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Lady Gaga Intensifies Shock Value

Lady Gaga in one of her provocative posses

Lady Gaga in one of her provocative poses. The music industry should be more responsible with the artists and their expressions. Their expressions get lost with their sexual innuendo, poses and half-naked videos. Courtesy of mrjunkiexl / flickr

A few years ago, Nelly’s “Tip Drill” video was quintessential of the depths an “artist” would go to create controversy while at the same time lining their pockets on the backs of women. Never mind anything that has to do with decency because the concept of right and wrong is oftentimes lost in the music industry in order to clear the way for profits.

Times have not changed but rather have gone from one extreme to the other with Lady Gaga and the bizarre storyline in her latest video, “Telephone.” The video, bordering on pornography, exhibits the warped mindset of this wickedly possessed woman. The video is a sequel to her earlier Paparazzi video, where Gaga was thrown off a balcony by her lover. In this latest masterpiece, her short-lived stay in prison for the murder of her lover culminates in mass murder upon her release.

Like some artists, Gaga’s creative direction is counterproductive to social norms. Young adults view these videos and get lost in the messages. Although it is unlikely that someone would commit mass murder in the name of Lady Gaga, the possibility does exist. The longing of some to be just like some of these celebrities, gives way to the possibility that someone may go too far to arrive at this goal. Social responsibility is needed by the music industry to tame their artists and their artistic expressions.

Adding to the confusion, celebrities, once seen as socially responsible, join the madness like Beyonce, featured in the Telephone video as Gaga’s partner in crime. The two mega stars glamorize some of the most heinous acts in our society today. This is disturbing on a number of levels. Collaborations like these that produce such nonsense just to sell records are insulting. The influx of Hollywood-driven music videos in short film format has the potential to stir up interest among people again. Although it may not be enough to bring this industry back, the irresponsible messages in the videos that make it to the screen need to meet a higher moral standard.

Another case and point is the latest Erykha Badu video release. In an obviously desperate attempt to revitalize her career, Badu decided to strip naked in her music video. The striptease took place on a street in Dallas, leading to the location where John F. Kennedy was assassinated. Badu’s naked body then falls to the ground as a shot rings out. Really? Where is the decency?

Not surprising, Lady Gaga has captured the interest of Quentin Tarantino who is considering casting her as an assassin in an upcoming film. This will, no doubt, generate a Lady Gaga single on the movie soundtrack and matching video so we brace for more madness as she continues to travel deeper to the dark side.

As more of these artists attempt to revive their careers and others jockey to stay current, the shock value in music videos will continue to intensify. The desperation to sell records continues to create artists that will do whatever is necessary for profit. Unfortunately, young adults make up the fan base for many of these artists and the potential to influence is alive and social responsibility is needed.



  1. Novel T Apr 22, 2010

    You start out by making the point that “the concept of right and wrong is oftentimes lost in the music industry”. Sweetheart, the concept of right and wrong is oftentimes lost in EVERY industry. Look at the current state of the US economy. Where was the banks concept of right and wrong?

    You state that “young adults view these videos and get lost in the messages.” If that is so true then why haven’t these same young adults gotten lost in the messages of The Fugees, Will Smith, Wyclef John, The Roots, A Tribe Called Quest, Common, Mos Def, Talib Kweli, and yes Nelly has positive music too (ie: “Believe in Yourself”, “N Dey Say”, “Nobod Knows”, etc). You see, just like the music industry, you have focused on the negative because the positive doesn’t sell as well.

    I can agree with you that possibilities do exist for some people to go to extremes to be like their celebrity role models. However, as Missy pointed out, “Psychopaths & Sociopaths don’t need the excuse of being influenced by someone’s artistic expression”. They’re demons are much deeper.

    As for those people that are not Psychopaths or Sociopaths, Nelly said it best when he said “I raise my kids, you raise yours.” You are asking an industry to take the place of a parent. I grew up surrounded by music of all different genres. I was in high school when NWA was at the top of their game… And I never wanted to “ride home in their automobile”. Why, I had a mother who taught me to respect her, others, and most importantly… MYSELF. I had a mother who taught me the difference between right and wrong. I had a mother who taught me how to love others that are different than me, and again, most importantly, MYSELF. So you see, Lady Gaga on a murdering spree doesn’t make me or any other family member (including extended) of mine want to go out and murder a bunch of people. Nor does Nelly swiping a credit card between a woman’s booty cheeks make me want to go strip.

    I can agree with you when you say that a little more social responsibility is needed in the music industry. But what about the part that you play in this? Your article has drawn attention to this video and it is a guarantee that someone will go in search for this video because of it. What we sometimes seem to forget is that ultimately the power is in our hands. The so called “irresponsible moral standards” that are upheld in the music industry “simply to make a profit” are very easily halted. It only takes one simple action.

    If you don’t like what you see… TURN IT OFF!

  2. Missy Apr 19, 2010

    John Lennon’s message was one of peace, but was assassinated by someone by someone who didn’t follow that path…Psychopaths & Sociopaths don’t need the excuse of being influnced by someone’s artistic expression… Has anyone killed in the name of Quention Tarantino? Don’t blame Gaga for someone else’s actions…

  3. William Apr 19, 2010

    Seriously? Lighten up! Why are you over analyzing?

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