Friday, December 19, 2008

Kids Say The Darndest Things

I've spent a great deal of time working with children. Its work I enjoy because children are so innocent and unassuming. Oftentimes, I've heard some very funny things. On some ocassions though I've heard some not so colorful things and wanted to bury my head in the sand like an ostrich. I can recall those moments so vividly when the child starts to speak and in a few seconds, Mom and Dad's secrets are not so secret anymore. It's easy to excuse 4 year olds, but what do you do when an 18 year old kid says the darndest thing?

Not too long ago kid rapper Soulja Boy gave a shout out to the Slave Masters. He thanked them because without them he would still be in Africa without diamonds and tattoos. When I heard I was in shock. It was by far the dumbest thing I had ever heard. He had nothing on Theo Huxtable really. It's like Steven Spielberg or Elie Wiesel thanking Adolf Hitler for the Holocaust. Had it not been for Hitler, Spielberg would not have won an Oscar and Wiesel wouldn't have had a chance to be on The Oprah Winfrey Show. The gross ignorance behind Soulja Boy's comment is disappointing but expected. I didn't expect much from a young boy who sang about dousing and super soaking so called "hos" with God knows what.

What's even sad is the air time the Soulja Boy song received. Everyone was trying to do the Soulja Boy just like they are Beyonce's Single Ladies. Barney, Dora the Explorer and even Winnie the Pooh were all manipulated. I have always screened the songs I listen to and refuse to listen to what I consider rubbish. I respect a lot of artists even though I may not agree with their lyrics. Hustle and Flow which is one of my favorite movies gave me a new found respect for these artists. I admire the work they put into their craft and their drive to succeed. They sell their grandmama's trinket and their Uncle's sofa. There is no cost too great to pay all for the price of fame. Nonetheless, I still refuse to listen to what I consider classless stupidity, even if you had to sell your kidney. So, at first I thought the Soulja Boy song was a joke until I sat down to really listen to the lyrics of the song.

I can imagine being thankful for education, a working democracy, responsive government...but come on, diamonds and tattoos? There is a lot wrong with the mind of an individual who would hail a system that was cruel and inhuman. I don't know which is worse though, Soulja Boy hailing the Slave Masters or some of the songs Plies and the likes of him put on our airwaves. We cannot regulate speech. Doing so would be UnAmerican. However, we can demand responsible behavior from celebrities because they are unfortunately "role models." God forbid that Soulja Boy or Lil' Wayne be any young child's role model. That would be utterly tragic.

So, earlier this week with a smirk on his face Soulja Boy made a public apology for any offensive statements he may have made. It's almost Christmas and those albums have to get out as stocking stuffers. Don't worry about his remarks, Soulja Boy is just a kid who thought out loud in real time.

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