Parents Just Don’t Get It

Posted: 12/28/2009 in Media Literacy, Music, Parenting

This might come as a surprise to you, but I love rap music. Give me Eminem, Snoop Dogg, or Dr. Dre any day—awwww yeah! I especially love listening to rap music when it’s played at full volume . . . three hundred miles out in the middle of the Atlantic ocean!

Okay, so I lied. I’m not really a hip hop fan.

Let’s just say I’ve never managed to get into Eminem’s whole crotch-grabbing scene. Besides, I just think his music is crap.

However, the fact that I, as a 50-something white boy, wouldn’t buy an Eminem album to save my life doesn’t mean that I have a right to sit in judgment of teenagers who do—or so I’ve been told.

And, frankly, I’m working to come to terms with that reality. You see, according to the Enlightened Ones who move among us, you and I are disqualified to make value judgments about the merits of today’s hip hop and hoodlum music industry for at least three reasons:

1)    We think a “crib” is the place where a baby sleeps

2)    We think a drive-by is hip slang for a drive-thru

3)    Wearing gold chains around our necks just gets in the way of our walkers.

The sooner you and I make peace with the fact we’re from the medieval times, the better. We’re just parents. We’re not music experts.

We’re not cool like the tattooed-gods with gold-capped teeth on MTV who drive around the streets of Hollywood in the latest armor-plated Hummer. What could we possibly know, I mean really know about the music industry? Nor are we as smart as the music editors at RollingStoned magazine or the executive vidiots at MTV who are clearly the authorities on what’s best for our children.

So, if they say rap ain’t crap, who are we to think otherwise? Yes, it’s time we stop berating ourselves over the music our kids are listening to. Enough with the guilt trip already. Sure, the music rattling the walls in your kids bedroom may sound like the rant of an angry convict with a jackhammer for a tongue, accompanied by a series of sonic booms on par with the space shuttle during liftoff.

So what? At least they’re home.

And, just because instinctively you may feel that vulgar references to various private body parts somehow isn’t right, you’ve got to learn to chill out. Yo, trust me, it’s all good, dogg.

After all, no matter how twisted or nasty the rhymes may sound to our unenlightened ears, that disc was Made In The U.S.A., by golly. And, there’s nothing sold in America that could possibly harm anybody—the trial lawyers have already seen to that.

But just in case the lawyers missed anything, I decided to do a little research of my own. I learned that Eminem was awarded two Grammy’s and had generated more than 1 billion—that’s BILLION with a “B”—dollars in sales since 1999.

Armed with that piece of info, the evil Bob voice inside my head said, “Look Bob. Em and his posse are just being good capitalists. They have a right to make piles of cash peddling obscenity-charged riffs to teens and tots if they want to. This is still America.”

Eminem is as fat a capitalist pig as the next guy, I’ll give you that. Maybe the voice in my head was right. If a few million parents didn’t have a problem allowing their cherubs to listen to his music, why should I?

I dug deeper.

Just for laughs I did a Google lyric search. I wanted to know what his adoring groupies would be humming as they listen to his “music.” What I read made me want to gag. Of course, as I quickly reminded myself, that’s only because I’m not hip. I’m not “down wit it.”

Now, let me just say that if you have a pacemaker, you’re a jihadist looking for another reason to kill the infidels, or you live in a convent, maybe skip a couple of paragraphs. For the rest of the uninitiated parental-types, grab a barf bag. Here’s one of my favorite ditties from Eminem’s classic hit album, Encore:

“PUKE”

I’d rather let you see

how much I f—kin’ hate you in a freestyle

You’re a f—kin’ coke head slut/I hope you f—kin’ die

I hope you get to hell and

Satan sticks a needle in ya eye

I hate ya f—kin’ guts you f—kin’ slut/I hope you die

Die-ie-ie-ie-ieee . . .

You don’t know how sick you make me

You make me f—kin’ sick to my stomach

Every time I think of you I puke

If honest, you probably want to yell: “The feelings are mutual, pal!” Hold on. Tempting as that might be, and I know this might sound totally insane, wouldn’t that represent a lack of love on our part? Think about it.

Here’s a guy who managed to rise from the streets of Detroit—a hellhole of a city if ever there was one—to become a household name even in the mud huts of Crapistan halfway around the globe. The music critics are right. We should be standing up to applaud his accomplishments.

Now, if you’re still having difficulty accepting gangsta rap music, see if this helps.

Take a deep cleansing breath and repeat slowly after me: “I just don’t get it . . . I just don’t get it.” Besides, the Ritalin-prescribing psychologists tell us we will really screw up our kids if we were to—here’s an idea—say, “No. You cannot bring Eminem’s crap into my house.

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