As a music fan of various genres, I am attached to the premiere of music videos. BET, MTV, VH1 you name it and I’m glued to any video. The issue among music videos today question “is there too much violence and sexual content displayed?” Although the history of music video has changed drastically, artist feel as though violence and sexual content will keep the viewers interested. In today’s society, we are more open about sexual and violent lyrics in music than previous years. The necessities of music videos today consist of women, fancy cars, extremely large jewelry, and money. I feel as though music videos have reached the extreme point of displaying violence and sex.
The history of violence and sexual content started in the mid 1980s, entering the 90s. Artists such as NWA displayed various violent scenes in their videos. During these times, crime, drugs, and police brutality were major issues on the West coast of the US. Artist at this time displayed various explicit lyrics towards authorities and laws. During the late 80s, sexual content began to up rise in lyrics and music videos. For example, Salt-N-Pepa’s “Push It” video was the first of female MCs to display raunchy grinding and subliminal lyrics. In the 1990s, the rise of “Down South” music was making a stir in the music video world. Artists such as Luke & The 2 Live Crew displayed very sexual lyrics and their music videos were very explicit. These videos were majority women shaking their bottoms, zooms in on their bottoms, tight biker shorts, etc. Upon their music up rise, many groups such as Luke did not receive much air time on radio die to explicit language; even their cleaner versions were considered explicit.
Back in the 1990s, Luke and the 2 LIve Crew faced a judge for their explicit lyrical content.
Music videos today encourage promiscuity, especially in Rap and Hip-Hop. Generally, rappers are the only men in the video with multiple women displayed in skimpy outfits. Most women in these videos share a similar appearance I.e. nice bodies, long hair, and perfect breast and bottom. The type of clothing video girls usually wear consist of” bikinis, short shorts, tight jeans (with a peak of bottom crack showing). Many video casters feel as though “sex sells” and is the biggest market in today’s society. In 2003, Nelly released his “Tip Drill” video from the Da Derrty Versions: The Reinvention album. This video displayed women performing sexual acts, raunchy dancing, and the controversial “credit card” act. Upon the release of the video, many people were against the video and eventually became the most controversial video in Hip-Hop. Although many genres of music have violent and sexual lyrics, mainly African-American artist are targeted. Society today view Rap and Hip-Hop as a violent, sex craved genre and now the same is being said about Soul and R&B singers. The most recent news in sexual content relates to Ciara’s “Ride” video. I viewed the video recently and there was multiple sexual content, lyrics, wet t-shirts, and showing of the private area. Recently, Black Entertainment Television (BET) has banned “Ride” from play. I feel as though there was no problem with her video because rappers display women in worse ways and their videos are played constantly. Do people have the intentions that a woman should not carry herself as the way Ciara did?
In the 2000s, Nelly was highly criticized for his uncut video "Tip Drill".
Music videos have come a long way, from Micheal Jackson’s “Thriller” to Nelly’s “Tip Drill”. People have to realize as time change, people change. In today’s society, things that fascinate people do not last long because there is constantly better things coming out. Artists today feel as though sex and violence are the only factors to keeping a pleased audience. That statement can be considered true, but there are many others like Miley Cyrus and The Jonas Brothers, who appeal to all ages and display no factors of violence or sex. Currently sex and violence peak at the top of music video and lyrics, but we continue and view and listen to these artist, but everyone is titled to his/her own view on music.