In June, Lizzo's top-selling song, 'Grrrls' was hit with disdain for using the word "spazz" in her lyrics. Although this word is typical slag for "going the hell off," it is also a derogatory word for spastic diplegia. Once Lizzo got wind of the level of offensiveness of her lyric, she kindly removed it. That's right; she just pulled it. She did not argue with the people or ignore their grievances; she just removed the word.
Fast-forwarding to the recent release of Beyonce's latest work, Renaissance, the Queen herself was also attacked for using the same derogatory word as Lizzo and for utilizing Kelis' song "Milkshake" on one of her tracks. Beyonce kindly removed the same work and Kelis' interpolation from the track titled "Energy”. Not that Beyonce is known for responding to negativity, but she also kindly adhered to the complaints and removed the noise.
In the past, when musical artists were accused of utilizing someone's work or offending a population of people, they would accrue millions of dollars in attorney fees and costs rather than remove the content off their track. As a result, these complaints remained ignored, or the accuser got dragged by the artist.
Has Lizzo introduced this small-big word "empathy" into the music industry? If this is a new era, will this improve things or worsen them?
Assuming all artists are as sensitive about their shit like Erykah Badu, one could imagine the energy it would take to edit a body of work that has been worked on for days, months, or years to appease the people. But, as with any change, the flood gates will pour, and there could potentially be lots of people or offensive terms getting overturned in our classic songs. It had already begun when Monica Lewinsky requested Beyonce to remove her name from the song "Partition." So how far can this go?
The flip side of this newfound sensitivity is artists are becoming more conscious of the words they implement in future work. For instance, Lil Baby has stopped using the "N-word" in his song and replaced it with the word hitter. He explained that "his show be so white" that the audience repeats after him when he says the N-word. This idea of removing offensive language when recording could save time on post-release editing.
Conclusively, some will argue that all this sensitivity will prohibit free expression, but in some cases, is that such a bad thing? In the future, do you think musical artists will be canceled, similar to comedians when utilizing particular language in their songs? If musical artists expect to be inclusive, how will this impact the music industry?
Let us know what you think?
Posted by: Laydie Fluent
Written by: Renita Betts
Owner/Founder: Be Your Own Kind Platform