A few months ago, me, my brother and my uncle went on a road trip to Florida and as with any road trip, we spent a lot of time in the car. And when I say a lot, I mean A LOT. One thing that struck me was although hip hop and R&B were all over the radio stations, the majority of the songs playing weren’t really radio friendly. A casual listener isn’t likely to know what’s being said because everything is blanked out which almost rendered the songs pointless.
It got me thinking of how back in the day, there would always be the censored version and the uncensored version. In most cases, a lot of effort would have gone into making the censored versions as radio friendly as possible and you could almost play it in front of your nan without any fear of her ears being damaged by the relentless usage of the n-word, the b-word or the f-word. I just don’ think people care about this nowadays. So now I have dedicated this post some of the best and worst examples of censored ‘radio friendly’ songs. Some were great, some were plain awful, all deserve awards…
The “I Prefer the Censored Version” Award: Aaliyah ft DMX – Back in One Piece
Dark Man X usually punctuates his songs with barks, growls and “WHAT’S” but on this version of Back In One Piece from the Romeo Must Die soundtrack, he excels himself. When I heard the censored version, I thought it was cool. But add in the barks and it takes it to another level:
“A dog needs a grrrrrr…
A dog needs a grrrrrr…”
The “Most Pointless Censorship” of a rap song: A$AP Rocky ft Drake, Kendrick Lamar and 2Chainz – F%&*in Problems
“I love bad, bad that’s my, that’s my problem. And yeah I like to (“true!”) that’s my, that’s my problem”
What does this even mean? Word of advice: If the song has a curse word in the title then either record a new version or save it for the album. This makes no sense.
The “Most Seamless Censorship of Lyrics” Award: Eminem – “Guilty Conscience”
So when this song first came out, and at the tender age of 14 or so I learnt all the lyrics, I mistakenly thought that Eminem was a clean rapper. “My Name Is” was a song that could be played on the radio when my Nan was in the car and she wouldn’t realise it’s an explicit song. I mean, there were a few blanks here and there but nothing too crazy. It was a different story, when I heard the album version. The lyrics were pretty depraved and graphic. The radio friendly chorus was no more. In fact it was almost a completely different song. Genius censorship with new lyrics was among the many things that Eminem did best in those early days.
The “Most Awkward Adlib” – Bone Thugs N Harmony ft Eazy-E – Foe Tha Love of Money