Magazine article Work & Family Life

'What Does That Rap Lyric Mean, Mom?'

Magazine article Work & Family Life

'What Does That Rap Lyric Mean, Mom?'

Article excerpt

Q What do you say to a 10-year-old who asks the meaning of a rap lyric with sexual connotations? I'm at a loss!

-LD, Chicago

A tough question. Even Common Sense Media Newsletter Editor Liz Perle was flummoxed when her 11 -year-old asked what it meant when a "lady rapper" sang, "I taste just like candy." Perle shares her experience. She writes:

"How much do you tell a boy on the verge of adolescence about lyrics that invite a woman into his candy store to lick his lollipop? 'It's about some sex stuff,' I said. 'Not appropriate for your age.' He pushed a little more, then dropped the discussion when he realized I had nothing more to say on the subject.

"'Why didn't you just say it was because she was sweet?' my husband asked me later. He knew our son would accept that.

"'Because some kids in his class do know what it means,' I said sadly. 'I didn't want him being made fun of for seeming stupid, so I opted for drawing a boundary around it instead.'

"Who was right? As usual with dicey media, it comes down to the kid involved. …

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