As someone that has listened to rap music their entire life, whose parents didn’t give a damn what I listened to (or what I watched for that matter), I am taken back by parents who blame rap music for the negative effect it has on their kids. They argue their kids sell drugs, they have sex too early, they have babies, they disrespect their elders, swear, get into fights, all because they listen to rap music. They want the government to step in and censor or ban rap completely -even though rap music has been pretty much censored to death nowadays (more on this later). These parents need to understand that it’s their friggin’ fault your kid is screwed up, plain and simple. I remember seeing this single mom crying on TV, during the whole Don Imus situation which turned into a war against Hip Hop, saying “It’s so hard to compete with the influence the media and hip hop culture have on my child, I just can’t do it”.
You already know how I feel about people who say “I can’t”, if you say you can’t do something, you can’t. But my take is, it is 100% the parent’s responsibility to know what their kids are watching and listening to. Because it’s the parents who decide to order the BET and MTV channels. It’s the parents that decide to get internet or not. It’s the parents that can block certain websites as they see fit. It’s the parents that give their kids money to see certain movies and buy certain albums. And it’s the parents that are the PARENTS! Not the kids! Not the media! Not rappers!
A parent has every right to strong arm their kid every now and then to find out what’s going in their life, what their doing, what they are watching and listening to, and even what’s stashed in their bedroom. I’m not saying this is good parenting, but if you have a troubled kid, you are the one that has to take action, not the teachers, not the school board, and certainly not the government.
Now as mentioned my parent’s didn’t pay attention to what I listened to or watched, heck I watched “The Exorcist” when I was five years old. My parent’s never grounded me or searched my room. I listened to Snoop Dogg’s Doggystyle when I was 10 years old, perhaps the most raunchiest rap album ever. And I somehow made it to graduate from a top university and start my own business without going to jail. And I don’t mention all this to boast, but just to point out that their are millions just like myself that didn’t have the best parents, but have done just fine.
There’s already too much regulation in hip hop as it is that it has killed the entire genre. I have no clue what “hardcore” music kids in grade 7 and 8 are listening to nowadays. If the Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip Hop is any indication, their listening to Lil Wayne’s Lollipop (Oh the horror!), Plies’ Bust it Baby part 2 featuring Ne-Yo (Oh Lord have Mercy!), Keisha Cole’s Heaven Sent (I’ve never even heard this song, but I’m sure it’s not gangster rap), Jordan Sparks Duet with Chris Brown’s No Air (The very corruption of our dear children) and Mariah Carey’s Touch My Body (Oh no our young girls are getting pregnant!).
Even music videos have been regulated out the wazhoo. I always hear 50 Cent, the guy whose become the scapegoat for socialist and conservatives as the guy responsible for the corruption of our youth, talk about the restrictions Viacom puts on music videos in terms of what can be shown and what can’t be shown. The restrictions are so strict that music videos can’t have pretty much anything in them anymore (not to mention that there isn’t really channels playing music videos anymore). All because parent-teacher groups cried and protested that they didn’t want their kids watching this anymore, thereby ruining my right to watch whatever the hell I want. All the parents had to do was turn it off in their house or explain to their kids what they are watching, but because they didn’t know how to be parents, they went and turned it off in your house and mine.
Thanks guys, you’re like the parents I never had.