So, I like Rhianna. I have several of her songs on my ipod. I listen to her with some frequency, in fact. Her October 2010 SNL (http://youtu.be/h8IXGHOnG8k) performance made my brow furrow with a bit of distaste, (she seemed a bit more skanky than I've seen her) but I ignored it. I believe in free speech, she is an ‘artist’ after all. If she wants to bring on the raunch and it works for her, who am I to judge?
I’m a mom, that’s who. Again, I say, I like her songs. I like Eminem and even Dr. Dre, both whom have pretty offensive lyrics and language woven throughout their songs.
But when my niece started belting out lyrics from her latest hit “S&M” I had to question my liberal views on the music industry.
The lyrics, sung by aforementioned niece, and now my favorite daughter (thank you very much favorite niece!) are as follows:
“Cause I may be bad, but I'm perfectly good at it
Sex in the air, I don't care, I love the smell of it
Sticks and stones may break my bones
But chains and whips excite me "
Um, okaaaay? Does Rhianna have every right to sing about whips, chains and the smell of sex? Sure she does. Does the radio have every right to play it on the radio during waking hours? Of course! Do I have the control and right to change the station? Yes I do! However, what is a Mom to do when your child is exposed to the song or video when you're not around?
While I was slightly stymied when my daughter asked me what "S&M" was, I don't feel it's enough of a reaction to disallow her from listening to the music. Sometimes I think the more you take something away, the more they want to find out about it. I turn it off sometimes, telling her I don't like this particular song. Having said that, I don't think the song is harmful, or hurtful, or influential in anyway.
So then why the blog, why the comment at all? I think it's just the ick factor. It's the 'Is it really necessary?' factor. It's the, 'Do i really care that you like whips and chains Rhianna?' factor. It's the 'While I don't usually get bothered by music lyrics, this made me cringe because I hate that my kids are exposed to some things before I'm ready to allow it' factor.