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I Just Heard the N-Word 30,000 Times


I fully realize that not all kids listen to rap. It is only one genre among many competing for their attention. Top 100 lists also have country stars, pop divas, rock anthems, dance tracks, soul music, and so forth. The stats are hard to decipher and ever-changing, but as far as I can tell rap "only" accounts for somewhere around 15%-20% of all music sales. But much of those sales are to a younger audience, while country, soul, rock, dance and other genres are gaining their sales primarily from an adult demographic.

So, an off-the-cuff estimation is that perhaps one-third of American teenagers listen to rap. Though since not all rap is "gangsta," we can round that down to maybe one-fourth of American teenagers growing up becoming accustomed to hearing the N-word and every other imaginable obscenity.

So, yes, while presumably there are other cliques of 14-year-old girls across the country who listen not to rap but to Christian music or rock 'n' roll, it's safe to assume that a very significant percentage of those cliques are rap-centric, just as my relative's is. It's hard to quantify, but it is definitely not negligible. And remember that only a small percentage of teenagers in the '60s were actual hippies, and yet in retrospect the hippies defined the era.


But genres are merging and fusing these days, and many songs not officially deemed "rap" nonetheless have rap elements and attributes.

This phenomenon is not limited to marginal or lesser-known groups. Many of even the most mainstream performers wallow in rap-derived vulgarity.

For example, the band LMFAO is arguably the most popular and successful mainstream musical group in the world at the moment. They performed during this year's Super Bowl halftime show and on Dick Clark's "New Year's Rockin' Eve." They have won innumerable mainstream awards, such as "Favorite Song of the Year" at the 2012 Kids' Choice Awards and "Best Group" and "Top Song" at the 2012 Billboard Awards, to name just a few. They are marketed as a fun and harmless "party rock" band, and their stage act features a dancing zebra and a guy with a cardboard box on his head. As a result, they're immensely popular with tweens and young teens, the modern equivalent of a kid-oriented bubblegum music act.

And yet...unlike actual 1960s bubblegum acts which relied at most on innuendo or double-entendre to sneak a racy lyric past parents, LMFAO is brutally blunt in its sexual content. For example, another track on the iPod, "Get Crazy," one of the most popular songs by the most popular kiddie-themed group in the country, features these lyrics:

When I was a baby I was suckin' on titties

Now that I'm older still suckin' on titties

Different titties — but titties nonetheless

The first thing I do when a girl undress

Crazy girl spark my interest

If titties were a stock I'd invest in breast

Love the way you move I'm impressed

Lotta girls love us we the best I guess hey.

I got the goose alright ok

I'm feelin loose alright ok

She love the beats alright ok

We love them D's alright ok

I got the goose alright ok

I'm feelin loose alright ok

She love the beat alright ok

We love them D's

Get crazy get wild

Let's party get loud

If you wanna have fun and do something crazy

flash yo titties

Get crazy get wild

Let's party get loud

If you wanna have fun and do something crazy

flash yo titties

If you in the car flash yo titties

If you at the bar flash yo titties

If you at the beach flash yo titties

If you on the street flash yo titties

I said if you in the car flash yo titties

I said if you at the bar flash yo titties

If you at work flash yo titties

Even if you at church flash yo titties

In Europe they show t-titties all the time

But here in LA every titty a prize

So girl let me see what you tryin to hide

Has either of your titties ever touched the sky

Now if your shy (if your shy)

Just close your eyes (just close your eyes)

And pull your titties out like you part of tha African tribe

Lyrics like these are now commonplace, and in no way mark an artist as outré or extreme. Will.i.am, leader of the Black Eyed Peas, is about as respectable as you can get, guest-hosting on American Idol, appearing at President Obama's inauguration and among his inner circle of fundraisers, and in general treated as a sage elder statesman in the music industry. . .and yet one of the iPod songs had these grotesque will.i.am lyrics:

My nigga, will.i.am in the house

I'm in the house an' I ain't movin' out.

The girls keep more of my name in they mouth.

I like breasts best when they poppin' out,

So girl, bring 'em out, bring 'em out, I make 'em bounce.

Keep, keep bouncin', yeah, just keep them bouncin',

Open up your mind an' accept what I'm announcin':

If we have a President's Day an' a Veteran's Day,

Let's have a Titty Holiday.

An' lick on nipple everyday through the weekend.

I like tit like fish like sippin',

Watchin' boobies bounce is my favorite tradition,

When I'm up in the club just sittin' an' wishin'

Them boobies was bouncin' on my head, my head,

Them boobies was bouncin' on my head, my head,

Bouncin', bouncin' on my head, my head,

I want them boobies bouncin' on my head, my head

If I wasn't already numbed by our culture's avalanche of vulgarity, I'd be speechless. A guy who sings songs like this gets to sit next to the president.