Wholesome… and Not… in the Music Charts

The music charts have had some interesting movement in the last few weeks, some wholesome stuff, and still plenty of the “not-so-wholesome.” I always find it intriguing to see what our kids are listening to.

A FEW OBSERVATIONS:

1. Willa Smith (10-year-old daughter of Will Smith) found #1 on the iTunes video charts with her new song and video Whip My Hair. The song is well done and the video is really cute. (Wow, am I showing my age? Only a dad would say… “this is cute!”) No one is dressed risque’ in this video, the lyrics aren’t about picking people up in the club… speaking candidly, it’s a breath of fresh air. I saw it as high as #2 on iTunes for songs in the last week, it currently rests at #13 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart. Not bad for a 10-year-old singing a clean song!

My only worry- in all honesty- is what fame can do to a 10-year-old. I hear from numerous sources (including Scott Derrickson when I interviewed him about Jayden Smith in his film “The Day the Earth Stood Still”) that Will and Jada are really good parents. So I hope the best for her. But fame creates a lot of pressure, as we’ve seen over and over again recently (Demi Lovato)

2. Glee did a version of Katy Perry’s racy song Teenage Dream this week and it immediately catapulted to #1 on iTunes and hasn’t budged since. This shows you the incredible draw and power of this show. Many of you read my two cents about the show before the launch of Season 2. Season 2 has proven to be edgier and even more risque’. I was bummed when I saw them redo Teenage Dream. If you wonder why I don’t like the Katy’s Teenage Dream, just google the lyrics of the song or… grab your accountability partner and co-watch the music video (And while you’re watching the video, especially at the 2 minute to 2 1/2 minute mark, realize that 28 million people have watched this video on YouTube alone! Yikes!)

3. Black Eyed Peas are back with a new dance song called “The Time (Dirty Bit).” The song is #2 right now, I predict it will go #1 in no time. Black Eyed Peas are amazingly talented, but keep putting out these typical “I wanna lose control” club dance songs. Sometimes the lyrics are clean, like I’ve Gotta Feeling,” but with really raunchy videos- I’ve talked about that before. Other times they try to slip some raunchy stuff under the radar– but our kids know what they’re talking about. I showed a sobering example of this (an insight into their lyrics and an interesting YouTube video of kids performing their song) with their song “Imma Be.” Regardless… they are back!

Other noteworthy observations:

  • Another clean option- Taylor Swift’s new “Speak Now” album is selling like gangbusters (what exactly is a “gangbuster?”), claiming Billboard’s #1 spot on the Top 200 Albums, the #2 album spot on iTunes, and with six of the songs from the album in iTunes top 200 downloaded songs.
  • Rihanna teamed up with rapper Drake for the song What’s My Name. That song flew to #1 on the Billboard charts, which isn’t as quick to move as iTunes (iTunes changes almost hourly- revealing trends like the Glee song, where Billboard won’t reflect those changes for a week). Don’t underestimate Rihanna. She’s getting racier and her new album “Rated R” will be releasing November 23- her first album to bare the “explicit lyrics” label. Hmmmmm.
  • Katy Perry still owns the charts, with her Glee song at #1 on iTunes, her new song Firework at #1 for videos on iTunes, #4 for song, and #10 on Billboard. My thoughts on Katy here.

Keep talking with your kids about the music they listen to. The lyrics do affect them.

Make use of our MUSIC DISCUSSION pages on both TheSource4YM.com (for youth workers) and TheSource4Parents.com (for parents)…different discussions for each page. If our kids are already listening to this stuff, let’s use it to get to the Gospel!

About Jonathan McKee

president of The Source for Youth Ministry, is the author of over twenty books including the brand new If I Had a Parenting Do Over, 52 Ways to Connect with Your Smartphone Obsessed Kid; Sex Matters; The Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket; and youth ministry books like Ministry By Teenagers; Connect; and the 10-Minute Talks series. He has over 20 years youth ministry experience and speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers and parents on his websites, TheSource4YM.com and TheSource4Parents.com. You can follow Jonathan on his blog, getting a regular dose of youth culture and parenting help. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.
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4 Responses to Wholesome… and Not… in the Music Charts

  1. Jo-Hanna Ho says:

    Speaking of wholesome songs and artistes, this totally caused me to be biased (in a good way) towards Owl City.

    http://owlcityblog.com/2010/10/25/my-hope-is-found/

  2. Deb says:

    My daughter has taken to listening to the new Bruno Mars song “Just the Way You Are”, and I have to say I enjoy it as well. It’s catchy, well written and has a positive message. As a bonus, the video is clean and well done as well.

  3. Mary June D. says:

    Hello, I’m a music lover from the Philippines. I noticed that some music videos are all about sex, and almost naked artists. I’m glad for the KPOP (Korean Pop) invasion in the Philippines. Korean songs and music videos are big hits in my country. Korean music videos are clean, and even their songs have clean lyrics (there are English translations of KOrean songs). My favorite Korean artist is Super Junior, they’re really wholesome. I always watch their videos on youtube.

  4. Angela says:

    Do you have a list of wholesome music that passes your scrutiny? Just a list with no explanations…Leaving anything unwholesome off the list. Such a list would be appreciated 🙂 Thank you for all you do!