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Artist ForumnavigationWhat Is an Explicit Song

What Is an Explicit Song

As a music creator who wants to get their tracks out there, it’s important to know what an explicit song is. Otherwise, you might make the mistake of not labeling it correctly. Thus hurting your chances to reach a wider audience.
SoundOn can help you distribute and promote your music effectively, including explicit songs. But what is an explicit song? And why do they need to be labeled as such? Here are the answers!

What Is an Explicit Song?

An explicit song is simply a musical recording that has inappropriate or offensive content, language, or references. These types of songs have always been at the center of controversy and quite a heated topic of debate. Not just within the music industry, but also in society.
Explicit songs can include references to drug use, violence, sex, and many other sensitive topics. As such, they’re not suitable for all audiences and it’s why they’re labeled with an explicit content warning.
Labeling explicit songs serves to alert listeners and it also allows outlets to make informed decisions. Whether that’s playing edited versions or not playing the explicit songs at all. So, it’s a must.

Why Are Explicit Songs Controversial?

The main reason explicit songs are controversial is that they deal with sensitive topics. Some people believe they’re a valid form of artistic expression and freedom of speech.
But others believe they promote or even glorify dangerous or harmful behaviors. Ultimately, listeners choose whether or not to listen to them based on their personal values.

What Are the Main Elements of Explicit Songs?

When it comes to explicit songs, there are many elements considered to be offensive or inappropriate. Here are some of the most common ones:

  • Profanity. Referring to any kind of explicit language. Including swear words and other vulgarities.
  • Discrimination. Referring to references or language that’s prejudicial to certain groups based on gender, ethnicity, age, disability, etc. These groups include racial minorities, LGBTQ+ individuals, women, and more.
  • Drug use. References or positive portrayals of any type of drug use.
  • Violence. References to or glorification of any type of violent acts against people or property.
  • Sexual content. References to sexual acts, body parts, or sexual content.
  • Explicit imagery. Lyrics or music videos that include explicit imagery of sensitive, offensive, or inappropriate topics can be considered explicit.

Not all explicit songs contain each of these elements, but it only takes one or more. Also, some songs not labeled as explicit may contain elements that people may find offensive. Even if they don’t qualify for an explicit content label.

Why Does a Song Need to Be Labeled as Explicit?

The primary reason explicit songs are labeled is to inform listeners. They must be made aware of the potentially offensive or inappropriate nature of the song. It allows them to decide whether or not to listen. This is particularly important for parents.
Moreover, explicit labeling informs media outlets and streaming services. After all, they have policies about the content they’re willing to broadcast. Not to mention they need to follow industry regulations as well.
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