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Music Censorship

             For seventeen years the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has suggested that if record labels or artists feel that their album is explicit and not suitable for children under the age of seventeen, they may voluntarily put a warning label on it that reads "Parental Advisory: Explicit Lyrics" (Parent's Page 1). However, many would argue that the label is too vague and, therefore, still leaves room for people to criticize the degree in which it restricts children from purchasing explicit albums. The RIAA could make it clear for parents to determine what age group a particular album may be appropriate for by adopting a ratings system similar to the one used by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA). .
             The Parental Advisory label begins to become ignored when one out of every five rock albums and three out of every five rap albums carry the label (Stapp 3). Most music listeners would agree that many albums with the Parental Advisory label are more offensive than others may be. There are particular albums that certainly are not appropriate for children under the age of seventeen, however there also are albums that may only be inappropriate for children under thirteen. The Parental Advisory label does not distinctly tell parents how much or what kinds of objectionable material may be on an album. When interviewed, an anonymous employee of Turtle's Music at the Dean Road location said that parents often ask what kinds of explicit material are on an album. According to him, "They may say their child has heard the "F-word" a million times, but they don"t want their kid listening to songs about drugs or raping women.".
             Of the three record stores whose employees were interviewed, all three employees said that they frequently have angry mothers return an album that their child has purchased or that they have purchased for them claiming that it is too explicit. The Hasting's employee who was interviewed added, "It's actually part of the job training.

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