What do the children listen to?

This morning I had a conversation with @dream_machine about music and what it means to us. We got to the point where we started discussing the kind of music our parents liked when we were younger. And we started questioning what children listen to and what’s appropriate for them.

In 2008/9 was doing my rounds at Cavendish. A little girl, who couldn’t have been much older that seven, was belting Katty Perry’s “I kissed a girl and I like it”. At first I thought she it was so cute, I mean she’s a little girl and she’s singing in the middle of a busy mall. Then I thought about the contents of the lyrics. Is it really appropriate?

When I was younger I listened to songs with suggestive lyrics too, but I didn’t know better. I’m not trying to make this a generational thing, but maybe it is. Case in point, Pony by Ginuwine, sometime in the mid 90s yours truly used to get down to this song. Looking back I don’t know if I even had an opinion on the lyrics. All I remember is singing along very excited. I think I was nine when Pony came out. No one discouraged me not to sing along to Pony.

So again, what do the children listen to? I know don’t want my kids singing along to any Rihanna’s S&M “Sticks and stones may break my bones but chains and whips excite me”. See maybe it is a generational thing. There are so many more songs with suggestive lyrics and so many more scantily clad artists. For those of us born in the 80s, the biggest threat to our innocence, visually and lyrically was Madonna and maybe (huge maybe) Janet and Cher. And back then you didn’t get this insidious feeling that record companies were targeting children.

Now these kids born in the 90s have so many options and the record companies are definitely targeting them. “The kid’s choice awards”, where all these artists are praised.  Getting them hooked now, to secure future profits.

But then again, I still don’t know what is appropriate for children to listen to.. How does a caring parent even monitor this? So I’m nowhere really. My fear is in that children are getting robbed of their childhoods. There’s so much music out there making them grow up way faster than they have to. Over sexualisation, over stimulation… a stolen innocence. . Britney Spears, Rihanna, Beyonce, Katty Perry, Lady Gaga, the constantly topless R&B boys and so many others.


P.S. My kids are going to listen to listen to K-pop (Korean R&B and Hip-Hop). They can get down not knowing better.


“The world cannot live on popstars alone, we need artists” Randy Jackson

When @LTqha tweeted this on twitter, I was jumping up and down testifying like a saved Christian Madea type! But then I got thinking. Who gets to decide who’s an artist? Who made Randy Jackson the mayor of Art Town?

What Randy says makes a lot of sense. We know exactly what he’s talking about. Simply put, its Adele vs Rihanna. Adele being the artist and Rihanna the popstar. I’m going to get back to this artist vs popstar comparison later. I have to bring up another point for what I’m saying (trying to say) to make sense.

The other day, again on twitter, @TrentGrapeJuice tweeted that “Britney Spears and Rihanna have no talent. #ThatsAll”. I was again, sweating like a demon testifying.

Back to popstar vs artist and Britney and Rihanna not being talented.

I’m calling it all bullshit! It makes sense. But its bullshit!!! I like to think its true. But I’d be bullshitting.

An artist, one who produces a work of art. Art is simply the most subjective thing in the world, a lot like love. Art is perception, whats deemed to be appealing, art is whatever “we the group” decide it is.
Talent, is the capacity for achievement or success.

We are sometimes so arrogant in what we like and what we don’t like, that we constantly forget that its not gospel. Different folks, different strokes. We need to stop seeing the world in terms of what we like and what we don’t like. Its very narrow minded.

It pains me to say this, but Britney, Rihanna and the rest of the “microwave music oompa-loompas”, are artists. What they do, for some reason which is not mine to understand, is art for some people out there.

I hate most pop music, and most of the shit on MTV these days. But no one has the right to call other people’s children untalented and “non-artists”.

Anecodote. I while back I watched a clip of “Comic relief” with AliG. He had Posh and David as his guests. Ali asked if the kids wanted to grow up and to be athletes like their father or musicians like Mariah Carey. Posh laughed and said: “I’d like to grow up and be a musician like Mariah Carey.”


In my humble opinion.