Parenting: What I Learned From Lil Wayne

| 4/7/2011 10:25:16 PM

CindyMurphyBlog.jpgNearly everything comes with an instruction manual, except the one thing that perhaps should:  children.  After-all, look at the topics covered in most manuals – safety, programming, and troubleshooting – who could better benefit from these instructions than a parent?  But instead of being supplied with a one-size-fits-all set of directions upon their birth, we have to rely on our own instincts, writing our own manuals as we go through a grueling on-the-job training process.  Sometimes we get it right; sometimes we make mistakes along the way. 

Everyone, now turn to Chapter 497:  What To Do When Your Daughter Wants To Go To A Lil Wayne Concert. 

Lil Wayne, for those of you who might not know – and if you don’t know, any teenager will accuse you of having lived under a rock for at least the last decade – is a wildly popular rap artist.  He has been described as being to rap what Michael Jackson was to pop.  And he is, in my opinion, the writer of some of the most vulgar and offensive song lyrics that I have ever had the displeasure of hearing. 

I would have remained blissfully oblivious to exactly how vulgar his lyrics are except my daughter, Shelby, started listening to his music a few years ago.  I might admit to finding some of his plays on words and puns clever, if they weren’t surrounded by profanity and sentiments that are sexually degrading to women.  Keith and I wondered where we went wrong in writing the “programming” chapters of our child’s instruction manual – Shelby was raised on my alternative metal and his classic rock preferences.  But rap?  Isn’t that gang music that promotes violence, and sees women as being nothing more than sex objects?  Doesn’t it glorify drinking, drugs, and other means of self-destruction - all the “things which happen to be a major problem among many children today” as is the claim of an on-line article titled “Is Rap Actually Music or is it a Bad Influence”. 

It’s sex, drugs, and roll ‘n’ roll, baby!  Wait a minute….that phrase was coined way back in 1977, years before Lil Wayne was even born.  “Is Rap Actually Music or is it a Bad Influence” continues to complain “that half of the time they are yelling their lyrics in such a loud and annoying way you may not be able to really understand what they are saying.”  Who wrote this stuff?  My mother?  Those were her exact words thirty years ago….and she wasn’t saying them in reference to rap.     

I wonder if Mom worried my brothers and I were going to start biting the heads off bats because we all listened to Ozzy?  Probably not.  My brother says Mom purposefully kept herself blissfully oblivious to the music blaring from our rooms, each of us trying to out-blast the others.  I think it was a way of preserving her sanity.

Cindy Murphy
5/1/2011 9:26:45 PM

Thanks, Stepper. And while my grandchildren are wondering how they got so lucky to have such a cool grandma, I’ll be wondering how I survived my children’s teenage years and made it to grandma age!

Chris Davis
5/1/2011 2:16:36 PM

Hi Cindy! I have to admit I'm not a fan of rap and that would be easily proved by looking through collection for a rap CD. There aren't any. Although, I do have Paula Abdul's Cold Hearted Snake which has a sort-of short rap in it. I have to admit I never even heard of the groups you mentioned. But, you've given Shelby a wonderful memory that she'll be sharing with your grandchildren one day, and they'll wonder how they were so lucky to have such a cool grandmom.

S.M.R. Saia
4/19/2011 7:26:09 AM

This was great. Thanks Cindy!

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