Mixed Messages from Lil Wayne

One minute his foul lyrics treat women like objects, and on the same album he cuts a heartfelt song providing an accurate glimpse into the world of a girl who struggles to find love because of her abusive past.

Which is it Lil Wayne? Do you care for them or are they just toys to you?

Lil Wayne has 2 songs on the iTunes Top 10 right now, a total of 14 songs in the top 200 (more by far than any other artist… Adele has 7, Gaga and Perry each have 4).  His soft and sentimental song, How to Love rides at #9 right now on iTunes, and #7 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart. The music video is actually really touching.

But then we see the other side of Wayne… a side he doesn’t seem to hide. Look at his song She Will, a song so popular that it appeared on Billboard’s Hot 100 at the number 3 spot (currently #17), his 5th song to debut on the top 10 of the Hot 100 chart, breaking records along the way. The song opens with the line: “I tell her ‘now go on, pop that p**sy for a real nigga.”

Of the 14 songs on iTunes right now, only one isn’t explicit. Want a taste? Just pop onto iTunes yourself and try their free sample of his songs like Two Shots, or How to Hate, or Blunt Blowin.

Are teenagers listening? Literally millions of teenagers watched as Lil Wayne performed the highly publicized and eagerly anticipated closing number at the MTV VMA’s last week (the most watched TV program by viewers age 12-34 this year). The song was so censored, the performance was literally laughable at times, with more censor bleeps than audible lyrics. This isn’t the first time we’ve asked, “How will Lil Wayne affect today’s teenagers?”

So I ask you: What messages are young people really hearing from Lil Wayne?

Which is the real Wayne… the sensitive guy… or the foul mouthed, blunt smoking, gun yielding playa?

Can you be both?

About Jonathan McKee

president of The Source for Youth Ministry, is the author of over a dozen books including the new Get Your Teenager Talking, The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket, The Zombie Apocalypse Survival Guide for Teenager, and youth ministry books like Ministry By Teenagers, Connect: Real Relationships in a World of Isolation, and the 10-Minute Talks series. Jonathan speaks and trains at conferences, churches and events across North America, 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 and his wife Lori, and their three teenagers Alec, Alyssa and Ashley live in California.
[Are you getting this daily blog in your email inbox?] If not, it's real easy-go here.
This entry was posted in Entertainment Media, Music, Sexuality, Youth Culture. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Mixed Messages from Lil Wayne

  1. Andy Robertson says:

    I agree Jon. I was looking at 6Ft 7Ft compared to How To Love. Thanks to your conference last spring at our church, we will be having Parent Night at youth each month and I’d like to share some stuff with them that you brought to our attention. You showed us what to look for in our culture and the messages kids are hearing. Thanks!

  2. Abe Haley says:

    Thanks Jon. I was thinking the same thing last night. I was at a dance studio where my wife teaches dance, and heard the song being played. I was like. “this does not soudn like lil wayne at all.”

    When I was in High school, I said i listened to rap/hip hop for the beat, but I have youth in our youth ministry who say they like what most of the music artists are saying today. Which is a little scary.

  3. A normal person says:

    I think if Kesha can write a song about eating boys for dinner, Wayne can write about having sex with one. I hate to break it to you, but lyrics like “Her personality was swell and her shoes looked very well!” don’t sell. Maybe Lil Wayne doesn’t actually feel the way about women that he says. Maybe he’s just smart and knows what teenage kids wanna listen to. And that’s why he makes millions, and you’re just writing on a website complaining about him.

  4. Kelsey says:

    Think about his personal life for a bit. He has 23094834 kids with 293847398 different women! What does that say about him & how he feels about the value of having a child with someone. It seems like its a game to him. Who can have the most kids with the most women! His actions don’t prove to me that he values and cherishes women at all. I think he wears different masks to gain approval from a diverse audience, not just one particular group of people. More people = more money.