Sunday, March 9, 2003

Prince pushed the limits



By Gil Kaufman
Enquirer contributor

Though the trend has picked up steam in the past three years, it may have its origins almost 20 years ago, according to Sean Ross, editor in chief of the radio industry trade magazine Airplay Monitor.

In 1984, Ross said many stations began playing Prince's single "Erotic City," with its 17 uses of a word that some mistook to be "funk." Seeing that the boundaries could be pushed, stations were primed to play more songs with controversial content.

"In small doses, I don't think adult listeners are bothered, even by the barely disguised stuff," Ross said, citing the mainstream pop rap hit from Nelly "Ride With Me," which features a barely obscured "mother------" in its lyrics.

"When he (Nelly) got away with that," Ross said, "it was probably a signal for the floodgates to open further. FCC fines are based on complaints they get, so only someone like Eminem is likely to encourage (an offended listener) to sit down with a tape recorder and capture the offending audio."

Although Eminem has become a lightning rod of controversy due to his violent lyrics, Ross said Nelly's relatively benign party tunes are "hardly worth the effort" to complain about.




CAMMY AWARDS
Performers, history play on Cammys stage today
Hank Ballard epitomized King Records sound
Complete Cammys coverage at Cincinnati.com

WOMEN OF THE YEAR
Enquirer presents its annual honorees

TEMPO COVER STORIES
The rise of R-rated radio
Prince pushed the limits
Student designs Summerfair poster
Get to It: A guide to help make your day

PEOPLE
DAUGHERTY: Uneventful lives often ones with most meaning
Q&A with Marvel Gentry Davis of ballet tech ohio
Former Muppet maker noses around for Pinocchio
'Naughty' baker whips up new name
KENDRICK: Airport security daunting obstacle

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
'Greek Life' hits low, but painfully close to home
Children's Theatre rocks 'n' rolls with updated 'Peter Cottontail'
Showbiz play to represent Ohio at contest
'Pacific' ambitious, entertaining spectacle
'Hard Way' makes it tough for audience
''Riders,' guests stumble but recover
Clever Kweller says more in simple songs
Schuster's acoustics remarkable
Dance Notes: Pros choreograph for CCM shows
Show puts 'arty' in Tupperware party

TASTE
Where to celebrate St. Patrick's Day
MARTIN: Winemaker is Cider-Man
Serve it this week: Raclette