Banned And Censored Music


ver and was found to be inappropriate for the public. These albums were later seized and his band eventually broke up.(The 1980s 1) Pornography and prostitution are often times found to be legal in America, but a person’s constitutional right of speaking freely can be outlawed by the same government, that really doesnt make since! The 90s by is the most controversial decade as far as censorship goes. With all of the Knew and diversified types of music there is sure to be differences in taste. The widely known incident about the subject of banned music took place between the police in Dade County Florida and the rap group 2 Live Crew.

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2 Live Crew released a very risque album by the name of “Me So Horny” The record sale and distribution of this album were deemed illegal in Florida and Alabama just to name a couple of states. 2 Live Crew were also arrested in Florida at a concert. The police claimed that the performance was too obscene for the general public. This led to 2 Live Crew’s next album to be titled “Banned In The USA.” Later on that year rapper Ice T’s album “Freedom of Speech” was banned. It’s lyrics were also considered to be too obscene.(Music Censorship: Elvis to Ice-T 5) It seems that rap music is taking the fall for music censorship. Public Enemy, another rap group, has recently been under some heat for a video and an album they just recently released.

The name of the album “By the Time I Get to Arizona” features a video in which it depicts the governor of Arizona as a David Duke type of character. Public Enemy claims that it is just trying to get its point across that it is wrong that the state of Arizona does not celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day(Loder, Censorship, A Town Meeting). Evan Mecham, the former governor of Arizona had this to say about the matter, “I could not understand how anyone could have the gall to market something like that and call it entertainment,”(Gregory Lewis 1).It should be added that Mecham was impeached for abolishing Martin Luther King Day as a national holiday. So I guess that you could say that Public Enemy was trying to get a point across and they succeeded. In the mid 1990s many large chain stores took a major role in the sales of these so called obscene albums.

Such stores as Wal Mart and K Mart decided not to sale any records that proved to be obscene. This meant that if a record label wanted to sell a lot of copies of an album, they would have to start making sure they were acceptable for the general public.Since the Wal- Marts and K -Marts were so big it would be really hard to sale a large quantity of the albums at record stores.

As you can see, censorship is a big part of the music industry these days. Obviously censorship has been around for a while, but is it all that it is cracked up to be? There are many groups or coalitions who believe the answer to this question is no. There is a group by the name of the Free Music Coalition, based out of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, that is always fighting for the right of musicians. They feel that the censorship of music is wrong and it is bad for the music community. The Free Music Coalition has three basic goals: 1.To educate the public about the seriousness of the threats we are facing. Church groups, politicians, and the police have formed a network to censor music. Fans need to understand this to effectively fight back.

2. To organize a counter attack. To be successful everyone must band together, only then will activities such as letter writing campaigns, petitions, boycotts and demonstrations produce results.3. Make censorship illegal.

The First Amendment is supposed to protect our freedom of expression, but lawmakers and police are able to twist the laws to stop ideas that they find dangerous or offensive. What we need is a law that prohibits the censoring and labeling of records, books, arts, or films. Only then can artists create without a cloud of fear hanging over them. Only then can we enjoy the music we want to hear ( Fighting Censorship 1).The Free Music Coalition is against the censorship of music because censorship is unfair to musicians. In a recent case in Michigan it wasn’t a band’s lyrics that got banned, it was one of their T-shirts. A young boy went to school with the inscription “Korn” on his plain black shirt.

He was asked to change the shirt, and if he didn’t, he would be suspended (Music Censorship: Elvis to Ice -T 1&2). This incident can be more rightly justified; the Offense Principle states that a person can be stopped from doing want he or she wants do if it is going to offend others(Ethics: Theory and Contemporary Issues 203).Everybody has a choice about what kind of music they want to listen to. My friend is big into rap music, and I am offended by the language used in it. It is his choice to buy and to listen to it, and it is mine not to.

Him buying it doesn’t affect me, so there for it should be his right. If nobody is affected by a persons actions then it should be allowed. The First Amendment in the U.S. Constitution states pacifically that each person has the right to freedom of speech.Congress shall make no law representing an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise there of; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or of the right of the people living peaceably to assemble, and petition the government for a redress of grievances. If a person is not allowed to express themselves and their feelings vividly, then they are not being given the right that is rightfully theirs. Artists have never had their drawings censored because they are inappropriate, and boxers don’t get censored because their sport is too violent, so why should musicians? Sure, some of the music out there is not appropriate for little kids to hear, but it is not the musicians’ responsibility to make sure youngsters do not hear it.

So, for those people who believe the censorship of music is correct, maybe they should take their own advice and start censoring what they and their kid’s buy, and quit worrying about what others are buying. America is based on individual rights and individual differences. Censoring the music in this country would go against everything America is all about.People should be able to choose want they want or don’t want.