers for listening to these types of songs.

In my opinion, I believe that the censorship of music is wrong in many ways. It’s unconstitutional, it takes away an artist’s voice, and it takes away a person’s freedom to listen to what we want. If all music was censored, no one would ever truly be happy. Censorship takes away the heart and soul of music, taking away the artist’s right to voice their opinion. Music censorship should not exist, just the choice of the music a person listens to.

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NostalgiaThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Sep. 30 at 1:47 pm
I agree with you a 100%. For me I don't like hearing all that cussing in music, so that's why I listen don't to it.
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