Tuesday, May 8, 2012

13 Million Views and Counting!

[WARNING: This post describes some language that Nicki Minaj uses in her song Super Bass that we do not agree with. However, we are posting some phrases below (bleeped out), that are vital to this discussion. Please note that this post is meant to help parents understand some of the music their teens are listening to, and is not meant to be offensive in any way. Thank you!]

Young kids can be hilarious, especially when they sing, dance, and put on shows for their parents. There aren’t many parents who wouldn’t get out their video cameras to record it, no matter how terrible the performance actually was. The parents of the girls in the video below are quite proud of their girls--wouldn’t you be if your daughters’ talent took them all the way to the Ellen Degeneres show?

Not only is Sophia Grace (8) extremely cute, she’s actually pretty talented. And, needless to say, she and Rosie (5) have become sensations since this appearance on the Ellen Show. The media attention of the girls was sparked by a homemade video of them rapping “Super Bass” that their moms posted on YouTube. Since then, they have met tons of celebrities, appeared on countless TV shows, and even have their own YouTube show. From many standpoints, there’s a lot to be proud of as a parent.

That is, until we take the time to think about what these sweet girls are actually learning, singing about, and saying. The girls say that they picked up the lyrics to “Super Bass” by Nicki Minaj in about two days, yet when asked, they replied that they have no idea what the song is actually about. All they know is how much they LOVE Nicki and want to meet her. But what is behind their role model and what exactly is she rapping about?

When we look at the lyrics, we see, overall, that she is singing about the kind of guy that she is attracted to: one who has lots of money, dresses well, has the right body, possibly deals drugs, and buys her lots of diamonds. Ok, not too horrible yet (although not what I’d want my 8-year-old singing about). But when we zoom in and look at individual phrases, things get much worse. Words like “ho,” “hell,” “n**gas,” and “motherf***er” make their appearance, as well as “eff” (a common substitute for the “F” word). Worst of all, at one point Minaj even sings about her “panties comin’ off.” Granted, these little girls were probably listening to the “clean” version of the song, but that’s not much better since words are merely bleeped in a way that it’s not hard to guess what the missing word is.

And if words weren’t bad enough, there are the images in the music video, which the girls say they have seen (and LOVE), to reckon with. Like most pop videos today, it is extremely well made and strewn with suggestive dancing and scantily clad women and men. And what about Minaj herself? Since she is somewhat new on the pop scene, not a whole lot is known about her yet, but she has recently come into controversy over her Grammy performance in which she played a character possessed by the demon “Roman” and which evoked images of an exorcism. She has been quoted as saying that Roman is just one of her many alter egos, and she speaks of him as if he is a real person. In addition, she is one of the most explicit artists currently in the top charts.

So what’s a parent to make of all of this? Isn’t it harmless? They’re innocent little girls who have no idea what they’re singing about, so what’s the big deal? They’ll grow out of it!

The problem is that little girls always grow up to be big girls. They will eventually understand Minaj’s innuendos, slang, and vulgarities. But she’s already their idol, and we humans are creatures of habit. We don’t like change, so the most likely scenario is that Sophia Grace and Rosie will not stop idolizing Minaj and other pop celebrities who espouse depraved lifestyles and personal happiness above all else. 

Shouldn’t we, as parents, do everything we can to seek Truth and expose lies, even in the mainstream media? Instead of looking at Sophia Grace and Rosie, and thinking, “Aren’t they so cute?!” let’s see it as a reminder to not encourage blind acceptance of the flashy, beautiful, or appealing, but rather to engage culture and foster wisdom in the young ones whose lives we can influence.

What do you think about these little girls and their performance? Are we making to big of a deal about the lyrics? We would love to hear your thoughts. You may comment below...

1 comment:

  1. I do NOT think you are making too big of a deal about this!!! I hope your readers pay attention.

    25 years ago, before I was really walking with the Lord, the little girl next-door to us was singing Madonna's songs. I was appalled to see such an innocent looking child singing such trash. Several years later, I saw this same girl as a teen, in hot-pants & a bustier, leaning on a wall in a provocative pose at the plaza near our home. She looked like a "working girl!" :(

    Two years ago, at our daughter's birthday party, several of the girls (aged 10 to 14) began singing "Tik Tok" by Kesha. As I listened to the lyrics, I was shocked! These were "nice church girls," many of whom had grown up in Christian schools. I asked them if they knew what the words were referring to -- they did not -- and they did not care.

    I contacted their parents; some were concerned, some brushed it off. Judging by some of the girls' current Facebook pages, even the ones who said they cared really don't... It is so sad!

    I have had long talks with my children about God's direction to us to "take every thought captive" & to "think on things that are lovely, pure..." I have explained to them that our minds were created by God and need to be stewarded, the same as everything else He has placed in our care. We have discussed the concept of "garbage in -- garbage out." At this point they seem to understand & even tattle on Daddy when he occasionally switches the car radio to a country station.

    Music is a very powerful tool. It can be used to praise God & lift our spirits and it can be used to spread very un-Christ-like ideas and values. (Wasn't Lucifer the angel in charge of music?) The sheer repetition of listening to a song you enjoy, implants the message of the songwriter in your mind. We need to be careful whose messages our children are listening to.