Explicit Or Expressive?
If you take a look on iTunes, a walk around HMV, you'll definitely see the word 'explicit' by a song name or on the album artwork. This means that the song's lyrics contain explicit language or references to violence, drug use, sex and/or suicide. This sticker is to warn parents about what their child is listening to.
My parents are very strict and refuse to let me listen to anything with that sticker on. I find this very unfair, because I feel I'm mature enough to have control over what I listen to.
But is this music really explicit or is it expressive?
Take Papa Roach. Frontman Jacoby Shaddix has struggled with depression and suicide, and he uses his lyrics to express this. How would you describe this line to their song, Last Resort: 'Don't give a f*** if I cut my arms bleeding'? Is that an explicit line telling kids they should kill themselves, or a man who knows the feeling and is trying to have his story heard?
Now for My Chemical Romance. Emo superstars who want kids to kill themselves or down-to-earth boys who are there to save our lives? Take the song Teenagers: 'They say the teenagers scare the living s*** out of me/they could care less as long as someone'll bleed/so darken your clothes and strike a violent pose/maybe they'll leave you alone but not me'.
At first glance, that screams "You're worthless! Everyone hates you! Go die!" but have you ever thought what it means? The frontman Gerard Way went through a very difficult time during his teenage years. Is this song him expressing his anger, or telling us we're not worth it?
Why should music be judged on its lyrical content? Bands have worked hard for their fans to know their story and their message, only to have it rated explicit. Can we judge the difference? Is a song that encourages sex more explicit than one that expresses suicidal intentions? Is, for example, giving a child a song by the name of You A Stupid Hoe more damaging than one by the name of God Hates Us?
Should we as children be allowed to choose our music at a certain age? If we choose to listen to songs that tell us to get pregnant young, we should take the blame. Artists only want to be heard, will we continue to let a sticker end that?