Entertainment

The 8 Best Radio Edits of “Offensive” Songs

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Malaysian radio stations have censored lyrics from Lady Gaga‘s new single “Born This Way,” citing the country's government and religious practices, both of which ban offensive material. By their laws, talk of homosexuality is still considered taboo. Of course, by American standards the lyrics aren't bad at all: No matter gay, straight, or bi / Lesbian, transgendered life / I'm on the right track, baby. What's worse is that they're not simply cutting the words, but inserting garble into that part of the song. And it's not the first time. Whether they're honoring religious standards or keeping kids from hearing naughty words, censors have made some poor choices in edits that made songs utterly laughable.

  • Cee Lo Green, “Fuck You”: One of the most recent injustices is Green's tune being renamed to “Forget You,” mostly on the radio but especially when Gwyneth Paltrow belts it on Glee. Subsequent lyrics “ain't that some shit” also got replaced with the long-time censor favorite, “ain't that some shh.”
  • Lil Jon, “Get Low”: You couldn't very well call the girls at my eighth-grade dance bitches, so when Lil Jon raised his pimp cup, he urged that “all these females crawl.” Also, how was it OK to replace “motherfucker” in the next line with “skeet skeet skeet”?
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers, “Give It Away”: In the Simpsons episode “Krusty Gets Kancelled,” Krusty asks the RHCP to change their lyrics “What I've got, I got to get and put it in you” to “What I'd like is, I'd like to hug and kiss you.” Then again, it was a nod to when Ed Sullivan asked Jim Morrison to change the lyrics to “Light My Fire” when performing on his show, so we can approve.
  • Kanye West feat. Jamie Foxx, “Gold Digger”: Who can ever forget “but she ain't messin' with no [n-word]” becoming “but she ain't messin' with no broke-de broke”?
  • Ryan Adams, “Come Pick Me Up”: Last week's American Idol saw contestant Paul McDonald singing “lose all my fans” instead of the original lyric “screw all my friends.” This obviously wasn't McDonald's choice, but it did lead to a collective “wha?” from the viewers rooting for him.
  • The Rocky Horror Picture Show, “Sweet Transvestite”: Repeat offender Glee really tried my patience when in an episode celebrating queerness, Mercedes sang that she was “a sweet transvestite from sensational Transylvania.” So it's OK to say “transvestite”, but not “transsexual”?
  • Rage Against the Machine, all songs: In the wake of 9/11, Clear Channel Communications, the United States' largest radio network, released a list of 160 songs banned for being “potentially inappropriate.” Just a sample of Rage's fellow offenders: AC/DC, “Dirty Deeds”; Dave Matthew Band, “Crash Into Me”; Louis Armstrong, “What A Wonderful World.”
  • Khia, “My Neck, My Back”: Instead of “my neck, my back, lick my pussy, and my crack,” we got “my neck, my back, lick my ahh just like that.” Honestly, the breathy “ahh” sounds a lot more sexualized than a crude word.
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