Pop artists turning to Satanic imagery to drum up controversy, sales, experts say

It’s an age-old saying in Hollywood that sex sells, but with consumers finding themselves oversaturated with sexual imagery, today’s top acts are turning to something even more sinful to get our attention: Satan.

Performer Nicki Minaj’s “Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded” is getting a lot of buzz this month, due in large part to her infamous Grammy performance earlier this year, where she acted out scenes from an exorcism onstage. While critics, particularly religious groups, blasted the imagery in that performance as ill-timed and awkward, there is no denying that Minaj garnered the attention she was looking for with her antics.

"Like sex, provocative subject matters and whatever is perceived to be forbidden intrigues the human psyche,” explains Kelly Brady, a partner in Brandsway Creative, a marketing and public relations company. “Nicki Minaj’s performance, although criticized, created an intrigue and it kept her fans wanting to know what’s next.”

The pop star continues to feed into the buzz machine and has even gone so far as to explain that she believes a demon named Roman lives inside her.

“His name is Roman. Basically, the religious figure is there because he was called by Roman’s mom to rehabilitate him. That’s pretty much it,” she said post-Grammys. “I had this vision for Roman. I had this vision for him to be sort of exorcised. People around him tell him he’s not good enough ‘cause he’s not normal, and he’s not blending in with the average Joe. People around him are afraid because they’ve never seen anything like him. Not only is he amazing, sure of himself and confident, but he’s never going to be exorcised. Even when they throw the holy water on him, he rises above.”

And while her statements may be dark, bizarre and have religious groups up in arms, they have translated to massive sales for Minaj. Her album “Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded” debuted at Number one last week with an impressive 250,000 album sales.

More importantly, it got everyone talking about her in an environment where celebrity news often lasts for a mere few minutes before eyeballs are moving onto the next story.

But invoking Satanic imagery is nothing new in music, and Minaj is following in some successful footsteps.

Heavy metal bands in the seventies and eighties pioneered the trend of Satanic marketing, most noticeably acts like Black Sabbath, Motley Crue and KISS.

“What goes around comes around. The metal bands of the 70s and 80s who presented themselves as satanic sold records, and apparently it’s time to try the idea again. There’s a reason it’s called ‘shock value,’” says Shawn McEvoy, the Managing Editor of the Christian website Crosswalk.com. “It sells, though logically it shouldn’t, because if Satan is real, then he’s our enemy who has nothing but our destruction in mind, and if you’re an atheist, why buy that which glorifies the losing side of a theology you don’t believe in anyway?”

But some experts believe it’s a far more complicated issue than album sales alone with potentially dangerous repercussions for young fans.

According to developmental psychologist Shoshana Dayanim, who studies the effects of media on children, when a younger child sees satanic imagery, it typically only sees it as a cartoon devil they might dress up as for Halloween. However, for a preteen or adolescent, a time in development when a child is ‘trying things out for size’ and exploring their identity, these images can have a much deeper resonance.

“At a time when risky behavior is often part of identity exploration, the idolization of satanic imagery can serve as an impetus for risky behavior,” Dayanim said. “If a teenager relates a satanic image with something cool – or someone they aspire to be – even if they do not understand what it means, they may later come into contact with the ‘real’ thing and transfer those desires of who they wish they could be to unhealthy, risky and dangerous behavior.”

And while Satan-loving bands of yesteryear were marketing to a mostly rock and roll audience, the trend has leaked into genres like pop and hip hop. Many of today’s Top 40 acts like Lady Gaga, Kanye West and MTV’s Best New Artist Tyler the Creator have claimed the devil as their own to drive dollars using shock value.

“Many musicians make the sign of the horns gesture with their hands to celebrate rock and roll. But the gesture is widely known for mimicking devil horns. There are also many other satanic symbols like pentagrams and the numbers 666 that show up in more and more music videos,” explains Yahoo! Music editor Billy Johnson. “In the ‘70s and ‘80s these images mainly appeared in hardcore rock and roll videos and album covers. Today they are also more prevalent in hip-hop and R & B videos.”

Lady Gaga, for example, frequently uses satanic imagery in her music videos. A simple Google search of Gaga’s name yields results that suggests everything from her being a servant of the dark lord, which she does little to dispel, to her involvement with the Illuminati, an alleged secret society of powerful musicians, CEOs and politicians rumored to worship the devil.

Similarly, Kanye West has garnered attention with controversial satanic images in his music videos and joking that he is involved with the Illuminati. West’s frequent collaborators Jay Z and Beyonce are rumored to be involved with the group as well.

Rapper Tyler Okonma, better known by the stage name Tyler the Creator, has even branded himself the son of Satan in his song “Bastard.”

And with Satan’s imagery arguably translating to remarkable success for these stars, who have Grammys and gold records under their belts, experts don’t see it going away any time soon.

Lady Gaga, for example, frequently uses satanic imagery in her music videos. A simple Google search of Gaga’s name yields results that suggests everything from her being a servant of the dark lord, which she does little to dispel, to her involvement with the Illuminati, an alleged secret society of powerful musicians, CEOs and politicians rumored to worship the devil.

Similarly, Kanye West has garnered attention with controversial satanic images in his music videos and joking that he is involved with the Illuminati. West’s frequent collaborators Jay Z and Beyonce are rumored to be involved with the group as well.

:ehh:

I admit I am not very familiar with the music of Lady Gaga or Kanye West, but when people start talking about the Illuminati, I have to wonder about their reliability…

Source???

Popular country music has also been gravitating toward pushing the envelope sexually & morally, albeit less aggressively than rap, pop and hip-hop.

I think the only rules they believe in not breaking are royalty payments.

It seems to be from a Fox News article (no author given).

Sounds like something a Fundie would say though.

A always, the rule is to discern. Not all rock and/or pop music is satanic (and some pop music is actually very Christian, I can name a half dozen artists off the top of my head and I’m listening to some right now).

I agree.

  1. How can an exorcism be ‘Satanic’?

  2. If the point of it is that the exorcism doesn’t work on the person in question, how would that be ‘Satanic’? Exorcisms have been known not to work before, due to the fact that someone is, in fact, not possessed in the first place. I dare say that happens in the majority of cases, and was especially true in the past when little was known about mental illness. So how would that be ‘Satanic’?

Heavy metal bands in the seventies and eighties pioneered the trend of Satanic marketing, most noticeably acts like Black Sabbath, Motley Crue and KISS.

  1. Examples?

“At a time when risky behavior is often part of identity exploration, the idolization of satanic imagery can serve as an impetus for risky behavior,” Dayanim said. “If a teenager relates a satanic image with something cool – or someone they aspire to be – even if they do not understand what it means, they may later come into contact with the ‘real’ thing and transfer those desires of who they wish they could be to unhealthy, risky and dangerous behavior.”

  1. Point A: So-called ‘Satanic’ imagery.
    Point B: ???
    Point C: Risky behavior.

And while Satan-loving bands of yesteryear were marketing to a mostly rock and roll audience, the trend has leaked into genres like pop and hip hop. Many of today’s Top 40 acts like Lady Gaga, **Kanye West **and MTV’s Best New Artist Tyler the Creator have claimed the devil as their own to drive dollars using shock value.

Here’s an example of Kanye West’s ‘Satanic’ lyrics:

To the hustlers, killers, murderers, drug dealers even the strippers
(Jesus walks with them)
To the victims of Welfare for we living in hell here hell yeah
(Jesus walks with them)
Now hear ye hear ye want to see Thee more clearly
I know he hear me when my feet get weary
Cause we’re the almost nearly extinct
We rappers are role models we rap we don’t think

I ain’t here to argue about his facial features
Or here to convert atheists into believers
I’m just trying to say the way school need teachers
The way Kathie Lee needed Regis that’s the way I need Jesus
So here go my single dog radio needs this
They say you can rap about anything except for Jesus
That means guns, sex, lies, video tapes
But if I talk about God my record won’t get played Huh?
Well let this take away from my spins
Which will probably take away from my ends
Then I hope this take away from my sins
And bring the day that I’m dreaming about
Next time I’m in the club everybody screaming out

(Jesus Walks)
God show me the way because the devil trying to break me down
(Jesus Walks)
The only thing that that I pray is that my feet don’t fail me now
(Jesus Walks)
And I don’t thing there’s nothing I can do now to right my wrongs
(Jesus walks with me… fades)
I want to talk to God but I’m afraid because we ain’t spoke in so long

“Many musicians make the sign of the horns gesture with their hands to celebrate rock and roll. But the gesture is widely known for mimicking devil horns.

Per wikipedia (Legitimate references included therein):

Ronnie James Dio was known for popularizing the sign of the horns in heavy metal.[4][5] His Italian grandmother used it to ward off the evil eye (which is known as malocchio). Dio began using the sign soon after joining (1979) the metal band Black Sabbath. The previous singer in the band, Ozzy Osbourne, was rather well known at using the “peace” sign at concerts, raising the index and middle finger in the form of a V. Dio, in an attempt to connect with the fans, wanted to similarly use a hand gesture. However, not wanting to copy Osbourne, he chose to use the sign his grandmother always made.[6] The horns became famous in metal concerts very soon after Black Sabbath’s first tour with Dio. The sign would later be appropriated by heavy metal fans under the name “maloik”, a corruption of the original malocchio.

Similarly, Kanye West has garnered attention with controversial satanic images in his music videos and joking that he is involved with the Illuminati. West’s frequent collaborators Jay Z and Beyonce are rumored to be involved with the group as well.

A group which isn’t even proven to exist.

This ‘Satanic’ stuff is interesting, you know, because a lot of the times it’s outright proven to be false (such was the case in many of the alleged ‘reverse messages’ in the 80’s), but also because of the funny leaps that people will make to ‘Satanic’ conspiracies without examining the evidence. My favorite example is Iron Maiden’s “Number of the Beast,” which is about as ‘Satanic’ as John’s Apocalypse.

Thank you Veritas for posting everything I wanted to but was too lazy to look up so I could provide evidence!

The question American consumers have to ask themselves is whether Hollywood provides programing in line with their cultural and moral beliefs. If it’s not the case then the next question you should ask yourselves is why is Hollywood (and the music industry) doing this? Is the industry perhaps biased in the way they present programming? Is there an overt predominance of pro-left wing/pro-hedonistic/anti-religious programming?

Is so, what can you do about it? Perhaps you should challenge the CEOs and directors of the music, movie and entertainment industry to justify their programming? If this programming is making your lives harder, by for example brainwashing teens with stupid ideas, you should perhaps seek financial recourse? I think you should press Hollywood and music groups. It is after all your country and the airwaves over which this garbage is spread belong to everyone. The damage control later also falls in your lap too, while certain people take the cash and laugh all the way to the bank. Is Hollywood/Music a type of fifth column? If their ideas don’t agree with what’s commonly held as important and valuable, perhaps Hollywood should change its programming? They are after all a business and should not have an ideological stance. If they do have such a stance, why is that so and what should you do about it? Maybe if they disrespect your views, maybe you should stop respecting copyright laws and agitate for their scrapping or major changes?

We must use caution when we watch/listen to music/tv/movies because we may be supporting these moraly wrong ideas/actions/people nonconsenualy, or in other words, by accident. By voting for a evil political candidate, you are supporting him/her, similarly by watching a Tv series that promotes acceptance of bad morality (gay/abortion/adultery/lies) and not tolerance of bad morality, we support the ratings on these shows which will make the show more revenue and promote its popularity. The way which tv ratings work, is similar to how music is rated. I don’t know if it is a sin realy to listen to immoral music, but the devil probably gets a smile out of it, and if he smiles, what is God doing? Frowning? I’m not sure but it seems that evil/immoral actions/ideas have interlaced themselves in most popular media today. I’m not turning Amish, but I’m aware of this. :shrug:

Most intelligent people recognized Nicki Minaj’s performance on the Grammies as pure garbage. She was reviled in the music reviews, not applauded, for that horrible performance. It didn’t help her popularity in the least. The report in the OP is making too much out of a nothing.

Ozzie did it first, and best! Who else has bit the head off of a dove in front of record company executives, and bit the head off a bat onstage?? :stuck_out_tongue:

All of it was mere marketing, too. Just shock for the sake of record sales.

:slight_smile:

Don’t forget Alice Cooper was considered a devil worshipper when he first came out. I think he’s now a Christian, but still doing the same act.

I’m SO late to this (as always) but I have to say:

You forget that (particularly) rap artists like Kanye use Masonic/Occult symbolism i their videos (“Power”----remember) and frequently access talk about the “Illuminati” or “Killuminati” in their lyricss (Tupac, Dr. Dre, and yes, Kanye, for example.) Pop artists do the same.

They also talk about the “Rain Man.” Even Eminem does that. In one of his latest albums he has a conversation with the Devil—where the Enemy even tries to take his soul.

“Rain Man”----as you may know (or not) is an eupehmism for the Devil.

The Illuminati has always been associated with the Occult and Satanic.

I’m not saying that I know for a fact that these artisdts are promoting Satanic and Illuminati messages------but it IS a big “coincidence” that a lot of these Pop, Rap, and Metal artists just HAPPEN to be talking and singing and singing about the same things all of the times, now, isn’t it.

Some rap artists even hint in their lyrics about being part of some sort of Occult/Satanic underground: Tupac, anyone?

How about Jay-Z? Some lyrics insome albums of his can be interpreted as being of a Satanic “bent”—at least that he has pledged his soul to the Dark One in exchange for fame.

Rihanna-----the “Umbrella” video? Jay-Z talking about the Rain Man and Rihanna being constantly drenched in the video with water, saying that she is “giving herself” over to the unnamed subject of the song?

Sometimes the best way to hide something is to put it plain sight----so that NOBODY will think that it is something else thatn what it APPEARS to be. Because-----who believes in the Devil and Satanism anymore, right?:rolleyes:

(She also refers in the song to an “entity” she gives herself over to. Has a living human being EVER been referred to as an “entity?” Have you ever heard of that? )

Just saying this----where there is smoke, there is almost certainly fire----and just because certain people point out certain patterns that ememrge over and over agian in music artists’s marketing, presentation and music—does NOT mean we are all “paranoid conspiracy theorists.”

I should know----I come from a New Age/Occult back ground-----and I can tell you, despite its “love and peace and everybody is ONE” veneer and presentation----underneath it all lies the Fiend and Enemy of Mankind. I realize that now.

Soem of it may indeed be marketing-----but too much stuff is recycled by these artists over and over again for it to be JUST a coincidence ALL the time.

Lucifer WAS a beautiful Angel of Light, once-----remember that. So he knows how to come at one in a “pleasing package.”

According to some, he was originally in charge of the Angelic Choirs----MUSIC-oriented. :shrug:

Don’t dismiss this so lightly please as simply “marketing.” That is ALL I’m saying. :thumbsup:

Yeah, this article isn’t very good but it is good food for thought. A lot of the popular recording stars, like the Minoj chick, call their stage persona an entirely different name and speak of themselves/the persona in the 3rd person. Beyonce is one who does this. And she, and others have lots of satanic symbols in their videos. It could be that they are unaware of what they are. The persona thing could be a metaphor, a case of multiple personality disorder, or demonic posession. It’s impossible to know.

I guess the real problem is our loosing what JPII called our sense of sin–distinguishing good from evil. We all need to call on the Holy Spirit for discernment. Do y’all remember that story about some kids asking their dad if they could go see a movie (can’t remember if it was “R” or PG-13), all the other kids had seen it, and there was only a little bit of bad stuff in it? So the dad asked them if they wanted some brownies, and the kids said yeah. So the dad went outside, got a piece of dog poo, and mixed it in with the brownies. Then he baked them and gave each of the kids one on a plate. The kids are looking at him like he’s crazy, and he said, what’s wrong, don’t you want to eat your brownie? The kids said, no way, there’s dog poo in it! The dad said, so what, there’s only a little bit…

They didn’t go to the movie, either.

The above poster makes a good point. :):thumbsup:

The only “pop artist” that really comes to mind in all of this is the old, mid-90’s incarnation of Marilyn Manson. I think it’s safe to say that his image was that of a demonically possessed rock star; and that he likewise grew to be rather mainstream.

Hey, y’all, I have a suggestion. I have joined the Fraternity of St. Genesius, where we pray for Catholics (I also pray for non Catholics) who work in the performing arts. They really need our prayers especially if they are very successful because they influence so many people! Before I joined them, I have been praying for (the Anti-)Madonna for years, that she would have a reversion. I know her Mama didn’t give her that name with the intention that her daughter would dishonor it as she has. Anyway, the website is at stgenesius.com

Y’all come!

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