By: Jennifer Stickney


Guns 'N Roses, Skid Row, 2 Live Crew, and N.W.A. are just a few bands bothered by the issue of censorship.

Whether it's labeling a tape with a warning label or censoring the tape itself, censorship is becoming a BIG factor with bands nowadays.

All bands, from rock to pop, now have to watch what they say in their lyrics, or be censored by a label reading "WARNING: Explicit Lyrics."

I, myself, think this is unconstitutional by the First Amendment which says every person has freedom of speech. Every band has a right to say what they want in their music and to express themselves as themselves. Music is a form of art. They don't cover up the statues of Greek and Roman sculpture because of nudity, do they?

I don't think these censorship people, like the PMRC or Tipper Gore, know what they are doing. I think they're going about this the wrong way.

By putting explicit lyric labels on an album, they're not helping the cause. Most people know kids are going to want the tape even more to listen to the lyrics.

To me, these censorship people are not discouraging censorship, they are promoting it!

I agree that some of the music today is pretty rude, but my main concern is a law that they are trying to pass stating that if an album contains an explicit lyrics label, only a person who is 18 or older may buy it.

What people don't understand is a majority of people who listen to music today are under 18 years of age, and support the music business and the bands.

What happens if this law does go into action? The music industry may flop, or worse, bands could break up because of censorship laws.

There is a lot of good quality music out there that a young teen-ager won't be able to hear because of the labels. Frankly, I find the labels more offensive than the music.

Some of them are put on albums because some parents believe that song lyrics are part of youth's problems today.

We don't get our morals at age 15 or 16 from TV, magazines or albums. We get our sense of right and wrong from our parents from day one. We learn from and watch them. By the time a child is 15 or 16 and messing up, it's too late.

Some parents say that heavy metal music made their children commit suicide. How do they know it wasn't the music that kept their kids hanging on as long as they did?

I think parents should stop blaming the bands and take a good look at themselves. I guess you really can't blame either, though--they're just products of THEIR parents.

In my opinion, I think censorship is wrong.

If you don't want to listen to an album with a label on it, don't buy it, or if you hear a song on the radio and it's offending you, turn it off.

That's at least one right you have that can't be censored.

Jennifer Stickney is a junior at Newcomb Central School, Newcomb, NY.

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