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?

The Newest on Teens, Social Media & Technology

Posted on: 07/24/18 3:33 AM | by Jonathan McKee

Pew Research just released their newest report on Teens, Social Media & Technology giving us the newest numbers confirming what we already knew: almost all teens have smartphones and use social media a lot!

But their numbers also revealed some interesting realities about where teens navigate and their perceptions about social media. Here are some random facts that stood out to me from their report:

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” »

Answering top questions from today’s parents PART III

Posted on: 11/16/17 3:30 AM | by Jonathan McKee

In PART I and PART II of this series we already tackled some of the big questions today’s parents are asking…

How do I regulate screen time with a high functioning autistic kid?

When your kids push you away and go silent, how do you reconnect?

Is there a way to receive your kids’ texts directly on your device?

These are just a few of the countless questions I just received from parents… and for three days I’ve been answering them in this blog. Each day I’m narrowing it down to the top 10.

Here are the final 10 answers to the last 10 questions… Continue reading “Answering top questions from today’s parents PART III” »

Is Abstinence-Only Education Really Ineffective?

Posted on: 09/6/17 11:55 AM | by Jonathan McKee

Many of you might have seen or read about a report in the September issue of Journal of Adolescent Health where researchers asserted abstinence-only education is “scientifically and ethically flawed.”

So let me ask a taboo question in the Christian community:

Are they right? Is there any legitimacy to this claim?

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen people bashing abstinence programs. Back in 2004 a report prepared for House Democrats shredded abstinence programs, citing “errors and distortions” in eleven of thirteen abstinence-only curricula. (Which is interesting to look at in hindsight—a report that cited STDs going down—now that we all remember 2008 reports emerged citing 1 in 4 teens girls have an STD, and now recent reports revealing Continue reading “Is Abstinence-Only Education Really Ineffective?” »

Teen Summer Bucket List Goes Viral

Posted on: 07/25/17 7:21 AM | by Jonathan McKee

Go to a party
Have sex
Give two blow jobs
8 hoe pics for Instagram
Hook up with Jacob again
Get a boob hickey…

These are just some of the items on a young person’s “bucket list” gone viral on Twitter.

Does this surprise me?

The timing is intriguing. Just last week I had a 3+ hour drive to the airport on my way back from teaching youth workers at a convention in Indiana. I took the opportunity to listen to the current Billboard Hot 100 to get a glimpse into the top music today… and apparently teen thinking today Continue reading “Teen Summer Bucket List Goes Viral” »

If you’d like a sneak peek

Posted on: 01/17/17 4:23 AM | by Jonathan McKee

As one of my regular blog readers, you know I enjoy giving you unique opportunities to read and try out resources before they’re even finished, chiming in with your opinion. This month I have one of those opportunities.

At the end of this month I’ll turn in a finished manuscript to my publisher—my newest book-in-process—The Teens Guide to Social Media and Mobile Devices. This is the first time I’m even releasing this title (it comes out later this year).

Here’s where you come in. I’m looking for Continue reading “If you’d like a sneak peek” »

why STDs are at an unprecedented high

Posted on: 11/30/16 4:00 AM | by Jonathan McKee

Do-You-Wanna-Know-the-TruthThe CDC posted a press release last month revealing STDs are at an unprecedented high in the U.S. In fact, “despite recent declines, 2015 was the second year in a row in which increases were seen in all three nationally reported STDs.” It will be interesting to see where these numbers come in at the end of 2016. The increases from just 2014 to 2015 ranged from a 5.9% increase of chlamydia to a 19.0% increase of P&S syphilis.

Yikes!

This is where everyone begins tossing theories around. Some blame Continue reading “why STDs are at an unprecedented high” »