I know that nowadays most parents blame movies, TV, and video games for the violence that their children are subjected to. About 20 years ago, when gangsta rap was first starting to pop up, they made a huge deal about the violent content in those songs (especially Ice T’s “Cop Killa”). The complaints about violence in music has calmed down some since then, but I still hear about it from time to time. Most of these complaints are still aimed at rappers, although some is directed at hard rock bands such as Avenged Sevenfold, Godsmack, and Disturbed. I’ve noticed recently that there is a particular area that those complaints are missing.
In the case of most rappers, and the previously mentioned bands, all music that would be offensive to children comes with a parental advisory sticker, which means that parents know before they buy it that it may contain inappropriate material. If you buy the CD anyways, you have no right to complain. If you buy the CD at Walmart, it’s already edited, so most of the offensive material is already taken out. There is, however, a place where children are subjected to violence in music where it will never be edited, and the children, most likely, got it from their parents themselves.
I noticed it the last time my wife was watching Beauty and the Beast. There was a whole song dedicated to killing the Beast. Here’s a sample: “It’s a beast! He’s got fangs Razor sharp ones! Massive paws, killer claws for the feast Hear him roar! See him foam! But we’re not coming home ’til he’s dead– Good and dead! Kill the Beast!”
Then I got to thinking about other songs from Disney movies. Take this bit from a song in The Lion King: “[Banzai:] Yeah, Be prepared. Yeah-heh… we’ll be prepared, heh. …For what? [Scar:] For the death of the king. [Banzai:] Why? Is he sick? [Scar:] No, fool– we’re going to kill him. And Simba too.”
Then there’s the first song Aladdin sings. There’s two things wrong with this one. First, he’s saying that it’s ok to steal, as long as you have no money. I’m sorry, but that’s not how real life works. Secondly, there’s this line right here: “[Aladdin:] Just a little snack, guys [Crowd:] Rip him open, take it back, guys.”
I’m sure if I listened to a few more Disney songs, I’d find more examples, but I don’t really feel like it. I’ll leave with this thought: If you feel it’s necessary to complain about the content of rap or rock music, maybe you should look first at what you’ve already subjected your children to.