Profane and Sexual Album Gets Grammy Nod

Nine f-bombs, eight references to the B-word and “ho',” and a description of a graphic oral sex act fill just one song on the top contender for Album of the Year.  “Tha Carter III,” Lil Wayne's top-selling and now Grammy-nominated album, contains more than a few songs laden with profane, violent, and explicit sexual lyrics.

In fact all but one contain distasteful lyrics.

The album, which sold over one million copies in its first week, is the best selling album of 2008, with more than 2.55 million copies sold as of October 20th. So is the music industry, which hands out the Grammys, more interested in sales figures than content?  Lil Wayne received eight Grammy nods including Album of the year, Best Rap Solo Performance and Best Rap Album.

In a report titled “Listen to Those Lyrics,” CMI recently noted  that vulgar lyrics are commonplace in popular songs.

One of the most popular songs on Wayne's album, “Got Money,” references a b***h who wants to “f**k Weezy” and “rape Wayne.” “Lollipop,” another hit song from the album, contains a very crude reference to oral sex using a loathsome reference to female anatomy and describing how the singer likes to touch her “lovely lady lumps.”

Disgusting sexual references and profanity aren't the only questionable content on “Tha Carter III.”  The song “3 peat” blatantly references murder and uses the “N” word. “Run up in a n***a house and shoot his grandmother up what!”

Other Grammy nods for best album include Coldplay's “Viva La Vida,” “Year of the Gentlemen” by Ne-Yo, “Raising Sand” by Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, and “In Rainbows” by Radiohead.

Ne-Yo's “Year of the Gentlemen” also contains repulsive language.  In the widely played song “Closer” he raps about the pleasure of fornicating with a virtual stranger saying, “She's the sweetest taste of sin.”

When radio personality Don Imus was fired for using the term “nappy headed ho'” to describe female players on the Rutgers University basketball team, many in the music community called for artists to clean up their acts, especially when it came to the use of the “N” word and misogynistic language.  Clearly, Lil Wayne didn't heed that message and the sales figures for his album won't encourage him to change his tune. 

The problem lies in a growing body of research that shows music lyrics, like other forms of media, can negatively impact the behavior of youth.  A 2006 study published in the journal Pediatrics showed young people who listen to music that contains corrupting sexual lyrics are more likely to engage in sexual behavior and initiate sexual intercourse.

And the music industry wants to reward those lyrics.