Monday, November 05, 2007

When Did "Ass" Become Okay To Say On The Radio?

Okay, I need to hear from someone with their finger on the pulse of modern music because I am feeling clueless right now. A moment ago, The German and I were messing around on our computers and I was listening to the song "The Good Life" by Kanye West. It was supposed to be the "clean" version but in the middle of the song I hear

Y'all pop the trunk, I pop the hood, Ferrari
And she got the goods
And she got that ass, I got to look, sorry.

My first reaction was, "Whoa!! Is this really the clean version of the song?" I double-checked and sure enough, it was. The German listens to more hip hop than I do--yeah, I know there's a bit of irony there--so I asked him if artists were really allowed to say "ass" in the edited versions of their songs, the ones that are labeled clean and put on the shelves at Wal-Mart. He says they can. He even claims that they can even use the word ass on the radio without having to bleep it out.

When did this happen? It wasn't always like that, from what I recall. Has it really been that long since I was a regular listener of commercial radio? I'm beginning to feel ancient! Maybe I'm being a bit of a prude tonight but, I just don't see any reason for "ass" to be allowed. I don't really object to the use of curse words. In fact I use them from time to time. However, I'm not so sure I am for the inclusion of these terms on the radio. Yeah, I'm probably just being a bit of a fuddy-duddy, but would someone please tell me when all of these changes started happening?

6 comments:

Another Conflict Theorist said...

Yes. The German is 100% correct. One can unabashedly say the words "ass," "hell," and "damn" on the radio and, on regular television - whatever that is these days - "bitch." We've been slouching towards vulgarity in every form in the mainstream media for quite some time now.

I'm reminded of this whenever I'm fooled into believing that I'm watching something unoffensive and I'm forced to wince as my four-year-old tells me that "that person just said a baaaad word." Of course, that he's four and already knows what "bad words" are (not due to me, I promise) is in, itself, unsettling.

Lisa Harney said...

I remember seeing the standards in general relax sometime in the 90s, although I don't remember when precisely any given word became acceptable.

Kay Olson said...

Also, they can now say "blowjob" on Nip/Tuck, which is basic cable. I don't know when that became acceptable, and I don't think of myself as a prude either, but it freaks me out to hear it.

Breez said...

Uh, I watched the Boondocks last night and they clearly used the term "dick-riding." WORRRRD? And not on HBO? On regular ass TV? Ohh...I just cursed.

Don't you owe me $5?

Zonk said...

I think that when Tom Cochrane published the album "Ragged Ass Road" and it got popular, that was just about the first time I heard ass on the radio.

Anonymous said...

I notice that "ass" is used on TV, as well. (Also, "badass.") I'm in agreement with you - when did this happen, and who said it was okay?