Depreciating Morality in the Top Music

Posted on: 08/14/18 3:30 AM | by Jonathan McKee

Popular music always has provided a few vile examples that made grandmother gasp…

But never like today.

We’ve come a long way from “Like a Virgin” being shocking. In fact we’ve come a long way from, “I Kissed a Girl.” Sure we’ve seen some raunchy lyrics from top artists before… but never so potent at the top of the charts.

So far this month the Billboard Hot 100 has only one song that is not explicit in the top 10. And those that are… really push the envelope.

Drake’s song, In My Feelings, currently at No. 1, is probably one of the cleaner songs in the charts… that is… if you ignore the sampling of Lil Wayne & Magnolia Shorty near the end of the song with the lyrics:

Bring that a*s, bring that a*s, bring that a*s back!
B-bring that a*s, bring that a*s, bring that a*s back!
Shawty say the nigga that she with can’t hit
But shawty, I’ma hit it, hit it like I can’t miss
Now let me see you
Clap that a*s, you’re the only one I love
Clap that a*s, clap-clap that a*s!

This sampling (hip hop songs often “sample” or “mix” in earlier songs) is from Lollipop, Lil Wayne’s 2008 hit about oral sex.

Does it seem incongruous that I’m citing a current song which is sampling a 10-year-old song to prove my point that music is getting worse? Yeah… it was pretty bad in 2008 too… but three big differences:

  1. The top of the charts weren’t quite as potent with descriptions of sexual acts or the casual references to gunning others down  (close, but not quite)
  2. In 2008 teens didn’t have smartphones in their pockets (the iPhone only came out in 2007), they didn’t stream… Spotify wasn’t even a thing. Explicit music had a few more guardrails than now. (Now 97% of U.S. teens have access to a smartphone.)
  3. For the same reason I just mentioned, kids listened to less music in 2008 than now. In fact, America just upped their music listening by 47 minutes a day last year alone! (And adults just upped their daily media usage by 36 minutes in the last six months!)

So now when today’s top hits are more sexually charged… more kids hear it.

Cardi B’s song I Like it Like That, currently at No. 2 on the charts is actually pretty clean for Cardi B. Of course, you wouldn’t know it because much of it is in Spanish. But for those who speak Spanish, they’ll hear:

I like puerto rican girls, I like cuban girls
I like the columbian accent
How dominican girls move their a**es
How good venezuelan girls f**k…

As if that wasn’t explicit enough, the current No. 3 song on the charts is from a guy named 6ix9ine who joined with Nicki Minaj for a song called Fefe, which apparently is a prison term for something manmade (often made from a toilet paper roll) that provides sexual fulfillment. In this song the young rapper makes it clear what he thinks of women, how he treats women, questioning why he even “hit that” (had sex with her) and giving us waaaaaaaaay more description than we want (Where’s the #MeToo movement when you need it? Oh… I guess lyrics get a pass.)

Here’s the opening lyrics from 6ix9ine:

P**sy got that wet, wet, got that drip, drip
Got that super soaker, hit that, she a Fefe
Her name Keke, she eat my d**k like it’s free, free
I don’t even know like “Why I did that?”
I don’t even know like “Why I hit that?”
All I know is that I just can’t wife that
Talk to her nice so she won’t fight back
Turn around and hit it from the back, back, back
Bend her down then I make it clap, clap, clap

Nice.

And we haven’t even left the top 3 songs. I’ll let you Google the lyrics for the rest of the top 10. It’s more of the same. (Funny… one year ago I wrote a post with the latest research on “do the lyrics really affect me?”… and I made the comment, “I’ve never seen the charts this bad.”)

Remember the good ol’ days when Katy Perry just told our kids to “go all the way tonight”?

Do you know what your kids are listening to?

Are you engaging them in meaningful discussion about what they hear?

Walking Through Social Media Safety with Jim Daly

Posted on: 08/6/18 11:20 AM | by Jonathan McKee

My Interview on
Focus on the Family
This Wednesday

I always enjoy the dialogue with Jim and John when I’m invited to be a guest on the Focus on the Family daily broadcast. On this Wednesday’s broadcast Jim interviewed me about my new book The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices, asking how it can help parents open up this important dialogue with their kids. At this point in the interview he asked me how to help parents engage in a conversation about online safety in a way that kids will actually listen.

Here’s my reply:

You can catch the whole show on their broadcast this Wednesday on Focus on the Family… or online at FocusOnTheFamily.com

Helping Teens Press Pause

Posted on: 06/12/18 1:00 AM | by Jonathan McKee

Whenever I talk with young people about their mobile devices I ask, “How many of you think people are spending too much time staring at their devices?” An overwhelming majority of hands will go up.

Yet if you followed those same teens for 24 hours, you’d probably catch them “spending too much time staring at their devices.” (And before we start labeling anyone hypocritical… adults are in the same boat).

Let’s review. Teens are aware that phones monopolize too much of their time, but they aren’t really doing much about it.

So why not Continue reading “Helping Teens Press Pause” »

Does Google and Apple care about your kids’ digital addiction?

Posted on: 06/5/18 3:30 AM | by Jonathan McKee

Yes and finally yes? (It’s about time!)

We’ve all heard stories of tech companies concocting evil plans to launch new gadgets and apps addicting children to their devices. Sound like a rumor? Sadly, these legends have proved to be true on many levels. Like when former Facebook president Sean Parker had second thoughts about what the social network was doing to our children’s brains and cast a little insight behind the scenes.

“It was developed to be addictive,” he admitted.

He wasn’t alone in his concerns. In fact a Continue reading “Does Google and Apple care about your kids’ digital addiction?” »

Four conversations parents must have

Posted on: 04/17/18 3:30 AM | by Jonathan McKee

As requests are coming in for speaking this fall, I wanted to let you know about a new workshop I’m launching… FOUR CONVERSATIONS! It’s the first parent workshop I’m doing where I have parents and kids in the same room!

Right now my go-to workshop for parents is PARENTING THE SMARTPHONE GENERATION… I taught this workshop in almost 30 churches in the U.S. last year Continue reading “Four conversations parents must have” »

Lil Dicky gets a lil raunchy (and how parents should respond)

Posted on: 04/10/18 3:30 AM | by Jonathan McKee

The song debuted in the top 10 on Billboard’s Hot 100. The music video is full of celebrity cameos and has already garnered over 100 million views. When I mentioned that particular song speaking at a church last Sunday morning, teens in the audience literally shouted, “Yeah!” in acclamation (and I mentioned about a dozen songs).

I’m talking about the brand new racy music video from Lil Dicky, Freaky Friday, where Lil Dicky wakes up as Chris Brown and Chris Brown as Lil Dicky. The music video is creative, kids think it’s hilarious, and it’s full of sexual references and imagery. Continue reading “Lil Dicky gets a lil raunchy (and how parents should respond)” »

Interviewed on Canadian TV

Posted on: 03/20/18 3:30 AM | by Jonathan McKee

Last Friday I was interviewed by our polite neighbors up north on Canadian TV show 100 Huntley Street.

The conversation was about teens and mobile devices–who our kids are talking with, what they are posting, and the content they’re absorbing. I love host Maggie Johns who opens the door immediately declaring, “Social media! You can’t hide it from your kids forever!” She thanks me for my new book, The Teen’s Guide to Social Media and Mobile Devices and informs me, “This is the book I’m going to give to my son Ethan on his 13th birthday!” Continue reading “Interviewed on Canadian TV” »

What age should my kid be on social media?

Posted on: 03/16/18 10:21 AM | by Jonathan McKee

It’s one of the biggest questions I hear from parents at my workshops each month. “What age should I let my kids have a smartphone?” or “What age should I allow them to get SnapChat, Insta and all the other social media apps they want?”

We’ve posted some great resources on TheSource4Parents.com recently that will help answer that question, including a brand new article posted just this week titled, Parenting Middle Schoolers: More Than Just Surviving This Transitional Phase. But parents of high school students shouldn’t ignore that article, because in the early part of the article where I talk about “Delaying Social Media” I not only provide some brand new research about the undeniable connection from social media to the rise of depression in America, but I also provide some helpful questions you can ask your kids to engage them in meaningful conversation about this subject Continue reading “What age should my kid be on social media?” »

I regret not saying anything

Posted on: 02/20/18 3:30 AM | by Jonathan McKee

“This kid gets bullied a lot.”

I’m wrapping up my book to parents about bullying, and in the last few months it’s been literally insane how many times I’ve turned on the news to see exactly what I’m writing about played out on the screen… last week again with the shooting in Florida.

No, I’m not one of those guys who is putting full blame on “bullying” here. There were a lot of factors contributing to this tragedy… but again… one of the big ones was an ostracized kid ignored by bystanders every day.

Like the 17-year-old who admitted as much to the Miami Herald just a few days ago Continue reading “I regret not saying anything” »

Where to Get Practical Parenting Help

Posted on: 02/6/18 3:30 AM | by Jonathan McKee

In two hours (at 9AM Pacific time) several thousand parents will receive our FREE “Parenting Help” email which always contains three helpful resources for today’s parents. Take a peek… because you might want to make sure this helpful resource is hitting your inbox twice a month:

  1. This “Parenting Help” email always includes our newest “Parenting Help” article, like the one I just wrote with three tools to engage your kids to not only remove their headphones… but tune you in. I always write these articles based on the biggest questions I’m hearing from parents online and at my parent workshops. We have an entire page of these articles that hopefully do exactly what the title implies… “help parents” with practical tools they need. Look at the last five articles I’ve written Continue reading “Where to Get Practical Parenting Help” »