Kidz Bop 4 Evah!!! :-D

[Video above: Tinie Tempah – Written in the Stars – Ft. Eric Turner]

Moving on from kids’ TV to . . . the pressing issue of kids’ pop music.

If you know any seven-year-old girls, you may have been forced to listen enjoyed some Kidz Bop. In my opinion, Kidz Bop is a fantastic invention. It makes pop music G-rated and affordable in little downloadable bites.

Unfortunately, it also makes ten-year-old brothers vomit in their mouth.

No, you too? Well, I sympathize. Really, I do. But for me, the joy in my daughter’s face is more than adequate compensation for having to listen to precocious, packaged children’s voices singing Travie McCoy and Bruno Mars’s “Billionaire” (“I want to be on the cover of Forbes Magazine, smiling next to Oprah and the Queen”), or even Beyonce’s “Single Ladies.” (“You decided to dip, and now you want to trip.” [Yes, there’s a video of this one. They make you watch a commercial first, which is kind of insult to injury if you ask me.]) So I have to weigh the subtle offenses (professional tweens illustrating the death of childhood), verses the obvious ones in what my ten-year-old son wants to listen to, which is mainstream hip-hop.

And you can imagine what issues are coming up there.

I’m not a big stickler on swearing. I swear. More than I should. But there’s a big difference between how many swear words, the context, and how HE’S ONLY TEN I’M NOT READY FOR THIS.

The day before yesterday, I told him we could buy some new music online. I learned he had been cheerfully pirating music and I wanted to show him how it could be done legally, which is to say, by paying for it. This was our first argument about his music, but I won. Being a just and honest guy, he agreed he wanted the artists to get his dollar for the song he wanted. I would use my account and he could pay me back.

So I typed in the song he wanted, and up came . . . the many versions. He’s snorting and eye-rolling at my preference for the CLEAN version, laughing at the idea that there are any words he hasn’t heard already. (Especially in all his pirate downloads.)

I stared at the web page. What kind of parent do I want to be? The kind that overreacts to language, or the kind who chooses battles more wisely so he trusts me for the important stuff?

Well, in this case (see above video), I got him the explicit version. I caved. It’s only the f-word, (I think), and it’s a great song. He’s not going to pirate any (as much) music, and the lines of communication between us are still open. I’m a great mom! He loves me!

Yeah, I caved. Sometimes there’s a fine line between great parenting and sucking up, you know?

Well, good decision or bad, now it’s on my iPod too, and I’ve listened to it a million times. I think I’m old enough to handle the big (4-letter) words.

Maybe in a few months, when he least suspects, I’ll replace all his favorite EXPLICIT songs with Kidz Bop. Just to remind him I still have the Power of Mom.

At least for a few more minutes.

2 thoughts on “Kidz Bop 4 Evah!!! :-D

  1. Sandrine Thomas says:

    I'm disturbed by this only because hip-hop degrades black women and promotes a violent and immature lifestyle. Why does your 10 year old son want to listen to it? What benefit does it give him? Why is he anxious to listen to music that feeds nothing positive to the soul? Forget about the cursing–look at the lyrics. Plus, the fact that your son has the privilege of walking away from this music without assuming the hip-hop lifestyle is what it means to be a man because he is not black. Or worse, your son ingests these false images of black men and women, and does not see black people as unique, individual humans–just as the monolith they see in music videos and on your local news station's crime segment. Why give money to corporations and this horrible machine that is working to destroy black humanity and increases the "othering" of black people?

  2. Gretchen Galway says:

    Sandrine, thanks for posting, but I disagree you can generalize. You can't say "hip-hop" is all one thing any more than you can say "rock and roll" is all one thing. It's popular music. And so many of the bands are multi-ethnic, multi-racial, multi-national, male & female… Quite the opposite of "othering" in my opinion.

    But I share your concern with the popularity of a negative message (ie, anti-women), and that is why I'm paying attention to what my children listen to. At the very least we can talk about it.

    In the case of the song above, though, it's quite poetic. Here are some of the lyrics:

    Oh Written In The Stars
    A Million Miles Away
    Tinie Tempah Written In The Stars lyrics found on

    A Message To The Main
    Seasons Come And Go
    But I Will Never Change
    And I'm On My Way

    [Tinie Tempah – Verse 2]
    Yeah, I needed a change
    When we ate we never took because we needed a change
    I needed a break
    For a sec I even gave up believing and praying
    I even done the legal stuff and was leaded astray
    Now money is the root to the evilist ways
    But have you ever been so hungry that it keeps you awake
    Mate, now my hunger would leave them amazed
    Great, it feels like a long time coming, fam
    Since the day I thought of that cunning plan
    One day I had a dream I tried to chase it
    But I wasn’t going nowhere, running man!
    I knew that maybe someday I would understand
    Trying to turn a tenner to a hundred grand
    Everyones a kid that no-one cares about
    You just have to keep screaming until they hear you out

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