Listening Guide For Parents

by Scott Billy

How many times have some of you parents walked by your child’s bedroom and heard a racket that they called music and you called trash. It happens, my parents have heard my music and said it was garbage and I’m sure yours have too. This lack of interest in today’s music makes it harder for parents to judge what is good for their children to listen to. What I am doing is looking critically at the top 5 songs on the Billboard Hot 100 chart (as of 2/26/06) and giving you an idea of what to expect from the songs. As a bonus I will be looking at three of the most popular songs of 2005-2006. Hopefully this will help you in choosing what is best for your children to listen to.

Billboard Top 5:
1. Beyonce ft. Slim Thug – Check On It:
This hip-hop/pop song is about a guy checking out a girl and her noticing and flaunting it. She often talks about having sex with this guy. This message can be clouded by the repetitive beats and the fast vocals. It is a really general pop song, but is really popular, especially with pre-teens and teens. I would advise parents to listen to this song and decide for themselves if it is best for their kids.

2. James Blunt -You’re Beautiful:
It is a really simple love song, where a guy is singing about a girl he loves, but cannot have. This is a song that is not too bad for kids. There is a line about him being high, but if the song is edited it’s probably not in there (I only have the explicit versions of all these songs).

3. Nelly ft. Paul Wall, Ali, and Gipp – Grillz:
This is a hip-hop song about someone flaunting their Grillz (a mouth piece that is jewelry; contains gold, diamond, etc.). This song really isn’t bad for kids, except there is a quick line in the refrain that says “rob the jewelry store and tell ‘em make me a grill.”

4. Sean Paul – Temperature:
This is a reggae/hip-hop song, in which it is nearly impossible to understand anything this guy is saying. There are sexual themes in this song, including the line “I wanna be the papa you can be the mom.” This song is tough to judge because it is so hard to comprehend, so I’d say it is parent’s discretion.

5. Mary J. Blige – Be Without You:
This is an R&B/Soul song about a girl that misses her lover and wants to be with him. This is a good slow song. There really aren’t that many inappropriate themes, so I would say it is fine for kids.

Popular Songs of 2005-2006:

1. Gwen Stefani-Hollaback Girl:
This pop song makes no sense; it seems like a series of random thoughts. This was the worst song I ever heard until I heard #2. I think it is alright for kids, but she does say “that’s my sh*t,” quite a bit.

2. Black Eyed Peas-My Humps:
This is the worst song on this entire list, and the worst song I ever heard. The title alone should tell you that it isn’t appropriate for kids. The girl in this song is basically saying how she leads guys on in order to get them to buy her things, so they can get “her lovely lady lumps.”

3. Green Day-Holiday:
This is the only rock song on the list. It is upbeat with downer lyrics. It contains more political themes than you’d expect from the title. I would recommend this song for kids, because it is a fun tune that raises political awareness if nothing else. I would suggest that parents listen to it first however.

As with everything, parents should be the ones that decide what is best for their kids. I am just giving you my views of these songs, all of which, I, as an assistant disc jockey have heard many requests for from kids as young as 10 and as old as 50. I am just trying to raise awareness of what is out there.


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