No Consequences- A Glimpse at the Top 10

Every week or so I like to take a little tour through iTunes’ top 10 songs just to familiarize myself with the content of the most popular songs that young people are saturating in day after day. This morning, I thought I’d take you on this tour with me. I won’t hit every song… but I’ll give you a birds’ eye view.

The first thing I notice is what songs are still hanging on the charts that have been riding the charts for weeks (or months) now.

The #1 song, Party Rock Anthem, by LMFAO (yes, that acronym means what you think it means), is still #1 and has been for weeks, actually months now. This song also claims the #1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart where it has sat for months (it’s been on that chart for 18 weeks now).

The video is also one of the most popular videos (currently #2 on iTunes, playing teeter totter with Katy’s Last Friday Night) and features some amazing dancing. The video isn’t very raunchy (other than the typical girls in revealing clothes gyrating), but the song offers some interesting lyrics that most our kids know pretty well after 18 weeks of hearing this song again, and again, and again…

In the club party rock, lookin’ for your girl? She on my jock
Nonstop when we in the spot, booty movin’ weight like she on the block
Where the drank? I gots to know, tight jeans, tattoo ’cause I’m rock ‘n’ roll
Half black, half white, domino, game the money, op-a-doe

Yo, I’m runnin’ through these ho’s like Drano…

Lyrics like these usually slip under the radar of parents. Phrases like “on my jock” (which usually means that she’s my girl, often implying sexual activity) and “running through these ho’s” (ho’s is kindly bleeped out of the video lyrics) are just subtle phrases typical of this genre. Kids would most likely call this song “clean,” after all, no cusswords. But the message of the song is clear: partying, drinking, and dancing is where it’s at! And if you think that sounds innocent, then keep reading the lyrics:

One more shot for us, another round
Please fill up my cup, don’t mess around
We just wanna see you shake it now
Now you wanna be, you’re naked now

Enough said.

The #3 song, Last Friday Night, by Katy Perry has also been on the top of the chart since mid June. The song has been on the Billboard Hot 100 for 9 weeks, currently sitting at #2 there. This song, another drink, party… and then do it all again next weekend song clearly pounds the message “our actions have no consequences.” No need to dissect this song, I already blogged about it and it’s still #1 video mid June when it first hit #1.

The #7 song, Super Bass, by Nicki Minaj is another song that has been in the top 10 for literally months. The song sits #4 on the Billboard Hot 100, a chart it has been on for 13 weeks now. The video is #4 on iTunes and shows Nicki and her girls half dressed giving what would best be described as lap dances to a bunch of guys. The lyrics are actually deemed “explicit,” no surprise with lines like this:

He just gotta give me that look, when he give me that look
Then the panties comin’ off, off, unh

Nicki rarely refrains from this type of talk.

The #9 song, Give me Everything, by Pitbull, has also been on the top of the chart for months. The song has been on the Billboard Hot 100 for 17 weeks now, currently riding at #3 (#2 last week).

The song simply says, “Give me Everything Tonight” over and over again, and I assure you, he’s not ordering condiments for his hot dog (no pun intended).

The #10 song, Rolling in the Deep, by Adele, is the king of this particular cluster of songs. The song has been in the top 10 for literally half a year, riding at #1 for much of that. The song is currently #5 on the Billboard Hot 100, having been on that chart for 29 weeks now.

This song is well-written, agonizing words from someone recovering from a breakup. It’s one of the few songs on the top of the charts that I actually like right now.

But the iTunes top 10 also features some newcomers, including the #2 song, Lighters from Eminem and Bruno Mars. The song officially is by a group “Bad meets Evil” which is Eminem and fellow Detroit rapper Royce.

I am really curious to see if they will produce a “clean” version of this song, because the song is so stuffed full of curse words that I don’t know how they could really pull it off. It’s typical Eminem: great beat, very poetic… and filthy.

Another newcomer to the top of the charts is Tonight Tonight, by Hot Chelle Rae. This #4 song was featured on the #1 show on television last week, America’s Got Talent as the group performed it live. I predict the song, now 15 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100, rising even higher on the charts.

The lyrics are pretty synonymous with the others in the top 10:

We’re going at it tonight tonight
There’s a party on the rooftop top of the world
Tonight tonight and were dancing on the edge of the Hollywood sign
I don’t know if I’ll make it but watch how good I’ll fake it
Its all right, all right, tonight, tonight

I woke up with a strange tattoo
Not sure how I got it, not a dollar in my pocket

Sound familiar? Have fun tonight, party, dance… wake up the next morning not knowing what happened.

The rest of iTunes top 10 are easy to evaluate yourself. Britney Spears with her typical mindless “I’m gonna lose control” droll, and Lil Wayne with a surprisingly tame song. I encourage you to give these songs a preview and Google the lyrics.

The message seems clear to this younger generation: party, dance, have fun… no consequences. And seeing that these charts reflect the most purchased songs in circulation right now, I can’t help but wonder… do parents really know what their kids are listening to?

Hmmmmmm.

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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5 Responses to No Consequences- A Glimpse at the Top 10

  1. Hi Jonathan,
    I’m new to your blog but I really enjoyed reading this post. One Sunday, when I was a youth pastor at a small church, I brought in lyrics to the songs in the top ten of iTunes. We read them out loud and talked about the implications. It was an eye-opener for most but I often wonder what else can we do to make kids more aware of the lyrics. Maybe find the lyrics before they buy the song and read them out loud in front of us? Maybe have them memorize a bible verse for every new song? I don’t know. I’d love to read a post on that. Thanks for posting this. It’s got me thinking.

  2. MARS says:

    Please Pastor don’t have the kids read the verses or read it to them. It burns images in their head of what they are reading / hearing. We don’t want those images in Christ’s children’s beautiful minds.
    My 15 year old suggests that you tell your youth to play to the music they already own and actually listen to the words then discuss it with each other making comments like “This song degrades women.” This song said sex before marriage was acceptable.” Who ever deletes the most music wins a prize.

  3. I don’t know about “burning images in the mind”… personally, I think it’s good to discuss the stuff they are already hearing. The other day I was at the store with my girls and the songs that came on were Gaga’s “One the Edge,” Party Rock Anthem, followed by Katy Perry’s “Last Friday Night.” My daughter looked up at me (knowing I study this stuff) and said, “Nice song selection, huh?”

    Our kids hear this stuff all the time unless we lock them in the basement. I have NO problem taking the lyrics to these songs and reading them with my kids and discussing them. If any “image burning” is done… it’s been done already when they heard the song at swim practice, at Wal Mart, etc. when they heard the songs.

    We need to prepare them for encountering this stuff in the real world.

  4. Michele Martin says:

    Thanks so much for posting. I, too, work with teens, and am astonished by the media messages that are so permeating their lives. In an effort to combat these messages, I teach a class on Media Literacy…. It simply teaches teens to take the music, shows, magz, they are already exposing themselves to, and then to disect and interpret the messages coming across.
    Again, thanks for the honesty. God bless.

  5. Cedrick Wilbur says:

    LMFAO began their career in 2006 as part of the electro house club scene in Los Angeles, which at the time featured DJ/producers like Steve Aoki and Adam Goldstein. The duo started building a local buzz through their shows and radio play.[6] Once they had recorded some demos, Redfoo’s best friend will.i.am introduced them to Interscope head Jimmy Iovine who gave the green light for them to be signed to Interscope/will.i.am Music.,*`^

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