The Need for Censorship in Music

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In our 21 century modern world music is one of the major ways to communicate to people from different races, age and gender. Music brings people together and has grown over the years due to its positive feedback over the people (Landman, 2018). Even though music is one of the best ways to communicate some artists use violent or rather vulgar languages which should not be listened by young ones or some adults too. This paper seeks to explain why lyrics to some popular songs need to be censored by the government.

The Need to Censor Some Lyrics by the Government

It has been observed that most artists recently use abusive languages that can affect a person emotionally and physically especially during the pre-adult stage. When the children are little they have no control over what their parents are listening to (, 2018). If their parents listen to violent music they will grow up listening to them or worse perform what the artists say and do in the music and have those motives self-consciously when they grow up. This is one of the reasons why some songs need to be censored by the government to avoid consequences in the future.

Violence leads to violence and the more the kids listen to these songs they have high chances of acting violent on their age mates because their minds has been molded and affected by the songs they listen to. Songs with bad lyrics are very inappropriate and need to be censored not only for the kids but some lyrics contain hate speech and cause a negative perspective in the society. For example an artist may dislike a certain category of people and decides to mention some hateful words about them in his or her lyrics (, 2018).

Citizen’s knowledge on the category of people may change and cause chaos in the society. All this can be avoided by ensuring that lyrics from some popular songs are censored for the protection of the society. The government should go to an extent of even doing away with such songs especially those with violent or inappropriate videos which can easily be copied by viewers.

Freedom of speech in the US was amended and intended for the betterment of the humanity. This law was amended for the benefit of the US citizen to overcome their limitations to be better people and be a voice against immoral and unjust behaviors or practices that affect human progress towards useful contribution (Ratcliffe, 2016). Though there is freedom of speech there are some limitations on the kind of words used in public or to pass the message. The law was passed for people to be free in expressing and exploring ones creativity for a positive objective to the society.

Some performers who are popularly known tend to misuse the law by doing the opposite of what the law was meant to do that is for the betterment of the country. These unlawful written lyrics have mostly been noticed hip hop music. A large number of citizens especially the youths of this century listen to this type of genre. It is one of the most popular genres of music and musicians tend to use uncouth language to convey the message to the people (Hall, 2017). Most of the popular longs today have violent lyrics either using them directly or indirectly the message can still be interpreted which will affect people physically or emotionally.

It is the government’s duty to make sure that this kind of popular songs that get played in every channel or everywhere in the internet for people to access are censored. By introducing censorship the government can regulate and raise the bar for an artist’s creativity (Jin & Ryoo, 2014). This will ensure that the artists put out expressions of creativity that are educating and entertaining with the underlying of uplifting humanity. Apart from censoring lyrics the artists too can avoid this since a profanity of the lyrics seems to be a crisis of the artist’s imagination. The musician needs to have a positive judgment and be more socially and morally aware of the impact their work can cause to the society.

Some song lyrics are said to be politically incorrect which can cause complications in the government and people’s mentality about the government. This may force people to reduce their confidence over the government and its ability to govern the citizens. The fans of the artists writing the lyrics may even go on strike so as to protect their artist which can cause violence in the society (Halberstam, 2017).

Artists may use their lyrics to intimidate the government in any way possible due to their own interest as a way of getting what they want. An example M.I.A wrote a song born free in 2010 which was a response to the US government for denying her a visa in 2006. The song was later banned because it painted a bad image to the US government. Many song lyrics over the years have been censored or banned due to their choice of words over the government of United States (Nielsen & Krogh, 2017). A famously known artist Lady Gaga was banned from a concert in Indonesia due to her modern way of dressing which was said to be a bad example to the youths of Indonesia. An example of a censored song is by a famous artist Taylor swift known as ‘clean’.


Children or youths are not the only people whose minds can be affected by the violent lyrics written, adults with mental or emotional faculties are not developed can be adversely affected with the lyrics. Some of the music being played needs to be highly examined before they reach the public so as to omit violent or immoral language for the betterment of the people. One of the best ways to censor songs is not to support the artists or record label that produces songs that are offensive. Music is a major way of communication and educates people but the choice of words being used by artist’s matter which should have a positive message to the citizens.

References (2018). Should government censor the lyrics of violent or explicit songs? Available at:! [Accessed 19 Apr. 2018].

Halberstam, J. (2017). Trigger happy: From content warning to censorship. Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, 42(2), 535-542.

Hall, P. (Ed.). (2017). The Oxford Handbook of Music Censorship. Oxford University Press

Jin, D. Y., & Ryoo, W. (2014). Critical interpretation of hybrid K-pop: The global-local paradigm of English mixing in lyrics. Popular Music and Society, 37(2), 113-131

Landman, G. (2018). Banned Music: 21 Artists Censors Tried To Silence. Billboard. Available at: [Accessed 19 Apr. 2018]. (2018). Inappropriate Content in Music | MediaSmarts. Available at: [Accessed 19 Apr. 2018].

Nielsen, S. K., & Krogh, M. (2017). Spillover Censorship: The Globalization of US Corporate Music Self-Censorship. Popular Music and Society, 40(3), 345-362.

Ratcliffe, G. M. (2016). Parental Advisory, Explicit Content: Music Censorship and the American Culture Wars (Doctoral dissertation, Oberlin College).


August 01, 2023


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