Should a DJ Censor Their Music?

Sign advising Parental CautionThe objective of your event is to have one of the best and most memorable days of your life and you want the same for ALL your guests. 

Music has been getting progressively edgy.  It is one of the cool things about music.  It’s sort of a double edged sword.  We want it to be cool, edgy, provocative, but most of us want it to be suitable for ALL of our guests.  It’s getting more and more challenging for disc jockeys to play music that gives you the freedom to enjoy the event fully and to provide an uplifting experience for all who are there.  For many people, obscene or otherwise unclean lyrics blow right over their heads, they don’t notice.  But today, there are more songs with noticeably unclean or at least slightly obscene lyrical content.  Now where does one draw the line?  

It’s not easy.  Music is art!  It is defined by the listener.  I have been selectively sanitizing my music choices for years.  In fact, I’m one of the few DJs (that I know of) who does that.  It is a somewhat controversial thing to do.  I have had to back out of a few gigs after explaining that I’m not going to play xxx due to its lyrical content.  Making prudent choices regarding appropriate content is not easy, because music can be interpreted differently, it’s intrinsically part of it’s beauty!  So, I do my best.  I don’t “read” into or try to interpret the music, so in that regard I may not be conservative enough for some.  A song has to be obvious to me in it’s bad content before I move it to the trash.  There are a lot of borderline songs and those stay in my library with a “mark” for me not to play it at more conservative events.

It takes a lot of extra time and energy to listen and decide on all these songs, I have over 39,000 songs.  Is it worth it?  I follow my personal convictions.  I feel that it builds a fun, affirming, inoffensive atmosphere where ALL who are present can enjoy the time and be energized by the positive energy in the room!  Music is powerful and can build a negative energy at an event, and that is something I want to avoid.

Please leave your thoughts below about why you would or would not appreciate the DJ censoring the music for your event.

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