01 June 2009

Thinking About "Boy" Music



Prior to becoming the parent of a teen and three tweens, I would have said that there is no such thing as "boy" music and "girl" music. Everyone is free to listen to whatever music makes them happy. However, when faced with the task of selecting music for my 10-year-old son DJ, I find myself thinking along gender lines. The pop music that C1 and C2 favor (Taylor Swift and Jonas Brothers, for example) seems to be aimed at teenage girls. It's all seems too bouncy for boys. The female artists are there for the girls to emulate, and the male artists portray a sensitive image to appeal to the girls. I can't see myself handing DJ a Hannah Montana CD. I don't want to do anything that might get him teased by his friends. So what is the kid supposed to listen to?

Radio was a safe place to discover new music when I was a kid, but our local stations now seem to be a sexual landmine. I know that there have always been suggestive lyrics on the radio ("Afternoon Delight", anyone?). Today's songs seem to be much more explicit, however. Every song by a male rapper these days seems to have something about being in love with a stripper! So my kids don't listen to the radio, except in the care when ABM plays the gospel station. The rest of their music comes from me or, more recently, their friends.

Being the main provider of the kids' music can be a burden. It has been easier for me to find new artists for the girls, but I am stumped when it comes to DJ. So far, he's been listening to the Beatles and a couple kid-centric episodes of Coverville that I burned for him. I want to introduce him to artists who produce fun music that isn't babyish but isn't too grown up for him, either. The only song that sprang to mind today was "Cheeseburger in Paradise" :-). Anyone out there have any suggestions?
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