The value of clean music in American society

Josh Tucker ‘23, Copy Editor

Most modern music is not appropriate for kids. While explicit works like Cardi B’s “WAP” have found massive popularity, these songs are vulgar in lyrics and introduce children to mature innuendos early in life. In fact, the lyrical freedom that modern musicians often take in the creation of their albums is extreme, and excessive profanity and suggestive content are a direct result. Many artists claim that their expressive works lead to empowerment, but this is likely only true for some listeners.    

However, these freedoms should not be limited. Free speech is built into the Constitution for a reason.  Music is a form of expression, simply another method of communication. Artists are free to say whatever they would like, and this is how it should be.  

With that said, modern music poses a problem for parents, teens, and adults searching for clean, uplifting songs. These playlists are increasingly becoming rarer to find, less popular with each new ‘empowering’ release. While the majority may prefer the limitless expression of the Cardi B’s of the world, the minority should not be ignored. Their concerns pose an important question: does clean music still have value in today’s society?  

South Lyon students seem to think so. Junior Owen Glaszek said, “I don’t listen to songs with profanity because I feel like I’ll start swearing more, and I don’t want to do that.” There are certainly many who feel similarly. The use of profanity is a separate controversial argument, but there seems to be two sides to it as well.  There are those who see swear words as promoting irresponsible habits, such as senior Jake Reed. “Children need to be listening to songs teaching kindness and love towards their neighbors,” he said. Clean music provides this pathway, free of the suggestive contents often prevalent.  

On the other hand, there are those who do not mind the swearing in songs. Simply, senior Kalleigh Chamberlin said, “I don’t really care”. Senior Evelyn House agreed, and added,“If lyrics are used in taste, I think swearing is fine.”  This indifference is not uncommon among students; many could care less about the content of a catchy song.  

Returning to Reed’s point, kindness and love is fading among the youth.  Researchers from Azusa Pacific University have found that exposure to mature media is a cause of emotional desensitization, or the condition of indifference to violence and emotion. Even if clean music is not as mainstream, it should not be hated on for its content. Perhaps, if nothing else, clean music teaches youth the value of good feelings, not the violent and sexual emotions pushed to older audiences in song. 

For those in search of a clean playlist, finding one is as easy as a ‘clean playlist’ search on spotify.

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