Thursday, January 28, 2010

Boy, Please.


So I messed up and left the house without my iPod (again) and NPR was still playing classical music (which I don’t mind but wasn’t in the mood for) and I can’t stand driving in silence (makes my mind wander) so I turned on… black radio.

And… well, you know where this is going. I make no secrets about my hate for the current state of black music and black radio’s role in force-feeding the filth into our babies’ ears. All these young un’s do (Lord, now I sound like somebody’s mama—my mama, for sure) is sing about things that don’t matter, don’t make sense, and damn for sure don’t ring true. Witness the pearl that oozed through my speakers yesterday, courtesy of Trey Songz:

Verse 1]
Soon as we get started makin love goin harder hear a.. (knock knock) knocking on the wall,
And as soon as I go deep getting it in then again theres a.. (knock knock) knocking on the wall,
Girl your legs keep shakin I swear we breakin our new headboard headboard
And the love we make it feels so good girl you know im proud lookin in your lovley face scream my name you do it so loud

[Chorus]
I bet the neighbors know my name
Way you screamin scratchin yellin,
Bet the neighbors know my name
They be stressin while we sexin,
I bet the neighbors know my name
My name my name
I bet the neighbors know my name
My my my...

Um, really, little boy? Like, seriously: Am I to believe that you not only know what you’re doing but that you can make me break furniture behind your prowess? Even more, that you’re so sick with it that I’m going to think you “invented sex” (another of his songs playing every five seconds on the radio)?

Now, I’m a grown woman, and I got sense enough to know better. But be clear: A 13-year-old? Fifteen-year-old? A tween with barely a bit of fuzz under her arm? Not so much. Not to get all C. Delores Tucker on y’all, but these songs, at best, are desensitizing our kids to the very sacred act of sharing one’s body with someone worthy—at worst, convincing boys they’re sexual gods and girls that if they just lay down and spread ‘em, the boy they’re with will bring them immeasurable pleasure.


Uh huh.

Dead. Fish. Eyes.

Come on now: We all know what the first (and second and third and sometimes even the 100th) time was like: Teenage girls ain't hardly having orgasms, and teenage boys don't hardly have the skills to make their partners do much more than fake it. But thanks to songs like these, a generation of teenagers think they're porn stars.

We can keep pretending like songs and messages and images like this don’t have any impact on our children if we want to. But statistics like those I saw in this New York Times article yesterday, detailing the rise in the teenage pregnancy rate after more than a decade of decline, should ring the alarm on just how all of these hypersexualized music/videos/images/messages are affecting our kids.

Sleep if you want to.

I choose to stay woke.


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27 comments:

  1. I agree! I am guilty of listening to some of the current hip-hop/R&B, but sometimes it's hard to even put a station on with my daughter in the car for fear that she hears the lyrics or worse, repeats them!

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  2. I agree. I am constantly monitoring the music that is on when Baby Boo is in the car.

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  3. Amen! I can't listen to this garbage even if I wanted to.They give me an instant migraine. It infuriates me to no end that these so called artists are making crap and calling it music. What's more infuriating is the impact that I know its having on the younger people in our communinity and the helplessness I feel when I try to think of ways to combat it.

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  4. *slow...clap*

    I totally agree. So glad I got a car with XM Radio with "safe" stations I can listen to in the car with my kids.

    That line you wrote about the teenage girls being orgasm-less...YOU.BETTER.PREACH!!! These little girls love listening to Trey Songz, thinking that if they get down with a boy it will be something to brag about and um, honestly, no. It won't. It's uncomfortable, sweaty, awkward. Period.

    One thing I WISH someone had told me is that sex is soooooooo much better when you love the one you're with. Sex just for sex's sake ain't nothing to write songs about. But sex when you're in love, in a committed relationship, when it's with your husband? OH.MY.GOD. Now THAT needs to be put to some music.

    These kids today (did I just say that?) do not value monogamy or view sex as something that is special. Like Dave Chappelle said in one of his stand up routines (I'm paraphrasing here), that sex's stock is plummeting because they've flooded the market with it. It's everywhere. We're got to replace "sex" with "lovemaking."

    But it's up to us, the adults, to make our displeasure known. I think if we keep talking about it, and dissecting songs and exposing them for what they really are (garbage) then our kids WILL get it.

    One day I will learn how to write a short comment, but this post struck a nerve!

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  5. This post reigns true in so many ways. Our girls and boys are growing up in a time where sex is so not considered beautiful and worth waiting for. The music our teens listen to promote sexual images that are feeding their minds with a reality that just isn't so...and they are not allowing themselves to find their worth, but placing it in the act of sex. Many young girls are presenting themselves through their dress as hookers...they think it is sexy. I have a tween, and two of my friends decided to start a girls group which meets once a month...It is called "Sister's Circle". This is our way of staying in touch with our tweens, reminding them of their values and their worth, and keeping the lines of communication open. We want them to come to us first to find the information they are seeking. I don't allow my kids to listen to "Black Radio", because unfortunately the messages being sent out are the opposite of what we are teaching.

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  6. I really wonder why so-called music executives think this is music...I hate to get all spiritual...but there is something deeper behind it all...this type of "music" is literally on assault our culture, values, etc.

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  7. I never heard of this kid (I mean young man)...I must be getting old. I stopped listening to the hip hop radio stations so I'm not up to speed on the latest garbage being churned out by the newest Usher-wannabe. It hurts my brain to hear it and it hurts my heart when I see little ones singing these type of lyrics. who's at fault? the music execs or the artists (I use this term loosely) or our people who make this kind of music popular by buying it?

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  8. This is a constant battle of mine. I've even been called a hypocrite because of my opinions about art and censorship. I allow my children to listen and partake in all forms of art, provided they can express what about the content has moved them and how. Art is supposed to generate a feeling, yes? And, like grandma says, "If you're shame-you should be."

    The thing with this hypersexualized drivel is that it isn't new, it isn't novel and it isn't creative. Sure there was a time when the first Oh-my-clutch-your-pearls song aired and it was novel, ingenious even. But this is not.

    It's a disposable culture and I can't wait for it to all be over. Trust no one will be getting back to this kind of music years from now. (*crosses fingers and puts K'naan on repeat*

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  9. The minute I saw the post title and then read the first part when you said you turned on black radio, I knew you were going to talk about that particular song! I am too through with these jackasses and their redundant foolishness. Can you at least be original with your lyrics if you're going to assert that you may be mistaken as the inventor of sex???!! Dude, c'mon!

    And what is the big deal about Trey Songs anyway?? Maxwell, he ain't!

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  10. AMEN, AMEN A-MEN!!!! I feel you! I never heard the song, but I know what you're talking about! I have a 13 year-old and that's always been one of my biggest concerns.

    When she was growing up, I force-fed her jazz and soft reggae tunes from Bob Marley. Now my daughter ended up liking rock-n-roll and pop, but I can say that it's often times no better! She doesn't like much hip hop,and I have to screen what she does listen to...however I know I can't control what she listens to all of the time, so I spend my time educating her about sex and respecting her body.

    I pray that it helps and that she doesn't become a statistic despite my efforts to be the best parent that I can be. wow!

    Kudos for talking about this Denene. It's such and important issue that often gets swept under the rug.

    Btw, when I lived in Milwaukee, there was a time when the teen pregnancy rate was the highest in America. Most of those teens became welfare moms and now most of the offspring of those teens are running the city ragged through violence. It's such a sad cycle.

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  11. Amen, but its not just Black radio, its the whole MTV/BET (Viacom) reality show culture that subscribes to this type of hypersexualization as well. I also see it with white pop stars, ie. Miley Cyrus and her pole dancing - mind she can't be more than 15. Its really sad that the message for teens is that they need to be sexy at an age when they need to be developing there brains. Especially for young minorities who have it tougher.

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  12. I do agree the music does suck. However, we are leaving a group out of this music debacle... what is the responsibility of the radio stations to the communities that they serve? I grew up in the 90's so I remember every thing being played on the radio nd songs that no one else would spotlight, the radion stations would play. Black radio stations were known for playing great music back then and not just this so called R&B and Hip Hop. They would play love ballads, songs on the records that were NOT the single, gospel - everything. We really need to start pulling the radio stations card too for playing this mess and also for some of the conversations that they are having with little ears being able to hear too.

    Nikita

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  13. Amen! I seriously don't understand why everything in the media (musics,movies, sitcoms even commercials selling products) has to be sex-driven. YUCK.
    The only thing we ever listen to in our car is the wiggles, imagination movers or spongebob squarpants but I won't be able to keep this up forever! I can't imagine a 13 year old wanting to listen to any of that so I'll have to come up with new tactics as my little one gets older LOL

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  14. I was flipping stations on the car with the kids the other day and a song came on and the lyrics said something about getting naked. My kids were all, "gross, she's getting naked". I changed it before it talked about why. :)

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  15. I liked when the songs left a little bit to the imagination. A play of words. Those were the artists. Now they feel like they have to give so much detail and those kids don't even know what they are saying. The girls dress that way too. Too much showing and nothing left to wonder about.
    Classics will always be classics. We are now of the era of watered down.

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  16. Sex is everywhere nowadays, so it's a must have conversation. Lets be honest with our kids though and let them know what we were faced with when we were their age.

    I remember for instance listening to cuts like "knocking da boots" by H-Town. And lets not forget "baby got back" by Sir Mix A lot and "half on a baby" by R. Kelly.

    My parents didn't pay enough attention, they were in their own little world and I don't want that for my kids. I remember getting upset recently when I saw the movie "Juice" after, oh, I don't know how many years. Thinking, "I can't believe I was allowed to watch this movie" or that I was able to get away with watching it. I wouldn't ever allow my kids to watch it or anything like it. That or "House Party", Boyz In The Hood", “Revenge of the Nerds”, WHAT!

    It's everywhere now...cartoons, music, movies, billboards, videos, the internet. Lets be honest with them though!

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  17. I find it so sad when my girls (14) and (9) respectively have to turn to white artists to listen to clean music. Don't get me wrong I have quite a few albums (I just dated myself..dang it!!) and some cds of white artist I listened to growing up but there are so few Black artist singing songs of substance that its mind blowing to me. I watch my daughter (14) download music to her mp3 and I realize that many of the artists are white and the songs are clean and about young love or just having fun with the girls. The songs are not about strip club sex that will make your head spin, break the headboard and alarm the neighbors. They love India Arie, Jill Scott, Alicia Keyes to name a few but they are forced due to the explicit content of "our" music to jump ship and listen to the Jonas brothers and Taylor Swift (who might I add have some cute songs). I agee with one Sista who posted we must continue the discussion about Black music and support artist like Ledisi, etc who support and love their people enough to value who we are and the message they share.

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  18. Preach, Denene! I stopped listening to black radio when I had my first child almost 10 years ago. We switched to smooth jazz. When they dumped the smooth jazz station here in Dallas, we switched to Radio Disney, gospel radio, talk radio, anything but the stuff on our radio stations. Yes, I feel very disconnected sometimes, but I get over that REAL QUICK when I hear music like this. Turns out I'm not missing much at all.

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  19. Girl -- you are SO RIGHT. I can't listen to anything except "oldies" or quiet storm around my kids, and that makes me sad. I remember when music played on Sunday picnics was alright for everyone to hear.

    And the songs about love had implied, rather than explicit lyrics. I giggle sometimes when I hear those songs from the swingin' 70's, because I was totally clueless that they were even talking about sex!

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  20. Gosh. Shaking my head.

    I'm 25 and have been married for a year and sex is still uncomfortable sometimes. Hubby and I are planning on getting pregnant this year, and I already fear the prospect of having to censor our future children from all the trash threatening to penetrate their ears and eyes.

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  21. Everyone said just about all my thoughts. We don't listen to the radio either. My cds are on repeat overtime. I have a 5 and 2 year old, and they will definitely not be listening to that stuff they play on the radio.

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  22. OMG, I thought I was the only one with this pet peeve. I can't listen to our local radios especially when the kids(without having to turn the station to the oldies station) are in the car. Every song has sexual lyrics and I find myself quickly turning from one station to next one and they are playing the same song. I try to listen to CDs or I turn off the radio. GMA did a story on the lyrics of some popular songs and I believe Flo-rida's song Go Round and Round was profiled. Half of the parents interviewed had no idea what this song was about and their kids had the song on their Ipods. It is totally necessary to censor what our kids listen to and I do not apologize when my 9yo balks about it.

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  23. I hear you Denene! My eyes are wide open like a deer with headlights on her. But, I'm not scurred, nuh unh! And it's a whole new upsetting effect to actually read the words.

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  24. OMG. I don't listen to it.. and neither does my 16 yr old daughter. I know this. I also know, as someone who used to do 'those' parties, that grown women are still unaware of how to be pleased and how to teach him how to be pleasing to her. It's all about us, ladies! I'm wit choo Denene! Boy, paleeze!

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  25. As a man who was once a teenage boy and raising future teenage boys, I very much appreciate this honesty. If a woman thinks sexual prowess is born simply out of a man's bravado or ego then she's wrong.

    By no means am I justifying or even remotely condoning Mr. Trey Songz ridiculous claims but I do find it appalling that so many women turn this little boy into a sex object. As a grown woman, I'm sure you can understand my frustration as a grown man having to live up to this crap.

    I try to teach my boys that what lies between their legs will have no bearing on who they are as men or as future husbands. Unfortantely, the screams and squeals of their female counterparts make me out to be a liar. Despite my protest, my boys are being led to believe that they will have to re-invent sex to keep up with the men that women desire.

    I can only hope that they will discover (before it's too late) that big strong bucks may attract a woman but most women will stay with a man who will compliment her world, not try to rock it.
    As always, good post!!

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  26. oh I love black music and black radio’s role in force-feeding, it is awesome, I listen to it every day and every night.and I hope to continue listening to it.

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