Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Stupid Products: Kidz Bop

Kidz Bop 17 is here!  Are you excited?  Are you gathering your kids around the cd player to rock out to developmentally inappropriate music riddled with adult themes and the "word" "shawty?"  You aren't?  Neither am I!

I loathe Kidz Bop.  I detest Kidz Bop.  Kidz Bop will likely be the most stupid Stupid Product I review this year, and I have some doozies in the works, let me tell you. 

My disdain for the Kidz Bop cds did not begin this year.  I've hated them from the start.  They came out about the same time a music video of popular tunes sung by kids was released to the general public.  I was babysitting a gaggle of impressionable kids when they popped the music video into the VCR (remember those?) and began dancing around to "I'm So Excited" along with the freshed-faced youths on the screen.

Have you heard the words to "I'm So Excited?"  I did that day and felt my stomach lurch as toddlers and preteens alike happily sang, "I want to love you, feel you, wrap myself around you."  Can I get a big "YIKES" from the mothers in the room?

I don't know if the company that made the video is also responsible for the Kidz Bop cds, but the problem inherent in the product is the same: Some of the songs are just not for kids.

Kidz Bop markets itself as a purveyor of popular music that has been cleaned up to make it appropriate for children.  Okay, yeah, the swear words and some of the more racy/disturbing/primal-mother-scream-induing lyrics have been taken out.  But did anyone take a moment to consider the themes? 

Case in point: Pink's "Please Don't Leave Me."  The song is about a woman who treats her relationship partner like dirt and then begs him not to leave her.  Awwwww...and raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens!  The Kidz Bop people took out the line in which Pink calls her love her "perfect little punching bag," but this is small comfort to a mom who thinks codependency should be taught after her kids learn to tie their shoes.

I mean, do kids even have a frame of reference for the theme in this song?  What relationships are they in?  Let's see...there's parent/child, sibling/sibling, teacher/student, friend/friend... To whom is this anthem directed in the mind of a child?  My imagination is full of distraught 7 year olds crying themselves to sleep, worrying mom will abandon them for giving her a hard time over doing homework.

Like the song above, a disturbing percentage of the songs featured on Kidz Bop cds deal with relationship angst appropriate to a much older demographic.  How many 9 year olds are lying in bed all day, pining for a lost love who did them wrong?  Please, tell me it's fewer than these cds suggest.

Maybe I'm behind the times or just haven't realized how "savvy" kids are today.  Somehow, I don't think that's the problem.  The makers of this product are in the business of making money.  That's the bottom line.  I'm in the business of keeping my kids kids, so Kidz Bop can take a flying leap.

Know 'm sayin,' shawty?


a little music said...

What's 'shawty'? I don't get that. LOL

However, I really do agree with your comments, and appreciate your product review. Thanks, 'dawg'.

Anonymous said...

Way too true. Great review.