Have you ever been watching TV and all of a sudden you hear something that you think can’t possibly be broadcasting on national television? After you recover from the unexpected vulgar surprise and say a little prayer that you are not in the same room as your parents, you might question the necessity for such explicit material. The fact of the matter is that in today’s society, the amount of controversy generated by any form of entertainment often parallels the success of the product. This little technique that artists and producers are employing more and more often these days can be referred to as ‘the shock factor.
Shock sells because it interests people. Kanye West and Jay Z exemplified this theory in their joint album “Watch the Throne” through honest and cutthroat lyrics about humanity’s insatiable desire for a life of luxury and need for sex. They even included a Will Ferrell sound clip from movie Blades of Glory that summarizes their thoughts on the use of the shock factor in pop culture. “It’s Provocative! Gets the people going!”
So, what exactly about sex scenes, slander, and abuse raises interest within the minds of such a variety of people? Explicit material stimulates the primitive qualities and instincts that all humans share. The fact that society over many years has attempted to suppress these characteristics is quite interesting, though those who are prestigiously appointed to nominate entertainment for awards are attracted to explicit and questionable content. Yes, sex sells. And interestingly, the more extreme, realistic and taboo the scene is---the better. And of course drugs sell. What sells even more is a mother of two boys selling marijuana to her pristine and wealthy community. Does the show Weeds ring a bell to anyone? The fact that she names her own strand after the fact that she is a mommy, who is pretty hot, exemplifies why the show is irresistibly delectable to viewers. Why do you think people like Lindsay Lohan are so popular?
Interested in seeing more examples in entertainment to further your knowledge of provocative media? Check out these in order to sharpen your primal traits and get the people going (in no particular order):
- The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (this one has every form of explicit material possible)
- Black Swan
- Animal House
- The DaVinci Code
- The Reader
- The Godfather
- Children of Men
- Ken Park
- Jersey Shore
- The Tudors
- Sex and the City
- The Jerry Springer Show
- The Real World
- South Park
- Chelsea Lately
- Watch the Throne-Kanye West and Jay Z (go to rapgenius.com to better understand the truth behind the rhymes)
- Man on the Moon (I and II)- Kid Cudi
- Erotica- Madonna
- 200 km/hr in the wrong lane- t.A.T.u.
- Nas- Nas
- Loud- Rihanna (particularly S&M—pretty bad @$$ of her to sue CBreezy for abuse and then make a song on sadomasochism)
- The Good Times- Afroman
- Rolling Papers- Wiz Khalifa
- The Eminem Show- Eminem
- Anything by Marilyn Manson….
Thank you Yeezy and Jay for spelling out the truth behind explicit material so cleverly in your catchy rap. The 99% appreciate your efforts.