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Columns : Opinions - Joye Ritchie Greene Last Updated: Feb 6, 2017 - 2:32:04 PM

Catchy Songs...Devious Disguise
By Joye Ritchie-Greene
Jan 29, 2008 - 11:32:04 PM

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A few weeks a concerned parent emailed me some information about a popular song playing the airwaves with strong sexually graphic lyrics.   While you may be wondering why it is getting air time in this country, the reason is that the lyrics are deviously disguised.

Used individually the words may not garner any negative feedback, but when translated, yes translated, a whole new meaning becomes disgustingly apparent.   The song in question is Crank dat Souljah Boy; the artist, DeAndre Way, a.ka. Soulja Boy.

While the song has a great dance beat that will definitely get you tapping your feet, the lyrics will perhaps make absolutely no sense to you unless you are familiar with the American Urban Street Language.   There is a website www.urbandictionary.com devoted to defining words/slang that are commonly used on the streets.

Many people know Superman to be a comic book hero, but if you look at the meaning on this website, then you will think twice about allowing your child to listen to the lyrics of this popular rap song. “Watch me Crank dat Soulja Boy, Then Super Man Dat Hoe.”   Translated, Superman is when a male ejaculates on a girl's back then puts a sheet on her back.   When she wakes in the morning and stands up, the sheet is stuck to her back (like a cape), thus you have officially supermmaned that hoe. “Watch me crank dat Souljah boy, Then super Man dat

Of course, some may argue that many of the young listeners are perhaps not even aware of the meanings of these lyrics; they are merely enjoying the beat and the catchy dance that Soulja Boy created to go with this song.   This perhaps is true for many, but when the meaning is made known, then it becomes another unflattering and dehumanizing way that some boys and men can use to refer to women in our society.

When I was about six years old, my cousin taught me a song.   It was a very simple song, with an easy rhythm.   While I was sitting to the dinner table that evening, I decided to sing the little diddy I had been taught earlier that day.   Here goes: “Eff, you see Kaye? Eff, you see Kaye?”   My older sister whispered to me that I should not sing that song, but since she offered no explanation I decided to continue singing.   My mother warned me several times to stop as well, telling me that was not a nice song to sing.

As a six year old, I could not comprehend why my sister and mother admonished me for singing that cute little song.   Of course as I got older, I understood that I was not really singing lyrics to a song, but calling of letters that spelled out a word that is strictly taboo in our society.

According to the unabridged version of the Collins Dictionary, this taboo word about which I speak, is of Germanic origin dating back to the 16th century.   It is related to the Middle Dutch word fokken which means to strike.

The same way that this word made it down through the centuries, many of the street slang used today will find their way from the urban dictionary to the Collin’s Dictionary.   Does this mean it is therefore acceptable for people, young or old, to use these offensive terms?    Of course not!   But are we going to stop our children from hearing these words and phrases and even using them, definitely not.

What you can do as parents and guardians is be more aware of what your children are listening to and educate them about their social responsibility.   It is important for young men to know and understand that they ought not refer to young women as “hoes.”   Likewise, young women must not allow themselves to be defiled and disrespected by males just to gain the attention of these young men.

I don’t expect you to be able to monitor every song your child hears because he/she is not with you every hour of the day.   My sister was shocked to learn that her five year old daughter even heard of the song “Crank Dat Soulja Boy,” let alone knew the chorus of this song.   My niece heard someone at school singing the song, a classmate no doubt with an older sibling who listens to the song.   Does she know the real meaning of the song, of course not, should she and other children be allowed to sing those lyrics?  

The final decision is yours to make.   But consider this, would you like to have such lyrics song about you or a young woman you know?   It all starts with an innocent catchy rhythm, then takes on a whole new life and form.   Eff, you see Kaye?   Does that really mean what you think it does?

About the author: Joye Ritchie-Greene is an Educational Consultant, Writer and Martial Arts Instructor. She is the owner/operator of The Bahamas Martial Arts Academy; president of Time-Out Productions; and is also a columnist for the Freeport News. She has a B.A. in English and an M.S. in Human Resources, resides in Freeport, Grand Bahama with her husband and enjoys playing tennis. Joye can be reached at joye_hel_ena@hotmail.com  



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