Let's make this blog post short and sweet. I remember when I first came onto the music scene, I was approached constantly about doing hooks for hip hop artists. Excited, I would enter the studio and listen to the proposed track with anticipation. However, when the actual reference was played or demonstrated, that excitement turned to disinterest. To each his own, but to me, there is so much that can be said lyrically than to drop a few 'F' bombs here and there. One can be edgy without using some of the most popular "bad" words in a song.
1. Why stifle your creativity?
The Second Edition of the 20-volume Oxford English Dictionary contains full entries for 171,476 words in current use, and 47,156 obsolete words. To this may be added around 9,500 derivative words included as subentries. You mean to tell me that out of all the words in existence, one would want to dumb down lyrical composition by using a handful of the most elementary explicit words available? Not me.
2. Fighting the stereotype.
Now this next point applies strictly to me and my chosen genre so no offense to others in varying categories. The daily battle for me as an artist of color, is defying the thought that pop music is linear and selective by race or ethnic background. These days, if you're a certain color you're R&B/Urban. If you're a certain color, you're pop.
Michael Jackson was crowned the king of Pop and shattered barriers to allow emerging artists like myself to have a chance at being accepted for who I am musically. Using explicit language, automatically places me in a certain box that I would never be able to break out of. I don't want to go there.
3. Young eyes are watching. Young ears are listening.
"I'm an adult and I can do and say whatever I want" is what we hear often from not only musicians, but just people in general. Truth is, we can't just do whatever we want. My music is a blend of Pop, R&B, rock, soul and more. Kids, tweens, teens and people of all ages enjoy my music. It is my responsibility to be a positive influence to my fans.
I'm not perfect by far. However, when I'm performing live and fans are singing every word of my song, that's when I realize why it's so important. I'm not a goody two shoes, but I'm not a foul mouthed whoremonger either. I want to be proud of my work, and have music that everyone can listen to, no matter what part of the world they're from.
In closing, I respect all artists. I'm always turnin up to music from 2 Chainz to Meek Mill, Celine Dion to Lady Antebellum. Music is music. My personal journey however is my own individual journey and makes up who I am as an artist.