Apple Music & Cursing: 5 Common Questions (Answered)

Apple Music is a convenient, user-friendly way to listen to your favorite music.

But what if your favorite songs are getting censored, and you want to listen to the original versions, profanity and all?

Or conversely, what if you’re sensitive to profanity or have a child for whom you wish to restrict explicit content?

If you’re in either of these situations or just curious about how content filtering works on Apple Music, you’re in luck, because these are exactly the sorts of questions we’re answering today!

A man hand holding screen shot of Apple music app showing on Android. Apple Music is the new iTunes-based music streaming service that arrived on Android.

How Does Apple Music Handle Bad Language?

By default, Apple Music attempts to keep the user experience clean and profanity-free.

This is to ensure that users of all ages and sensitivities have a comfortable streaming experience.

However, this doesn’t mean it’s impossible to listen to explicit songs on Apple Music.

Explicit content is available on Apple Music, you just have to take a few steps to let the app know you’re okay with it, but more on that in a bit.

Please also read our article answering the question, Why does Apple Music Block or Censor Songs?

Why Does Apple Music Block Curse Words?

Apple Music is used by people of a wide variety of ages and backgrounds.

Some people, of course, are fine with hearing profanity and might even be bothered by its lack of inclusion as part of the normal range of human expression.

However, others might be offended by it when they stumble into explicit content or might be concerned about their young child coming across such content.

Because of all this, it’s safest for Apple Music to filter profanity by default while allowing users who are okay with it to turn the filter off.

This way, at least in theory, nobody runs into explicit content they don’t want to hear, and those who do want to hear it can enable it by toggling a setting.

Of course, the system is far from perfect, and explicit content can slip past the filter.

Apple Music’s profanity filter relies on content being properly tagged as clean or explicit.

Sometimes, the clean and explicit versions of the same album might be accidentally miscategorized, with the clean version tagged as explicit and vice versa.

Apple Music will generally attempt to correct these errors when they occur, but no system is perfect, so some things are bound to fall through the cracks.

It is also worth mentioning that some countries do not permit certain songs or artists within their borders. This can be due to explicit content that is not allowed in these countries. This is why some songs on Apple Music may be region-locked

Are Curse Words Beeped Out or Blocked Entirely?

As far as we can tell, this actually depends more on how the artist or record label chooses to produce the “clean” versions of explicit songs and albums than it does on Apple Music.

It’s common practice for artists who include profanity in their music to release both “clean” and “explicit” versions of the same content.

That way, users sensitive to profanity can listen to the clean version, and those who want the full unfiltered experience can listen to the explicit version.

Back to Apple Music, such artists (or their record labels, usually) will upload both the clean and explicit versions to Apple Music and tag them accordingly.

Now, all Apple Music does is filter the explicit version from showing up for anyone who hasn’t turned explicit content on.

This means the exact manner of censorship present in the recording depends on the artist and/or their record label, not on Apple Music.

However, it’s usually most common to simply omit the expletive rather than to “bleep” it out with an obtrusive noise that would interrupt the listening experience.

Since different layers of the song are often recorded on separate tracks and assembled in the studio, the vocal track can simply be removed in instances of profanity.

This way, you won’t hear an annoying beeping noise where sear words were removed, you’ll just hear the background music while the vocals are muted for a second or two.

Can you Enable Curse Words on Apple Music?

Apple Music filters profanity by default, so nobody accidentally stumbles into anything they don’t want to hear. And, for some users, it seems that Apple Music is only playing the clean version of songs.

But for those who wish to hear the full, uncensored versions of explicit content, there is a setting for that.

  1. You’ll simply need to open up the settings menu of your Apple device and navigate to ‘restrictions’
  2. Then, choose ‘enable restrictions’ you may have to enter a passcode.
  3. Select ‘music’ then set it to ‘explicit’
  4. You can now click ‘done’ and the setting should take effect.

Now, explicit content should no longer be filtered out of your search results and recommendations in Apple Music.

If the above steps didn’t work for you or you’re still confused, check out the links under “sources” at the bottom of the article for more detailed guides on turning explicit content on or off.

Does Apple Music Blur out Swear Words in Lyrics?

All Apple Music seems to do is filter what you do and don’t see in your recommendations and search results in Apple Music.

So, if you haven’t enabled explicit content in your device’s settings, you’ll only see the “clean” versions of songs and albums that contain profanity.

Much like the actual audio of the music, the lyrics listed for “clean” versions of explicit tracks are likely to simply omit the expletives from the lyrics display.

This means nothing needs to be blurred out because the expletive simply won’t be there, as if the word was highlighted and someone hit “delete” or “backspace” rather than blurring it out.


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