Another (partially) sanitized work of art

Do you ever feel like you just want to tell some repetitively abusive person where to go? I do sometimes. One of my favorite tunes for this kind of mood is “Mr. Cab Driver.”

This is from Lenny Kravitz’s 1989 debut album, Let Love Rule.

The original album version (below) didn’t have a car horn blanking out the lyrics [in bold], which in the middle of the song go:

Mr. cab driver pass me up with eyes of fire
Mr. cab driver thinks we’re all 165’ers
Mr. cab driver fuck you I’m a survivor

I understand the need for both versions. But I think listeners should know that the official music video is sanitized.

Interestingly, we do not find such censorship with The Weeknd’s “Starboy.” Both YouTube versions keep the MF word in. Also the N-word.

So what’s going on?

Lenny Kravitz’s official video doesn’t say F-U but the Weeknd says even worse words and shows us a delightful video of someone being killed with a plastic bag (sarcasm intended).

Don’t get me wrong. I fully believe in freedom of expression. If anyone heard my briefly released Halloween jingle about a fictional “Professor Chainsaw,” they’ll see that The Weeknd and I are more or less on the same page.

Maybe it’s a Canadian thing…

(The Weeknd is from Canada, just in case you didn’t know).


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