Enough! An Open Letter To Rollertime Skating
Not really a nerd topic, but it’s my blog!
Yesterday, we took the family skating. Now, we have been to Rollertime before, but yesterday I was a little disturbed. The music selection was absolutely horrendous! More than 80% of the kids there were under the age of 11, but you would have thought this was adult skate.
Sure, they played the clean version, but we all know you can get the gist of a song. From Lil’ Wayne’s piranaha-biting-self on Keri Hilson’s “Turnin’ Me On” to Soulja Boy’s “Donk”, it was little kid freakfest up in there! Your girl Gina has WhatAboutOurDaughters, we need to expand this to WhatAboutOurKidsMinds…
Here is the text of a letter I dropped in the mail today. Makes me want to open my own place. There a lot of hands making money off of this ignorance!
Yesterday, my family attended a skate session at Rollertime. Our family enjoys skating and we try to make it out to the skating rink at least once a month. While we did enjoy ourselves yesterday, my wife and I do have one complaint: the choice of some of the songs.
I am an African American in my 30’s. I enjoy the music of today as much as the music of yesterday (well I enjoy yesterday’s much more). However, with the number of kids that were present yesterday, there were quite a few songs played that were just not appropriate for that age group.
For example, Soulja Boy’s “Donk”. That song is just plain horrible. With lyrics like: I See Dat Apple Bottom Hangin Out Dat G-Strang.
You cannot go much lower to get into the gutter. There were very young children present yesterday; skating their hearts out, repeating Soulja Boy’s trashy lyrics over and over and over.
Yes, the song has catchy beat. Yes, the kids probably listen to that type of music at home already. But, my kids don’t. And when we come out to the skating rink to have a nice time, it is sad that we have to listen to songs that degrade women, have an overt focus on sex, or glorify thug life, all in the name of having a good time. The state of “popular” music today is one to be lamented, but it would be nice if Rollertime did not promote such destructive music to young kids.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I am not asking that the music selection go to a Disney format or that anyone should play songs from those atrocious KidsBop CDs. I love hip-hop; my kids love hip-hop. But there is more to hip-hop than what is in the Top 10 list on Billboard or iTunes. There are plenty of songs that are popular today that do not focus on such negative themes.
I would implore you and by extension through you, your DJs, to take a more active role in reviewing and understanding exactly what is played through your speakers during the afternoon hours of your Saturday sessions (12pm – 6pm). Read the lyrics. Think about what they are really saying. Please do not contribute to the desensitization of our young kids to mature material. I don’t believe that it does society any good to have a five year old belting out, “She gotta donk, watch it hit the floor.” Again, with today’s most popular artists and music, finding those songs will be difficult. But doing the right thing is not always easy.