When I was around 12 or 13, I started getting into music. I’d listen to a lot of radio stations and watch hour after hour of MTV and BET music videos.
Most of the music I liked turned out to be rap music and, like any person who listens to songs long enough, I wanted to purchase some of these rapper’s albums. Only one problem: my Mom, like many parents who are monitoring what words and ideas go into their kids’ heads, didn’t like how explicit the language was in some of the songs. Granted, the TV stations made the artists edit out some of the harsher words for broadcasting purposes… but on the album version, that “Parental Advisory” sticker allowed the artist to say just about anything they wanted to.
And there was no WAY my Mom was going to let me buy it as long as that bad language was going to be there. Instead, I spent my teenage years listening to soft adult contemporary music, counting down the days until I turned 18 so I could finally buy a rap CD…
Wait a minute – NO I DIDN’T!
Instead, I somehow found out that music companies actually made edited versions of “Parental Advisory” albums! All the artists I liked, from Busta Rhymes to Missy, Eminem and Dr. Dre, etc., had versions of their albums that blanked out the strong, more offensive language.
Because of this, I was able to stack up a HUGE catalog of rap music during my teenage years. Not only that, but when me and my brother suggested a student-run dance for our high school, we were the ONLY ones who could DJ it because we were the only ones who had all the popular songs in edited form. YAY!
Ah, censored versions of explicit albums – now THAT’S something to be mother-f–kin’ thankful for!