Okay so let me tell you a little story. I'm driving around in my car on a beautiful day in Oakland. My windows are down, my hair is blowing in the wind, and I am shocked when my local radio station plays a throwback jam from my drunk college days in San Diego, Katy Perry's "California Gurls." I obviously started rocking out. I noticed people in nearby cars laughing but I couldn't help it, I knew all the words and felt obligated to show the world my knowledge of this 2010 pop hit.
The part where Snoop Dogg is about to come onto the track wass approaching fast and was ready with my best Snoop impression. Just as I was about to leap into Snoop's smooth and upbeat verse, I was met with an extended musical break. Huh? Where did the Dogg father go? This moment in time got me thinking and reminiscing and I realized that this has happened to me before. From Katy Perry featuring Snoop Dogg to Maroon 5 featuring Wiz Khalifa, when pop songs featuring rappers are played on radio stations more often than not the rap portion is cut out. Why?
The first thought that jumped into my head was maybe the lyrics are too harsh, too "dirty" for mainstream pop radio? Wait wait wait, that can't be true though because, well, here let's just stick with my first example "California Gurls." The chorus for that song goes as follows:
"California girls / We're unforgettable / Daisy Dukes / Bikini's on top / Sun-kissed skin / So hot / We'll melt your popsicle / Oooooh Oh Ooooooh."
Clearly we are not talking about an actually melted popsicle here. She is talking very specifically about a women's body and one that is not, well should I say, dressed like she is going to church. Now, let's move on to Snoop's portion of the song, here's his last verse,
"Homeboys / Bangin' out / All that ass hangin' out / Bikinis, zucchinis / Martinis, no weenies / Just the King and the Queeny / Katy my lady (yeah )/ Lookie here baby (uh huh) / I'm all up on ya / 'Cause you're representin' California (oh yeah)."
Okay well first things first, he is just agreeing with her previous statement about short shorts with "All that ass hangin' out." Then Snoop just gets a penis joke of his own with zucchini while Katy got the popsicle. So if the question is the appropriateness of lyrics of rap sections as opposed to those of the pop star, they are incredibly similar. Rap lyrics are just, simply, rapped. Kids won't understand the innuendos so what makes the rap sections cut-able from the radio?
Another reason for the cutting brought up on a Reddit page was that a lot of rap sections are towards the last half of the song so radio stations just cut the song early. Okay, so yes in "Payphone" by Maroon 5 featuring Wiz Khalifa, the rap section is in the last minute of the song but excluding that part, you kind of miss the build of the song. If you listen to the song fully, Wiz Khalifa's part helps the song hit the climax. It helps hammer home the point of view and overall message of the track. Now a song that completely debunks this theory is the remix of "Bad Blood" by Taylor Swift featuring Kendrick Lamar.
King Kendrick basically starts the song. Within the first 10 seconds you hear his beautiful voice, you can't cut him out so radio stations remedy this by not playing the remix. Why? Swifty went through the process of mixing a new track with one of the most popular rappers in the game, she did it because she thinks it enhanced her song, radio stations should respect that.
You could try and give me reasons all day about why radio stations chop up pop songs with rap sections but no reason will ever be good enough. These songs were written specifically with that rap portion, they make the song better. I know the ideas that could come along with rap music but when you get down to brass taxes, rap music is someone just talking faster and to a beat, the prejudice that some people feel towards the genre is completely illogical. Play the rap portion, radio stations!