Kidz Bop is a music brand that makes "kid-friendly versions of today's biggest pop music hits." Think Raffi performing "Despacito."
As such, they tend to change the lyrics around, to keep things OK for the kids. The Pudding did a deep-dive into the linguistic data around Kidz Bop and their censorship choices, and turned their findings into a comprehensive and curious set of infographics:
Kidz Bop songs exist in a weird parallel universe, one where Lizzo's famous line "I just took a DNA test, turns out I'm 100% that bitch" turns into "I just took a DNA test, turns out I'm 100% that kid."
Sure, you expect profanity to be censored, but some of the swaps are giggle-inducing gems and travesties. So, we wanted to see if we could find patterns in the black-barred words — R.I.P. to our Spotify account algorithms. (See the).
Can you find what Kidz Bop censored?
View this post on Instagram
🎵 NEW PROJECT! 🎵 This week we published a piece with contributor Sara Stoudt that takes a look at censorship in Kidz Bop – the parallel universe of "kid friendly" adaptations of hits by artists like Lizzo and Taylor Swift. Swipe through to see what types of "bad words" get the black bar treatment and be sure to check out the LINK IN BIO to take our censorship quiz and explore all the giggle-inducing and cringe-worthy word swaps. A note to our readers: At The Pudding, we are not currently working on anything coronavirus-related. We want to amplify the vitally important work that's already being done (see the link to our updating Twitter thread in our bio). We also want to hold space for non-coronavirus stories. Life is going to look a lot different over these next few months and it's important to keep BOTH our mental and our physical health strong. We want to encourage our followers to take this seriously, to vigorously wash your hands, and to practice social distancing. Take care of yourselves and take care of each other. #kidzbop #music #censorship #datajournalism #ddj #dataviz
Maybe we need to think a little more about what it says and does to our culture if we keep censoring things "for the kids?"
You can check out all of the data through the Instagram post above, or on the Pudding's website.
Just How Does Kidz Bop Censor Songs? [Jan Diehm, Sara Stoudt, and Amber Thomas / The Pudding]
Kidz Bop's "censored" songs aren't just annoying — they're problematic [Aditi Shrikant / Vox]
Image: Justin Higuchi / Flickr (CC 2.0)