Rap lyrics can get pretty vulgar, but producers don’t let that stop a song from being successful on the radio. Instead, they make radio friendly lyrics stations can play without worrying about being penalized by the FCC. There are a few different ways this can be done.
Clean Studio Versions
The easiest way to create a high-quality song that can play on the radio is by asking an artist to record a version that’s free of curse words. This is significantly more expensive than bleeping or blurring out nasty words and carries less cred with audiences. It does provide a copy of the song however that is the same quality as the rest of the songs on an album. An additional benefit of creating a clean studio version is that companies which do not produce, sell or play music with bad language will be able to use the song.
Reversed Curse Words
A popular method of creating radio friendly music is using a computer program to reverse a curse word. This makes it technically appropriate for the air, but fans easily recognize the word used. Artists have done this in the past to great suggest. However, this method may not be as family friendly as some radio stations demand. Even though the government wouldn’t have a problem with it, radio listeners (and advertisers) might feel differently.
Bleeping out curse words is an old practice that was used in live broadcasts. There really was something at the ready with a bleeping button to mask any nasty language someone might try to get on the air. Today’s bleeping is done quite differently – although DJs still have the ability to bleep words out.
When a producer bleeps out curse words, he or she will often use a purposefully funny or annoying beeping noise. This is for audience appeal. They make it especially obvious that the songs are being changed for the sake of censorship.
They may also choose to use funny sounds – like barnyard animals, women sighing or cash registers ringing – in order to reinforce other factors of their music being taken out by removing the swear words. Namely, how tough or raw the music, message or artist is.
Curse words are a staple of rap and hip hop lyrics. They encompass the disregard artists often display for the horrors of the world around them. Typically, songs are filled with visions of violence, aggressive and meaningless sex and excessive displays of wealth. The harsh language included bolsters that image by purposefully being offensive. As big of an impact as they make on the music, the government still feels the language is too inappropriate for the air. Playing songs including curses results in big fines for radio stations, so creating air-friendly versions becomes a necessity.