Wed | May 24, 2017

So why yuh haffi cuss?

Published:Monday | June 1, 2015 | 6:00 AMDaviot Kelly

I've written in this space before about the use of expletives.

Some years ago, a teenager (he would be in his early 20s now), tried to get a law passed banning cursing in his Pasadena, California, town. I wrote then, and still believe, that some sentiments are better expressed if you throw in a bad word or two. So, I'm not changing my talk, or flip-flopping, when I say sometimes cursing (or cussing) can be too much. I was listening to a popular song the other day on YouTube, and absent-minded me did not realise another version, the raw version, was next on the playlist.

Perfectly good song, perfectly good rhythm/lyrics/flow - the whole works. And now it's ruined. It's not a 'bad man' song, there's no war or anything like that involved. It's actually a love song (modern-day love, mind you, but love nonetheless). But I could never listen to the raw version because of the expletives, because for me, they simply don't work. It's like shooting somebody in the head four times. No matter how lucky they might be, you really only need one.

So, I have to wonder. If the artiste has enough skills to come up with such classy lyrics to ensure the song can be played on the radio, why do they need another version? Is the raw version for the 'ghetto people'? Are you saying they don't listen to the radio, hence they won't hear the song?

Furthermore, doesn't that make it more difficult for you to come up with two versions? I mean, the energy you're using to write the same song twice, couldn't you be writing another song completely? I'm just saying. And if I'm a producer, which artiste can bring a song with expletives to me? And don't tell me about street cred(ibility). Using 'regular', fit-for-airplay words doesn't make you 'uptown', it shows you have something called a vocabulary.

Now I partially (or largely, dependent on how much of my brain is working that day) blame the fans as well. I watched the same artiste perform the X-rated version of the song during a live performance at a popular club. The women went wild. Now, if even a few of them had a 'screw face' because of the expletives, that would have been great. But they were on cloud nine (or higher), quite content with the version they were getting. Fact is, they probably knew the unedited version first. The point is, music lovers are consumers just like the person who goes into the shop asking for fish back.

So maybe if they started to demand better, they would actually get it - But then again, they're not exactly perturbed by their choices, are they? Anyway, regardless of what I think about the song in question, it matters not one iota as I'm sure I'm in the minority who even give a hoot. The artiste might end up with a decent career or disappear quicker than liquor at an all-inclusive party. Who knows? Who cares?

Mi a go try write two clean song see if anybody want produce mi. Lata.

Link me at daviot.kelly@gleanerjm.com