You know that you are getting older when you catch yourself complaining about the quality of the music the younger generation listens to. I remember when my mom caught me sneaking a Def Leppard tape (if you don’t know what a “tape” is, then move right along – this letter ain’t for you) into the house, and the disgusted look on her face when she made me play it in front of her. Now, it seems, I am getting as old as she was then.
I recently chaperoned a Grade 6 dance at my daughter’s elementary school. Wisely, I brought a pair of headphones with me so I could listen to something tolerable while roaming the gymnasium. Not-so-wisely, I forgot how loud kids like their music. While the kids ran around and danced, my eardrums were treated to a collection of drivel about shaking things off, hearts going boom, and, of course, “whoppa-ing” the Gangnam style.
One particular gem stood out, however. It wasn’t the catchy tune that surprised me, or even the fact that almost all the 11- and 12-year-old kids in the room were familiar enough with the song to shout along with the main verse. It was the crude sexual reference to one’s “anaconda” being aroused only by women with large butts. Having grown up with Sir Mix-a-Lot’s “I like Big Butts,” I was only mildly annoyed by this … until I decided to look up the lyrics.
Turns out that Nicky Minaj’s “Anaconda” isn’t so shallow as to just be about an attraction to large butts. Nope, it has much more content. The song takes us on a whirlwind tour of dating a drug dealer. It then moves into a colourful description of anal sex with a well-endowed man who has cocaine to pay for it. It does come back to its roots at the end, however, with expletive-filled lines about a preference for “the big fat ass bitches.”
Now, to be fair, the song played at the Grade 6 dance for 11- and 12-year-olds was not the full release with explicit language. It was the “safe” version with the swear words and some of the raciest content edited out. That doesn’t leave much left to work with, but what you do get is just that girls with large butts have lots of fun with guys. I suppose some genius record producer realized that this song couldn’t reach its full potential if marketed only to adults, and so packaged a version for children.
The result is still a song about dealing drugs, carrying a gun so you can make people “push daffodils,” paying for anal sex with cocaine, and saving your “anaconda” for those special women with larger than average butts. But without the bad words, so our kids can enjoy it, too.
Not my thing, but like I said, maybe I’m just getting old.