The Explicit Version


20130326-222309.jpgHopefully NOT listening to Lil Wayne.

I post a lot of things on here that involve my kids. Obviously, right now, they are the most important things going on in my life and to be perfectly honest…trying to raise kids these days is becoming more & more difficult. Take for example…today. My son texts me that he accidentally downloaded an explicit version of a song by rapper Lil Wayne. For those of you who don’t know who Lil Wayne is, let me give you an example of his lyrics…

Uh…

Hang on…

Well…

Ok…on SECOND thought…I don’t think I CAN post any of his lyrics because quite frankly…they’re all pretty crude and I don’t want to even bother trying to edit this stuff down.

So let’s just say that Lil Wayne has some pretty x-rated lyrics that are NOT for kids. So Christopher owns up to the fact that he has downloaded an explicit song and on THAT level, I’m proud of him. So I go and listen to this song and it is EXTREMELY vulgar and NOT for kids Christopher’s age. Now I have THIS to deal with: I KNOW my son listens to this stuff and despite the fact that I hate that he’s heard it, there’s no taking it back now.

This situation is not unique to just my kids. I’ve ready articles on how parents have tried to lock up their internet and police all media and put passwords on everything and use a deadbolt on their bedroom doors and I have to wonder…where do I draw the line? He’s 10 and he has friends who have older brothers and sisters and I’m pretty sure THEY’VE listened to it and that’s how all this stuff gets circulated and so here we are.

I get why Christopher likes rap music. Rap music is “cool.” Personally, I think most of it is crap but I imagine my parents thought the same of my music when I was younger (and probably still do, for that matter). I can’t fault him for liking something I don’t. Part of the great thing about music is that it’s anti-establishment. I used to be a big fan of Eminem…until I grew up and got tired of hearing how he would *bleep* the *bleep* until the *bleep*-ing *bleep* got *bleeped*. I fed my rock palate on Nirvana and Marilyn Manson and the KINGS of double entendre, AC/DC. They’re just words. But when you’re 10…ARE they just words?

There’s a reason why there’s a sticker on the CD case at Best Buy. But when ITunes sticks Lil Wayne’s latest album on the top of their “New Releases” list and Christopher’s friends are all listening to it, what am I gonna do about it? One of the cool things about ITunes is that you can sample the songs before you buy them. But when the songs are by Lil Wayne and are beyond vulgar, how am I supposed to control that? Some will say he shouldn’t even HAVE access to it. But is that simply hiding him from the reality that some media IS obscene? Obviously I don’t want him listening to it but I remember when Nazareth was singing about “messing with a son of a bitch” when I was a kid and I thought that was the most insane thing I had ever heard! So now MY kid is listening to a guy who came from the rough side of Atlanta rapping about sex and violence and things he probably won’t understand for another couple years and I don’t know how to stop it. It’s already out there…so what do I do?

For the interim, I politely asked Christopher to delete it from his ITouch. I then offered to buy him the edited version if he really wanted it. I can’t help that he’s already heard the words that are in it. I imagine he’s already heard most of the words anyway. It’s the way that Lil Wayne uses the words that worries me. If anything, I don’t want my kid growing up thinking it’s okay to use certain words that he uses in his songs. It’s derogatory and disrespectful. Christopher and I have had “The Talk” about using cuss words. He knows where I stand on that issue. However I don’t know if MY thoughts on certain cuss words ever went beyond cussing with his buddies, saying the occasional “S” word or using profanity when he gets hurt on the football field. The level of cussing used in most rap today is WAY beyond MY version of using profanity.

So I am a bad parent who allows my kids access to ITunes. I also allow them access to NetFlix (which puts adult titles right next to kids titles) and they know the password on our television if they really wanted to watch my recorded episodes of “The Walking Dead.” My kids (and most kids these days) are really smart like that. They figure it out and can get around it. Luckily, I have a kid who knows when he’s gone over the line with certain things and he can talk to me or his mother about it. I don’t like what my kids have already heard or seen in this day of media overload, but I don’t know how to stop it. I guess the best I can do is hope that we have raised them correctly to this point and allow them to decide if what they are seeing or hearing is too much. I hope Steph & I have done right by them. Because obviously Lil Wayne doesn’t give a shi…er…crap.

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