Your Questions: Where Can I Get Clean Versions Of Songs?


Reader Fernando writes: "I DJ in my school, and because of that, I want to know where I can get the 'clean' versions of the music the students want. The thing is, a lot of the music I'm asked for is rap, and I definitely need to be able to cut out the profanity in order to be able to play these tunes. Can you tell me where I might obtain such versions please?"

Digital DJ Tips says:

Firstly, look for "radio edit" versions, as they tend to be clean and aren't so hard to find on most music download stores. Alternatively, you could look to joining a record pool - someone like DJcity has lots of versions and often these services carry clean versions exactly for DJs such as yourself. It is worth remembering that some DJ controllers and software have a "censor" button. This plays the tune backwards when pressed, taking off where it would have been when released. Basically, it lets you "beep" out swearing. While you might not want to rely on your remembering to do it every time, at least you could re-records the tunes with swearing thus removed, and then delete the explicit version, playing the "cleaned up" version from then on.

Finally, if you're an iTunes Match user, you may just find that iTunes has switched explicit for clean versions automatically for you - definitely an undesired teething issue with the cloud music service!

Do you need to obtain and play non-explicit versions of music in your DJing? Where do you get them from? Any advice to add for Fernando? Please share your tips in the comments.

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  1. You can also edit your own songs using a program like audacity or adobe audition. In this way you could probably use different sound effects like bells, beeps, etc.... this is good if you don't have the "censor button".

    • Andy Taylor says:

      The DJ pool is definitely the way to go- I do videos and always use smashvidz just for that reason- pretty much every song has a clean extended edit. Something like audacity is the way to go though if you have the time. The standard radio trick is to highlight the offending word and then reverse that section of audio.

  2. Bryan Singleton says:

    Subscribe to RPM`S Top Hits USA service,which has radio edit versions of all the hits.Awesome service for only 55.00 bucks a month

  3. Hi I'd highly recommend the searching for "hip hop instrumental" on itunes. watch out if you do it on google as there are a few dodgy looking sites but this one seems ok for reviews and mixtape downloads

    I'd recommend listening to the tracks first as odd ones still have explicit loops

  4. Jam-Master Jake says:

    Good tips here, Gents! I'm going to look into these Record Pools myself. My understanding is that by joining them (or certain ones, anyway), you satisfy any ASCAP fees you would be required to pay as well (in the USA). I have to do more research on this.

    Anyway, when I buy a new song, I just buy the explicit AND clean versions...and I put (LYRICS!!!) and (CLEAN!!!) right in the song title. IE, Cee Lo Green's song "F**k You" is named "F**k You (LYRICS!!!)" in my software.

    • What i do is if a song has only some profanity i buy it explicit and make a clean version using audacity. And if it is a song that has copious amounts of profanity or is otherwise to difficult for me to edit i buy the clean version or both. I like to buy the explicit versions because i like to listen to music myself and don't want the music to be censored when i am listening.

  5. ASCAP fees are not applicable to DJs and it says so right on ASCAP's website. The bars, clubs, and other public establishments that we play in are the under the obligation to obtain an ASCAP license, not the DJ. It has always been my assumption that we must provide proof of ownership and purchase of our music we play, but we are not obligated to ASCAP. If you are only playing private events then ASCAP does not apply.

    iTunes may be a little more expensive but provides good quality, good tags, and with iTunes Match, my library is always backed up and protected.

  6. Sometimes the censored version is better. I like Snoop's "Sensual Eruption" better than "SEXUAL Eruption". When it comes to the Whisper Song, I like the "Wait till see my....OOOO!!!"

  7. I thought "clean" as in "high quality/not cut" mp3, not "clean" as in "free from explicit lyrics" =D

    I'm surprised you're not allowed to play this kind of tracks. Is it in the USA only ? But what about radio and TV ? Do you still have the "clean" version playing on these ? What kind of word is censored ? Who decide what to censor ? O_O

  8. You could also try introducing alternatives, like Lecrae, Trip Lee, eshon burgundy, Brinson, Braille, etc. All hip hop artists that do Christian hip hop. Check out our website ( for examples on our show or websites like,,, or There is a lot of really good music out there that doesn't even need to be censored. The kids just need educated about it. Even if they aren't believers, the principles in the music, if applied, will make their lives better. Thanks and God bless!

    Water Walkin' Warrior

    • That wasn't an invitation to preach...This is a digital DJ blog.

      • I guess, by saying "God bless", I was preaching? It wasn't my intention to offend anyone and I wasn't preaching to anyone. Just offering an alternative to music that uses profanity without have to be censored for Digital DJ's to DJ with. Even though the song may be censored, the kids that know the music, still are hearing the known profanity in a song in their mind.

        For the record, there are a large number of hip hop artists that don't preach, yet keep it clean and convey a positive message...they just don't get played nearly as much, because there's no shock value in it, unlike the music that is played on most popular hip hop stations and by DJs.

    • Are you seriously desperate enough to complain about something that you will get upset when someone wishes God’s blessings for you? Would you have complained if he had said, “you’re gonna go to hell”?

  9. The best money you will ever spend on a music service:

  10. Cartel Sound System says:

    There is a new website that opened up recently and they have alot of the latest Hip Hop tracks you get a service pack with the Raw version, the Clean version and the Instrumental for remixes :-). The site is called great site you also get videos there.

  11. Promo Only is a great subscription service that I've used for years. Offers multiple edits either via digital download or mailed on hard CDs if you prefer.
    Always 'radio clean' with the exception of their "club" formats.

    I pay something like $55-60/month for around 300 songs/month digital.
    Look for DFF Series & browse around. They also offer the digital versions in 2 different formats mp3 (320) or AAC I think.

    It's very rare that I won't have every song I need AT LEAST a month before it becomes popular.
    Excellent Service...good luck!

  12.$20 month)

  13. I'm not sure what the ripping situation is like for them, but oftentimes you can get the censored versions of albums at Walmart. This is a dead thread but top on Google results for buying edited songs, so I thought I'd add anyway.

  14. I think making your own "Clean Edits" in a software waveform display such as Audacity, is a free and fun way to create your own clean versions of songs with Explicit lyrics. It may not sound great at first, but it is a lot of fun to find innovative ways to create your own edits!!!


  15. I usually get my music from amazon, but there were several occasions where the song was labeled clean but wasnt. For that reason , I listen to all the songs that I buy before I put them in a playlist in my software. I do my own edits with audacity to create a super clean version.

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