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Kenney Dennard Publisher

This Generation's Message From Music

berdine dennard
Kenney Dennard

In Hamlin, Germany, during the 16th Century, the Legend of the Pied Piper was born. Although the make believe story was later expanded and told of the piper leading rats out of town with his music, it began as a tale of a piper, dressed in pied (multi-colored) clothing, hypnotizing children with his music and leading them away from the town, never to return. Some stories had him taking them away to be killed.
As much as I love music I must admit it seems like the pied piper is urban music, videos and entertainment, especially with the bulk of rap music currently being played. Even artists from one of my favorite eras in rap make me raise my eyebrow at times.  For example, Jay Z's use of his alias, Jay Hova is full-fledged blasphemy; although a lot of people view it as him just saying he's the highest power in rap. Yet he took it further in 1995’s "D'Evils," when he said, "Even if Jehovah witnesses I bet He'll never testify." Then Notorious BIG said later, "When I die eff it, I wanna go to hell… It don't make sense going to heaven with the goodie goodies, dressed in white, I like black Tims and Black hoodies." Of course, a few years later he died. The lyrics get deeper in some cases and some are much nastier, while others just glamorize spending money.

I went to a child's birthday party a few years ago and Soldier Boy, who was around 16 himself at the time, had a record called, "Superman, Crank That." I listened to the lyrics for the first time that day as it played over the loud speakers and couldn't believe there were children from age 5-15 listening and singing along.  It went something like, "Soldier Boy in that hoe, watch me crank it, watch me roll, watch me superman that hoe."  If you ever just read the lyrics you wouldn't even believe it was a song.

When I was in high school around 1989, Biz Markie put a song out called "Vapors." In it, he rapped about his homeboy, Big Daddy Kane, saying, “He wore his pants hanging down and his sneakers untied and a rasta-type Kangol tilted to the side."  Kane didn't originate the style of sagging jeans, I believe it was born in jail, but where I'm from, he was the first I saw do it and I viewed it through music videos. The very next week I remember seeing half the guys in school start wearing their pants hanging down.  But nowhere near as far as kids are doing it today.  That was over 20 years ago.  The pants never came back up for those age groups. 

Although there have always been raunchy lyrics here and there, I believe it was in the mid-nineties when urban music stopped caring and began to play anything to our children. It was around that time that radio stations began to separate the music. Suddenly they were claiming, "Now your kids have their station, and you have yours." Before this, rappers were always trying to be clean enough to be played on mom and dad's favorite station. But suddenly, that generation of youth was turned loose to say what they wanted in songs on stations just for them and they would get played. Then they could do what they wanted in videos. That was 15 years ago, and it has gotten that much worse.

Just like everything else in the world, especially in our computer generation, things go from being shocking to accepted to normal very fast.  Television and media make everything from cursing, (How is it every 4-5 years another curse word becomes accepted on television and who makes those rules?) to passing gas to nudity and sex totally normal on television.  They push the envelope a little further every year or so on gay marriage.  CNN has been showing heavy coverage of a gay couple's quest to have a child this past month.  Eventually, it will all be just as normal as an episode of The Cosby Show.

We have allowed this modern day pied piper to come in through our entertainment sources and take our innocent children's imagination and plant whatever seeds he desires. So where is he leading them? Why don’t we do something? Are your children on that path?

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