Monday, September 20, 2010

Fuck You--A Censorship Dilemma

The catchy new single from Cee-Lo Green presents a problem for radio.  It's a good song.  People want to listen to it.  BUT over half of it consists of fuck, shit, and other things you can't say on the radio (for, as we all know, even though kids don't actually listen to the radio anymore, stations still can't play songs with bad words on the off-chance impressionable children will hear them from someone other than their parents and siblings).  To further complicate things, the song's meaning is most certainly lost if you censor it.

The solution can go two ways:  erase the words from the song or replace them.  The former gives it choppy feel ("I see you driving round town with the girl I love, and I'm like,! Ooo! Ooo! Ooo!"), but at least there's some sense of maintaining artistic integrity.  The latter might be considered the best option, but what word do you replace fuck with?  I've heard "forget," which has two syllables instead of one, and doesn't have the same piquant sentiment--so, it really doesn't work.  What other words could they use?  Maybe they could go all BSG and use frack! 

On top of that comes the problem of what to do with the word shit.  As the fuck issue has already used up too much thinking for most music executives, the consensus seems to be to just replace it with, "shhhh."  This is even more annoying than "forget" ("If I was richer, I'd still be with ya--now ain't that some shhhhhh?"  Ain't that some shhhh?!?!  UHG).

Of course, the alternative would just be not to play the song at all, or to play it with the regular lyrics.  But that would make the world explode, so let's not do that.

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