A couple days ago, I was working my normal shift at the YMCA. As I sat at the cafeteria table playing UNO with a couple of 5th-grade boys, they began singing a rather popular song on the radio. Badly pitched, they loudly uttered the words, “Welcome to my house, baby take control now. We can’t even slow down. We don’t have to go out.” After hearing these words somewhat slower and clearer, without the music, I realized that it is not the cleanest song, especially for elementary school kids to be repeating. The song entitled “My House” by Flo Rida basically depicts a story of an infamous rapper inviting a girl to his house and being able to do whatever they want together. And, I don’t think he wants to make DIY projects, eat ice cream, and watch the notebook with her. The song is clearly talking about sex. Unfortunately, this is not an uncommon theme in pop songs today. However, Flo Rida’s songs are not the only famous tunes that idolize sex, violence, and vulgarity. A few years ago, Katy Perry’s song “Black Horse,” which reached the top of the charts, literally contains the line, “I’ll eat your heart out, like Jeffery Dahmer.” What kind of sick and twisted society are we living in where this kind of thinking is accepted? Here’s the deal: the more we include this kind of language into our songs, television, and movies, we, as a society, are not condemning but condoning crude, indecent, and sometimes illegal behaviors. We need to monitor how much of this content we are absorbing, whether it is directly or indirectly.
As I sat there continuing to play UNO, I thought to myself, “If these kids know the lyrics to that song, what else have they heard or seen?” Of course, right as this thought crossed my mind, one of the boys leaned over to his friend and asked, “Have you seen Get Out yet?” Get Out is one of the most recent horror films, which is rated R. After explaining explicit details about certain scenes, I was confident that this child had completely watched this movie that frightens even adults. People today are acting like a 10-year-old boy watching an R rated movie is no big deal or a little girl listening to a song about strip clubs and pole dancing is just another daily activity. Pop songs on the radio today are harming the way society thinks about violence, sex, and drugs, by making them a commonplace. Whether we realize it or not, we are absorbing this vulgar content and allowing it to just simply be a part of our culture. In reality, Jeffery Dahmer murdered over 16 lives and was sentenced to life in prison. We should not be idolizing these behaviors, and we should not be allowing the next generation to be exposed to a fake reality, where poor behavior is accepted.
Specifically talking about kids, we have to ask ourselves, “How will these kids behave when they are young adults, growing up listening to such explicit music?” Boys will not grow up to become gentlemen who respect their friends, elders, and women. They will emulate the qualities exemplified by rappers and pop stars. Guys will become self-absorbed boys who treat women as objects, thinking they can basically do whatever they want with women. Girls will grow up with low self-esteem, thinking they cannot create a life for themselves. Self-esteem seen in children today is already at a drastic low. What will happen to future generations, if this behavior continues? Within the next decade, idolizing pop songs that elevate crude behavior will progressively worsen our society.
So, the next time you’re jamming out to one of your favorite songs in the car, take a minute to actually listen to the lyrics of the song. The vivid imagery may surprise you. Behind all of the beats and fancy notes, pop songs today portray crude messages that could be affecting society and your behavior.