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Lewd Lyrics in current pop music

Updated on April 27, 2014
Silva Hayes profile image

Silva has a background as a technical writer and in addition to how-to articles she writes about cooking, travel, and personal experiences.

Pop music
Pop music

Too much of the pop music today contains lewd lyrics that sometimes get by parents, or parents have just given up. Money-hungry label owners should act more responsibly. Pop music artists and their music have a huge impact on the younger generation.

Lady Gaga wearing raw meat? Pop artists singing about rough sex, suicide, self-destruction, abuse; that's not cool or trendy and it's irresponsible.

I am talking about bubblegum pop, the music 9, 10, 11, and 12 year old girls listen to.

Here’s a saying I heard recently that sums it up: “You Can’t Unring the Bell.” Vulgar curse words and blatant sexual connotations are now allowed on the pop airwaves. It will move forward, based on the slippery slope syndrome. Seems that pop has joined the hip hop and rap music industry in constantly striving to descend to the next level. Most rap and hip hop music that succeeds on the charts is misogynistic and violent, promoting negative stereotypes.

Nothing compares to meeting the school bus to pick up your precious 12-year-old granddaughter and hearing Eminem screaming “Tie you to the bed and set the house on fire,” when the doors open, except perhaps Rihanna bellowing “Rude Boy, Can You Get It Up ?” Yes, our middle school allows the buses to play the current FM pop radio station and they play a steady stream of Ke$ha, Katy Perry, Eminem, Rihanna, etc.

A June 2008 CMI study of Billboard’s top 50 songs found that nearly half contained sexually suggestive lyrics and over 25 percent featured sexually degrading lyrics and looks like it’s holding steady in 2010.

Song lyrics affect teens. A study published in Pediatrics found that adolescents who listen to music with degrading sexual lyrics were more likely to initiate sexual intercourse and engage in other sexual behavior.

Britney Spears’ hit, “If You Seek Amy” and Flo Rida’s number one hit “Right Round” snuck in themes without some parents knowing but I assure you that young kids are picking up on those themes. Kids as young as 10 were listening to Spears sing “F**K Me” and are now listening to Flo Rida sing about oral sex. These are the messages young kids are receiving from popular music today.

Sadly, it looks like lewd is gaining ground; just glancing at the current lineup on the Billboard (October 2010), here’s my opinion of the lyrics:

Teenage Dream, Katy Perry, Take It Off, Ke$ha, California Gurls, Katy Perry; all three lewd

DJ Got Us Fallin’ In Love, Usher; most of the lyrics are okay but they slip in one MF and a slimy reference to being your gyno. Tacky.

I Like It, Enrique Iglesias; suggestive but not blatantly lewd

Club Can’t Handle Me, Flo Rida; not blatant - suggestive

Only Girl In the World, Rihanna; suggestive but not overtly lewd

Love the Way You Lie, Eminem and Rihanna; horribly violent and misogynist

Just the Way You Are, Bruno Mars; Dynamite, Taio Cruz; Just a Dream, Nelly; not lewd

Like a G6, Far*East Movement; stupid and who knows what it means, not overtly lewd

Mine, Taylor Swift; inspiring and not lewd

Secrets, OneRepublic; not lewd

Cooler Than Me, Mike Posner; laughable but not lewd

Animal, Neon Trees; freaky but not lewd

Airplanes, B.o.B; not lewd (love Hayley Williams’ voice)

If I Had You, Adam Lambert, Misery, Maroon 5, Magic, B.o.B; not lewd

Pop artists don’t NEED to bombard and corrupt the ten, eleven, and twelve-year-old children with dirty lyrics. Their music is going to sell anyway, based on the beat, the rhythm, and a unique voice.

Since they don’t need to do it – why do they? What kind of unpleasant personality would corrupt 10-year-olds -- just because they can?

News flash to Ke$ha, in real life when a girl starts “taking it off” in a mosh pit, she doesn’t turn into stardust, like in your video; she is probably going to be sexually assaulted.

How many young girls are lured by the lyrics and wake up the next morning bruised, diseased, pregnant, and reputation tarnished at school.

How many criminals are spurred on by lyrics such as Tie her to the bed and set the house on fire ?

Children don't really consider the fact that these artists are heavily-processed money makers for behind-the-scene moguls who are raking in millions of dollars.

It’s a tragically cynical business where young girls like Ke$ha and Rihanna are turned into money-making caricatures. If you get pregnant, Ke$ha isn't going to help you financially to raise your baby. If you contract HIV, Rihanna isn't going to visit you in hospice. If you are murdered, Eminem isn't going to attend your funeral and comfort your mother.

These music stars are making lots and lots of money off of young teens while singing lewd lyrics that are affecting their personalities in a negative way. Britney Spears earns $64,000,000.00 a year. Lady Ga Ga earns $62,000,000.00 a year. They don’t need to pound out nasty, degrading lyrics. Their music would sell based on their name and the beat.

"Don't Trust Me" by 3OH!3, became the band's breakout hit. It is their first top ten hit in the U.S, reaching #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 in its twenty-third week on the chart. It has sold over 2,000,000 copies and has been certified Double Platinum. This is the one that goes: Do the Helen Keller and talk with your hips. Sadly, cynically, they are referring to a real girl, Helen Keller, who could not see, speak or hear. Lovely message for our beautiful young girls? Great for their image and self-esteem! Shut up and grind your hips.

Money-hungry label owners, you've made millions off the backs of children and their parents. Please, act more responsibly.

Remember the Spongebob episode. Mr. Krabs told Spongebob and Patrick, Watch out for the hook.

We are Young (by Fun) 2012

First the singer tries to “get his story straight,” so he starts off with a lie.

Then he mentions his friends are in the bathroom, getting high

Then an ambiguous mention of a scar he gave her (a physical scar?)

Then it mentions that if she gets so drunk tonight that she is falling down, he will carry her home.

The chorus soars dramatically, and the lyrics go into how "We are young....." etc. and the piano pounds into a crescendo, all appealing to the young teens who blissfully sing along, while their subconscious absorbs the bits about the lies, drugs, beating, and carrying her home when she’s too drunk to walk. All encapsulated in a catchy, tuneful little song that the 12 and 13-year-olds are singing.


Reminds me of Pumped Up Kicks, another catchy, lilting little song that all the young ones were singing a year ago.

I don’t get it. My point is this:

Music moguls, the kids will buy your music;

they are all about the sound and the beat;

you don’t have to infiltrate their psyches and mess them up mentally in order to make your millions.

"Where'd all the good people go?
I've been changing channels
I don't see them on the TV shows
Where'd all the good people go?
We got heaps and heaps of what we sow . . . "

- Jack Jackson


Check out this wonderful song by Pharrell Williams -- clean lyrics, fabulous rhythm, and extreme success world-wide.


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    • Jean Bakula profile image

      Jean Bakula 4 years ago from New Jersey

      I'm sure with a grandmother like you to advise them (when they ask for it) they will learn a lot. I have doubts if I will ever be a grandmother, my son never dates anyone for long. But he's a teacher and an assistant director at a karate school he attended for 15 years, and hopes to be able to run the school in 15 years or so as his only job. He learned thru their leadership program how much he loved to teach elementary school kids. They all have so many more options than we had!

    • Silva Hayes profile image

      Silva Hayes 4 years ago from Spicewood, Texas

      Thanks, Jean. I agree; I too worry about the young ones. I have three granddaughters, and I hope they can get through these perilous years (ages 13, 15, 17) and make good choices. I think it's great that you have the opportunity to steer young women in the right direction.

    • Jean Bakula profile image

      Jean Bakula 4 years ago from New Jersey

      Thanks for the follow! I looked at your profile, and see we have a lot of favorite rock groups in common. When I was dating my husband back in the stone age, the Moody Blues were all we played. Our son grew up on classic rock, and although some of it is suggestive, I agree that now the words are disgusting. He plays guitar, but never got into rap or any of that. I worry about the young girls. In some ways these people are supposed to be role models, especially if they have an audience so young. I graduated HS the year Roe VS Wade was passed, and although my views have softened on that, I worry that many young women in their late teens and early 20's seem to have no goals or career plans, they still look for all their self worth in a guy who may not be worth it. Since I interpret horoscopes and do tarot readings, I get a lot of young women clients, and I try to steer them into understanding they can be independent, do what they want, and shouldn't be looking for someone else to make them happy. That has to come from within.

    • Silva Hayes profile image

      Silva Hayes 5 years ago from Spicewood, Texas

      I must agree; that is suggestive. Thanks for your comment.

    • profile image

      BROWN J OHNSON 5 years ago


    • profile image

      Ardeedia Sapphire 5 years ago

      I think the problem is with how bold people have gotten with lyrics. I mean sexually suggestive lyrics have been around since music pretty much but the thing is now they make it so obvious. No one uses metaphors for sex anymore really they just say what they mean now.

    • Silva Hayes profile image

      Silva Hayes 5 years ago from Spicewood, Texas

      "Where'd all the good people go?

      I've been changing channels

      I don't see them on the TV shows

      Where'd all the good people go?

      We got heaps and heaps of what we sow."

      - Jack Jackson

    • Silva Hayes profile image

      Silva Hayes 5 years ago from Spicewood, Texas

      Thank you, James. Exactly so. Young artists may feel that they must include certain words and phrases in order to succeed in today's world; that their choices are limited otherwise.

    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago

      This reflects that the control of the music industry has gradually fallen into the clutches of Satan. Those who live in darkness are quick to cry "You want censorship!" because they do not see reality, what is real in the light. What is real has nothing to do with censorship. Nobody is going to stop anybody from writing or recording any kind of song they want. Almost any song can be published on YouTube or CDs self-published. It is not about censorhip at all. What it is about is that a million demos reach the desks of music companies every year, and they pick and choose what to produce and put millions of dollars of marketing behind; and what to throw in the trash. They are CHOOSING filth and not choosing millions of clean songs that are written. If there is any censorship going on it is the censoring of music that is not nasty.

      Thank you. :-)


    • Silva Hayes profile image

      Silva Hayes 5 years ago from Spicewood, Texas

      I am speaking about POP music that targets the 11, 12, 13 year olds. I know that dirty or questionable or irresponsible lyrics have always been around. That doesn't mean that it must continue when it is directed toward the young. Lots of bad stuff has always been around, war, disease, poverty, and so on. Still would like to see the young ones protected from it, instead of saturated in it, all for the sake of the almighty dollar.

    • profile image

      lee 7 years ago

      try listening to most soul from the '70s. they were saying the same thing, just using different words

    • japtaker profile image

      Justin Aptaker 7 years ago from United States

      Timely and necessary. We are, I'm afraid, the frogs sitting in the water as it gets hotter, and hotter, and hotter...

    • wrhapsody profile image

      wrhapsody 7 years ago from Renton, WA

      Hi Silva,

      I just wanted to let you know that I read your hub and although I disagree, I found that it was well written and researched and I appreciate you adding your opinion to the pool.

      I also wanted to tell you that I wrote a response hub that can be found at:



    • Silva Hayes profile image

      Silva Hayes 7 years ago from Spicewood, Texas

      Sadly, I feel that you are right. This shift of which you speak is not going to originate with the political figures, religious leaders, business leaders, or the entertainment industry. Strangely enough, I sometimes detect a soupcon of concern for our social decline from the media. Thank you for your comment. What do you feel could stem the tide?

    • profile image

      Tony DeLorger 7 years ago

      Hi Silva. The problem of which you mildly scratch the surface, is that socially we have all become far too complacent with issues like this. This negative evolution is impossible to stop without a massive shift in thinking. It all stems from our fixation with sex and a misinterpretation of that and Love being the same thing. Love has nothing to do with ego or self-gratification. Spirituality and respect for our fellow co-inhabitants must eventually be re-established if our race is to endure.

    • Silva Hayes profile image

      Silva Hayes 7 years ago from Spicewood, Texas

      Yes, I grew up on rock music and as you say, there have always been suggestive lyrics. However, now that we allow the hard-core lyrics over all the airwaves all day long, where do we go from here. and it saddens me to pick up on the degradation of the female in so many hip-hop and rap lyrics, which are steadily leaking over into pop. Thank you for your comment.

    • Uninvited Writer profile image

      Susan Keeping 7 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

      There have always been suggestive lyrics in rock songs. I remember loving songs as a child but when I was an adult I figured out that the lyrics were suggestive and even lewd. I don't think it damaged me in any way. I certainly didn't rush into having sex. To me it's like video games, it's not real. When most people hear a song they don't go out and do everything it says, unless they are psychotic...


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