Brainwash by Radio: It's not just a Gen Z problem.
Who doesn’t love the privilege of creating countless music playlists to suit every mood? With an abundance of music streaming services on the market, most of us have opted to use free or paid subscription apps to meet our tastes for musical entertainment at home and on the road. With the power of music choice in our hands, listening to the radio feels quite old-fashioned.
For as long as most of us can remember, there have been songs on the radio promoting promiscuity and violence. I'm sure you can agree that no matter which “Black radio station" we turned to, we were bound to come across a few songs with highly suggestive lyrics. However, in 2021, the filth is practically inescapable! Believe it or not, this music is playing a huge role in shaping the youngest generation. Many of the most popular songs are making kids think that homicide, suicide, fighting, and doing things for fast money is the way to be successful. Very young minds are often unable to discern how this is false, without the help of an adult. Thriving moms must be aware of the history of our most popular music, its effects, and take charge to protect our youth from the dangerous effects of this most effective form of mind control.
The Ratchet Beginnings
In the early 1900s the music of a Black singer, named Mamie Smith, made a lot more money when a white record label began putting her face on advertising campaigns that also depicted black people in very demeaning ways. Even with the disrespectful, racist advertising, black people continued to buy her albums. As record sales skyrocketed, the trend caught on, and other black artists allowed themselves to be portrayed in any negative way the record label saw fit to generate profits. Fast forward to today, it’s so obvious that the songs with the most undesirable themes get the most airplay. Not only are our talented brothers and sisters in the music industry being exploited for their desperation to have access to fame and money, and their lack of concern for dangerous lyrics and imagery, they are being elevated by the masses who have been duped into thinking it's harmless to listen to such trash.
What are some of the lyrics being played on the radio nowadays?
Our goal was to listen for a full hour to provide a few examples of the lyrics, but after listening to only three songs, we simply called it quits! Here are a few lines from a few of the top songs in rotation:
“I put my new man on a leash,
Traded in my old n____, he was just a lease”
Saweetie - Back to the Streets (feat. Jhené Aiko)
“Say she in love with me (what else?),
But save your love, I just want your company”
Rod Wave - Rags 2 Riches (feat. Lil Baby)
“Said I know how to shoot (Oh, oh) and I know how to fight
Boy, I'll tell you once, won't tell you twice
Pop Smoke - For The Night
So, as you can tell, the lyrics in two of the songs are all about disrespecting the opposite sex in a way that reduces the importance of having respectful and healthy relationships. These are the songs that have replaced the R&B songs from men and women actually singing about wanting to be with each other! The third song is clearly about violence. In summary, this is 100% garbage! It’s very obvious that this disgusting music is being played on our stations for the purpose of training the minds of those who are easily influenced - our youngest and most vulnerable.
What Can You Do About It?
Don’t Allow It
Children are highly impressionable. The best strategy is to not allow them to hear this filth at all. According to Rolling Stone, “payments to influence airplay are still a significant feature of the radio landscape.” So, this means the fight to shift the music industry away from this phenomenon is going to take some time. The rich will continue to flex those dollars to get what they want, no matter the backlash. A parent’s best defense is to keep the inappropriate lyrics away from their kids, altogether.
Minimize the Damage
Unfortunately, you can't always control your environment and never know when someone may turn on the radio or stream inappropriate lyrics around your kids. It may seem strange to refer to the radio as a weapon, but that’s exactly what it is in our community. Music with adult themes and violent content does not have a place on public airwaves. Just as the internet and music streaming services allow for parental control settings, public radio stations should take the same precautions rather than having adult content freely marketed to our youth. If your child has been exposed to this music, be sure to talk with them about the music industry’s motives behind making destructive lyrics so widely available. A fantastic video to help prepare parents for a talk with their kids, called Let’s talk about the impact of the music industry on our families, was made by a strong and highly intelligent Gen X mother and scholar, Dr. Shonna Etienne (the conversation about music begins at 8:46). She breaks down the history of black music and how it is being used to program our people’s behavior. Dr. Shonna has all the receipts!
Make an Effort to Find Positive Music
We live in a time when you can find any kind of music you want. If non-violent, uplifting lyrics are what you truly desire for your little ones, a quick internet search is a great solution. Show your kids how NOT to settle for the intentional, oppressive nature of mainstream music. Teach them how to search for and choose good music.
Public radio stations should have playlists that are safe and decent for all to enjoy. Music streaming and video platforms also make it easy for our kids to access adult content if we are not careful. Content targeting Black audiences promoting sex, violence, drug use, prescription drug abuse, homicide, and suicide permeate the airwaves and streaming platforms as a form of subconscious programming. Regardless of how your child enjoys music for entertainment, helping them understand how music influences the mind and the masses is a key step in helping them determine what to consume and what to avoid. Thriving moms teach their kids how to navigate a world that is set up to tear them down. Do you believe your kids are aware of the impact of music lyrics? Let us know what you think.
ThrivingBlackMom.com loves you. Share our love with all of your sisters. Be sure to follow us on Instagram and Pinterest, and sign up for email alerts for future posts.