Earlier this year I was driving KidC home after band practice and heard Wiz Khalifa‘s “Young, Wild, and Free” on the radio. Reliving those college days when I could sleep at 3 AM, make it to 8 AM class, work all day and meet friends for drinks that night, I declared to my eighth grader that before he settles down and starts a family, the words of Wiz Khalifa are actually quite a good anthem:
We’re just having fun, We don’t care who sees
So what we go out? That’s how it’s supposed to be
Living young and wild and free
You know, because then you have a family and a career and responsibilities and need sleep, a lot of it, but because your enjoyed your younger days, you have no regrets.
He looked at me incredulous, “Uh, mom, you know that song is about smoking weed and drinking right?”
Okay, so I had really not paid attention to all the lyrics and I guess I totally missed the “Yeah, roll one, smoke one, When you live like this you’re supposed to party. Roll one, smoke one, and we all just having fun…” Well, “Don’t do THAT part of the song, but the having fun part, and staying up all night is okay.”
He totally rolled his eyes and smirked.
It happened again.
I was in the car, radio playing and “Starships” comes on. I’ve heard this song a million times and KidA is singing along,
Starships were meant to fly
Hands up and touch the sky
Let’s do this one last time
Can’t stop. We’re higher than a …
I say to KidI, “Is she higher than a mountain? Is that what she’s singing?” Totally thinking she also doesn’t know what the words are either.
My little eight-year old replies, “It’s a bad word.”
“Like bad word s- or d-?” (Stupid. Dumb.)
“No. Like bad word f-.”
“What?!? What is the bad f- word?”
Turns out she had already asked her older sister for the lyrics, they looked it up, and discovered the m-f- bad word together. “Basically, all the words are bad words when people like Nicki Minaj writes a song. Or rap songs,” my youngest wisely reveals to me.
Now, by this time, you’d think I’d learn my lesson. Of course not. Me, who just about five years ago marveled at the true meaning of the song “Afternoon Delight.” Yeah, laugh it up. I lived a very sheltered life.
So over the weekend I’m joking with the kids about how most of their song culture comes from ridiculous movies. For example, KidI whined, “Don’t push me...” to her sister. KidA’s response was, “… cause I’m close to the edge. I’m trying not to lose my head.” Not from Grandmaster Flash. Nope. Thank you Happy Feet.
I tell them, that when they have their own children, their kids will learn about songs like “Clique” from some animated movie with a plot about how much they owe to their mother. “Huh?” “What?” “That doesn’t make sense,” they protest.
Because, I say, “Ain’t nobody fresher than my ma- ma-!”
“Ah, mom,” says KidC, looking a little shocked and actually, quite frightened, “you know that he’s saying the bad m-f- word right? He’s not saying his mother is fresh!”
Whaaat?!? And then all three of my children rolled their eyes, smirked, and KidI gave me a reassuring, yet suspiciously condescending hug.