Profanity in Hip-hop
It is no secret that many Hip-hop artists use profanity in their music. Many of us use profanity all the time. Whether we are vehemently upset with someone or we simply drop something on our foot, we often let out an explicative to convey our frustration. But is that okay? Some hypocrites will say it is not okay and then turn around and use profanity when they think no one is listening. Some purists will say it is not okay and personally stay free of using such language. Most people I meet don’t come down too hard on the issue. They realize that most people try to speak in respectable ways and sometimes when things get heated, profanity is just part of being human. Others take it to extremes and sprinkle their dialogue with colorful language all the time.
I personally believe words are words and without context there isn’t much to discuss. If a word, a cuss word or not, is used in a mean spirited manner to degrade another person that makes me uncomfortable. I don’t appreciate when people use words that way.
If someone grew up around a lot of profanity and that’s simply how he or she communicates, that doesn’t bother me. It also doesn’t bother me that some people will use profanity to describe otherwise indescribable situations. Take rape for example. It is hard to just say “that’s messed up.” Substituting a strong six letter word in place of ‘messed’ seems appropriate because rape is so serious and detestable.
So that brings me back to Hip-hop. When rappers use profanity to describe something so unthinkable or when they color their language to remain true to their way of speaking I’m okay with that. It doesn’t bother me. However, when rappers speak ill of other people and use profanity in mean spirited ways that’s not cool to me. Granted, they have every right to use any word they want. That is their prerogative. I can speak critical of their usage of language AND at the same time admire and appreciate the beauty of their art. That is exactly what I try to do.
How about you? What do you think about artists using a lot of profanity in their music? Does it offend you? Do you care? What are your thoughts?
Let me know.