What to do when we don’t like a certain song

When the fine folks at Les Mills send us new music every three months, there’s always that one song – or two – that irks instructors and participants alike.

As I have been preparing for our gym’s launch of BodyPump 83 this weekend – and it’s an awesome release, by the way – there has been a lot of discussion on online forums about the chest track in this release.

The song, “Turn Up The Music,” was originally written and performed by world-renowned hip-hop artist Chris Brown. And as we all know, in 2009, he was charged with felony assault for striking then-girlfriend Rhianna, another hip-hop sensation.

Needless to say, when “Turn Up The Music” was found on this release – and with October being Domestic Violence Awareness Month – there were a lot of unhappy folks that this song was on this release.

Typically, when the songs come in, they are not performed by the original artists on our instructor CD’s, but in some releases, there will be exceptions – such as “Cowboy Casanova” in BodyPump 75 and “What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger” in this release.

By no means whatsoever do I condone domestic violence, or striking a woman, as I’ve covered plenty of tragic cases pertaining to domestic violence for this newspaper, and a man putting his hands on a woman doesn’t make him a man, in my opinion. The one thing I will say about this situation is that the lyrics in this song have nothing to do with the Chris Brown-Rhianna incident, nor did he write the song in the wake of the incident, as the tune just came out this year.

As instructors, we have the right to sub out new tracks two weeks after we launch the new material, which was what I posted on the Les Mills forums recently, or we have an “alternate” chest track in this release that we are free to use if “Turn Up The Music” doesn’t suffice. Hey, sometimes the choreography can be awesome in an otherwise crappy song.

All I know is everyone has different opinions on certain songs in BodyPump, and in listening to and rehearsing this song for our launch, I did not find any lyrics that would be offensive to our participants. The folks at Les Mills usually do a fine job of bleeping such lyrics out of our songs and providing us with the clean version.

To my tribe members around the world, best of luck with your launches, whenever they may be. All I know is I’m going to deliver this track as best I can this weekend, and if folks aren’t down with it, then I’ll just mix it out after two weeks. Happy Pumping!

Ryan McLaughlin

About Ryan McLaughlin

BDN sports reporter Ryan McLaughlin grew up in Brewer and is a lifelong fan of the New England Patriots, Boston Red Sox, Boston Celtics and Boston Bruins. In "The Boston Blitz" he'll be sharing his perspective with BDN readers about what's happening on the Boston professional sports scene.