Parents need to catch on to hidden meanings in today’s mainstream music

Sarah Lelonek

I guess you can say I’m pretty out of the mainstream music loop. I don’t know what songs are all over the radio and Internet, and I certainly don’t know what half the slang in the songs mean.

So, as I watched the news on Monday night and saw a group of children that looked to be about 7 or 8 years old ballet dancing to “Crank That” by Soulja Boy, I was a little intrigued. Being one of the first times I had ever heard the song, I went online and Googled it.

As I read the lyrics, I realized I had no idea what the words meant. So I hopped on over to I frequently use the site to look up cliches and other sayings I don’t understand. I wanted to figure out just what this action of doing a “superman” actually meant.

What I found shocked me, to say the least.

After typing in line after line from “Crank That,” I noticed a pattern: All the meanings behind the lyrics were entirely too provocative for a group of children to dance to in ballet class.

What I would like to know is how this song got into the hands of a ballet class?

Sure, the children probably won’t know the meaning behind the lyrics, but what happens when they go ask their parents what doing a Robocop or Superman is?

I would hope that parents would shelter their children from the harsh meaning to those lyrics and simply tell their offspring to not sing the lyrics at all.

Still, do parents even know what they mean?

I’m a 20-year-old college student, and I didn’t even have a clue. If I wouldn’t have looked up the lyrics for myself, I probably would have gotten the song stuck in my head at some point and started singing them out loud at random. Sure, I don’t like rap, but sometimes it’s too catchy for my own good.

How can parents warn their children not to sing about sex and violence when the parents themselves have no idea what a Superman really means?

After looking up a few other popular songs, I noticed that it wasn’t just Soulja Boy going around singing about dirty topics. Artists are hiding the real meanings of their songs behind slang that not everyone understands.

It’s time for parents to wake up and realize what’s going on. Their precious children are dancing around on national television to a song that is clearly about sex.

Children are singing songs and not knowing what they’re saying. Parents don’t know that their children are doing wrong by singing catchy lyrics heard on the radio.

I probably wouldn’t have had a problem with “Crank That” if I hadn’t seen the children’s ballet class dancing to the song on TV. It was like the news programs were flaunting the fact that these children are dancing to sex-ridden lyrics.

I know people are against censorship, and I am too, but this is getting ridiculous. Parts of “Crank That” are censored, such as harsh language that most people would understand to be crude, but the majority of the song can be heard, including the provocative lyrics.

I’m not saying to go censor every single song out there that hints at sex, I’m saying for parents to do the censoring. It’s time for parents to step in and tell their children what’s right and wrong before they go to and find out for themselves.

Sarah Lelonek is a junior magazine journalism major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].