The video released last week, the song is at the top of the charts, and the words to the song… well… I’ll get to that in a minute.
Imma Be is the title of… no, not the new, just the recently popular, kinda-new… Black Eyed Peas song. As I write this, Imma Be is the #1 downloaded song on iTunes (yes, bigger than the new We are the World) and #3 on the Billboard Hot 100.
If you’re a youth worker or a parent and you’re not familiar with the band Black Eyed Peas, you might want to spend a few minutes getting to know them, because our teens and tweens know their songs, are familiar with the videos and don’t hesitate to spend money downloading either. The Black Eyed Peas are a constant on the music charts. Or as teenagers today would put it, “These guys own!”
Allow me to be more specific. In 2009 the pop group Black Eyed Peas owned the #1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart from April 12th to October 10th. Their song Boom Boom Pow owned it for three months, and then their song I’ve Gotta Feeling stepped up and began its reign for about three months. Combined, these 2 songs owned the #1 spot merely 2 days short of 6 straight months. Only 13 songs made it to the top of the charts in 2009, and of those, Black Eyed Peas’ two songs dominated half the year, leaving only 6 months for the other 11 songs. As to not repeat ourselves, I encourage you to take a look at David’s amazing summary of the top songs of 2009 on our Youth Culture Window page at the end of last year. That article will give you a deeper look at the Black Eyed Peas two #1 songs and their reign in 2009.
Now, from the same album (The E.N.D.), their song Imma Be is taking its turn riding the top of the charts.
The question that many might have is, “What is the content of this music?” Good question, a question youth workers and parents should be asking.
Black Eyed Peas have never shyed away from being risqué with front-person Fergie always showing off, and I quote, her “lovely lady lumps.” They have explicit versions, and “clean” versions of many of their songs. But I encourage you to take a deeper look at that definition of “clean.” I think you’ll find these “clean” versions about as clean as a PG-13 movie. Black Eyed Peas are great at placing plenty of sexual imagery in their “clean” material. Those of you who are new to my blog, you might want to check out my blog titled, “Look Mom, No Cuss Words! It Must Be Clean!” … where I unveiled a little bit about what you’ll see if you watch some of this group’s videos. (A little while later I blogged about some home-made videos that began emerging from this popular song.)
So what can we expect from their song Imma Be?
A quick Google search for the lyrics will tell you most of what you need to know. Here’s an excerpt… edited by me:
Rich baby, quick, quick, Imma, Imma, Imma be
The sh*t baby, check me out, be
Imma be, Imma be on top, never stop
Be, be, Imma, Imma be, Imma be, be, be
Imma, Imma be, Imma be f*ckin’ her
Imma, Imma, Imma be, Imma be, be, be, Imma be…
Do you get the idea?
But maybe the radio versions and videos edit out those cuss words… right? Yes, but this song is currently the #1 downloaded song on iTunes. What version do you think your kids are downloading?
I find that many teenagers will argue, “I don’t listen to the words.” Are they right? Do you think teens and tweens know the words to this song? Check out these three girls on the video they posted on YouTube. They know the words… and they obviously know when they’re saying something risqué. (The little girl with the glasses gives it away every time with a giggle.)
What about the official video? Black Eyed Peas debuted it last Wednesday. You’ll notice that it omits many of the cuss words, but doesn’t leave out lines like this:
Imma be a brother, but my name ain’t Lehman
Imma be ya bank, I be loaning out semen…
Gotta love censorship. “No cusswords! It must be clean!”
Keep your eyes on this band. Our kids have their eyes and ears glued to them.