being a mom

Video Showing Kids Rapping Popular Lyrics Will Totally Bum You Out

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Screen Shot 2013-12-18 at 9.06.13 AMI’m about to get all Tipper Gore up in here but won’t someone think of the children? I’m a fan of rap and hip hop. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again. But I am careful about what my young kids are exposed to, and even though I may personally enjoy more adult music I don’t want my kids exposed to a lot of the lyrics found in rap music today. L.A. based agency Amusement Park feels the same way, so they created this video to show how rap’s negative aspects are so prominent in the music industry. Warning: Foul language. Adorable kids. Majorly depressing: 

[youtube_iframe id=”J9puaImr6Bo”]

The song lyrics, include ones from Rick Ross and 2 Chainz, plus the amazingly family-friendly new catchphrase “Twerk” when recited by tiny kids really bum you out. From Fastcocreate:

“We just wanted to hold up a mirror to the types of messages we pump into our heads all day,” the Smiths told us. “We hope this film pushes some of our favorite, super-talented artists to push themselves toward more honest and balanced art. Not cleaner or censored, but honest. If rappers rapped about Hot Wheels and ice cream on every song it wouldn’t be honest either. But if you have 12 songs about money, where are the songs about the things money does NOT fix? Nobody is perfect, but as creatives we can always be honest. Honesty–it’s what makes truly great art, great.”

There is so much amazing music out there today with artists creating content that goes well beyond the whole bitches N ho’s N drugs N money tropes we are all so familiar with. But the thing is, and I have been guilty of this myself, all too often we are just too lazy to seek it out and we play some old favorites and because they are old favorites we sort of forget how misogynistic and inappropriate the lyrics are. It’s almost enough to make you only want to listen to, and have your kids listen to, classical music.


(Image: You Tube)


  1. Kay_Sue

    December 18, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    Damn. That was a really powerful visual.

  2. Nicole Kim Phillips

    December 18, 2013 at 1:45 pm

    It’s impossible to shield our children from vulgarity or every thing that could be considered morally wrong. The important action would be to pump as many positive messages into our children as possible, teach them the right way, and then pray that they choose wisely.

  3. brebay

    December 18, 2013 at 2:13 pm

    I grew up (as a suburban white girl) listening to LL Cool J’s Bristol Hotel (that I stole from my brother’s room). I liked rap, I liked the beat, the base, the intensity in he vocals. I didn’t go out and become a prostitute, or bust a cap in anyone, in fact I didn’t lose my virginity until I was in my early 20’s. I still like a lot of rap, I like it to workout to. I think if the music echoes what you’re being taught in your own world, it can be significant, but no one develops their world view from music lyrics. It’s like reading a book, it’s taking you to a different place, a place maybe bad, twisted, different from your own. That being said, I wouldn’t like my sons listening to some of the stuff I did (they like techno, which I think is like a pounding headache set to music), and something called dub-step? I just think people give music this mythical power it doesn’t have. If you teach your children respect for themselves and others, talk about the music, the lyrics, ask why they like it. Is it they’re identifying with the lyrics? Do they just like they beat? If you’re doing your job, rap lyrics are not going to take your kid to the dark side. I think it should be discussed, but protecting their precious ears from “bad words” won’t do a damn bit of good if you don’t teach boundaries, respect, sexual responsibility, legal consequences. I like lots of music, I still like a lot of rap, I still don’t really listen to the words. It’s a strong visual, but I think kids get a lot more twisted message watching some of the shows on abc family.

    • Kay_Sue

      December 18, 2013 at 2:32 pm

      I don’t think it is a mythical power. It has a very real, tangible effect on people–most media does so. Music, in particular, has been studied intensely because it does have a very real visceral effect on people. It’s worth having a conversation about. What limits us to listening to music with these messages? There’s plenty of rap that’s uplifting, there’s rap with positive messages, there’s rap that addresses negative social realties in a real and honest way.

      It’s important to have conversations with children about all types of media–from what they see in magazines to what they see on TV and in movies to what they hear on the radio. But it is important to have them on a wider basis too. It’s a social dialogue, not just an individual one.

      And this video was as much for adults as a whole as it was for parents. We’re all pumping messages into our brain, in a million different ways every day. It’s equally important for us, as responsible adults, to consider the messages we are pumping into our minds as it is to consider what kids are picking up on.

      I actually read a piece on Jezebel yesterday about R. Kelly that your comment kind of brings to mind. I love “Ignition (Remix)”. I’ll turn it up, roll the windows down and bump it at max volume. I’ve made R. Kelly piss jokes. Never once have I considered the messages on female sexuality–or sex with underage girls–that are in his music, or his interviews. In making jokes, I’ve completely undervalued the humiliating and abusive way that his victim was treated in that infamous video. I’ve never once considered the way that he almost boasts of his exploits with underage females in a million different ways, or the number of folks that have accused him of preying on young black women. The fact that I like his music, that I like the beats and the baseline, and the humor in some of them, doesn’t automatically negate his lyrics, or his motivation for putting them to music. I know, personally, I will not only be more careful about what I let my children hear, but what artists I personally choose to support, also.

      Granted, this is just my personal opinion, and I really don’t care what other folks do. It was just eye-opening for me to actually look up the lyrics and be like, “Damn. I can’t believe I honestly listened to that and never realized what was being said.”

    • brebay

      December 18, 2013 at 2:39 pm

      Yeah, I don’t think I listen to R Kelly, but I vaguely remember hearing about that. I really like Eminem, and it bothers me that he’s still judged by some stupid things he said a decade or more ago. I think his timing is brilliant, and many of his messages ring true. I just personally don’t listen to music for the lyrics mainly. I like the sound of a lot of rap. I certainly don’t think I have a mysogynistic (argh, I never spell that right and I’m not looking it up again) view. I think it’s an important discussion, I just wish more parents would listen to the music and discuss it instead of banning it outright.

    • Kay_Sue

      December 18, 2013 at 2:47 pm

      I agree with listening before you ban it. It’s better to talk to your kids, because the simple fact is, one day, you won’t be there to “protect” them. If you’ve never taught them how to cope with media at large, they’re helpless.

      I got the feeling the video was aimed at a wider audience than parents, though. Seeing the words coming from kids was meant as an artistic tool–it was shocking, and meant to jar the viewer from the typical “this doesn’t apply to me” ideology by pairing two very different concepts. In doing so, it seems more like they were pushing for that wider social dialogue about why these messages are so poignant, and what their effect is on a wider scale, not just for kids that listen to it, but for adults, too, and society at large. It’s a larger conversation.

  4. ktbay

    December 18, 2013 at 2:46 pm

    Just so people realize how little kids pay attention to lyrics: I grew up listening to whatever my parents listened to and one of my favorite songs was Centerfold by J Geils Band. It wasn’t until singing it at karaoke when I was 19 did I realize exactly what I’d been belting out for the last two decades. Also, my little sister and I got stuck in the principal’s office all day in elementary school for singing Janie’s Got a Gun. To us it was just fun music, and we both turned out ok.

  5. 99 is still a lot of problems

    December 18, 2013 at 3:51 pm

    Even Mozart wrote scandalous lyrics: “Leck mich im Arsch,” anyone? Since music became a thing there have been songs with violent and vulgar lyrics. I don’t see any issue with listening to it so long as you’re mature enough to understand the difference between entertainment and real life.

    • DatNanny

      December 18, 2013 at 6:32 pm

      That’s exactly it though. Little children aren’t mature enough. They might not even understand the lyrics fully as they first hear them, but they’ll pick it up, and this content becomes ingrained in them as they grow up hearing it.

    • brebay

      December 18, 2013 at 7:33 pm

      Up-voting your kick-ass screen name…and possibly stealing it for use on other sites…

  6. brebay

    December 18, 2013 at 7:34 pm

    So, now if you click anywhere in line with the top of the pop-out picture you’re actually clicking on the ad…super.

  7. AP

    December 18, 2013 at 9:16 pm

    One of the years I was doing summer camp swim lessons, I had an entire group of kindergarten girls in their swimsuits singing and suggestively dancing to “Dontch’ Ya” by the Pussycat Dolls.

    I immediately came up with a reason to get them to stop. It was just so wrong.

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