Monday, March 24, 2008

Censoring Violence in Music?

Be Your Own Pet was one of my favorite new discoveries back in 2006, and I've been waiting for their follow-up Get Awkward for over a year. The album just came out on iTunes, but inexplicably three tracks from the UK version have been deleted from the US release. The offending songs, "Black Hole" "Becky" and "Blow Yr Mind" were deemed to be "too violent for US release" by Universal records.

Excuse me, but have you been listening to rap lately? Or ever? The idea that Be Your Own Pet created songs too violent for American audiences is like giving a Nickelodeon Kid's Choice Award to Dr. Dre or Snoop Dogg for Favorite Album in its ridiculousness. Eminem released songs about killing his own wife, and this is what gets removed from an album as too violent? This article on Sterogum goes a little more in-depth, but it's worth noting that both 50 Cent and Marilyn Manson are both artists signed to Universal. Neither of them had songs cut from albums due to violent content, only Jemima Pearl, lead singer for Be Your Own Pet was deemed too violent a lyricist.

Here are the offending songs to listen to and determine for yourself just how insane Universal Records was on this one. "Blow Yr Mind" isn't even a minute long, "Becky" is about an angry girl who's spiteful about the end of a friendship, and "Black Hole" just doesn't have offensive content. The band says that the songs will come out on a special EP during the summer, and that situation just makes me think Universal kept the songs off the record in an attempt to get more money for another release during the summer. Oh well, take a listen and see what you think.

Be Your Own Pet - Black Hole
Be Your Own Pet - Becky
Be Your Own Pet - Blow Yr Mind

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