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The Case for Positive Music Lyrics


By David “Mello-D” Sawicki, Youth Under Construction

“Kids Deserve a Better Rap.” This is a slogan and one of the main purposes of the music and dance group that I direct and produce, called Mello-D’s “Youth Under Construction” (MDYUC). Prior to the start of a concert on Belle Isle this past July
1st, new member Erielle J. Bell read her opinion on rap lyrics, and I would like to share it with you:

“I think kids deserve a better rap because some of the lyrics in today’s songs are inappropriate for children. Rap music is okay if it has no cursing. Most of the videos go right along with the songs. They have nasty images and the dancers dance in a disrespectful way. The songs and videos do not teach children any good lessons, and the rappers are not very good role models. Also, I think they do not educate youths to become better people. That’s why kids deserve a better rap!”

Arielle Bell Performing with Youth Under Construction.

For those not familiar with MDYUC, it is important that we set the record straight. Our policy is to never force or tell anyone what they should watch or listen to. One of our songs, called “Opinions (I’ve Got Mine)” features these lyrics: “If you don’t judge me, I won’t judge yougive me constructive feedback from a positive view”. So to single out rappers and say they are bad would be inconsistent with our positive message. Our CD’s title track assumes that youth “know the difference between right and wrong” and we believe they do. However, knowing and acting out are two different things.

So many young people get caught up in the infectious or tantalizing beat of a song and excuse the lyrical content, saying,

“I don’t listen to the words, I just like the beat!” Yet I’ve watched them mouth the words as they listen to the beat and they can recite every single lyric on a track. How is this possible? It’s simple: our minds are very powerful.

The memory does not judge what it takes in. The most powerful computers in the world today still cannot compete with the human brain. So what goes into our memory DOES affect us and stays with us. Have you ever heard a song that you just could not get out of your head?

On the MDYUC website, www. youngpop.org, we asked that question as a survey-poll, and almost all of the 300 voters answered “YES!” (at least sometimes). The power of music and video should NEVER be taken for granted.

The key word here is BALANCE. If you load up your memory with expressions and images of negativity and hurtful thoughts, you will feel weighed down by all of that. People can feel depressed after repeated exposure to hopeless situations or violence. Why not research, seek out and support entertainment that will build you and others up. Write
your own positive expressions down, whether poetry, a letter to someone, or a simple journal- writing notes to yourself.

Sure, say what you mean, and why not keep it real AND clean! Why not be CREATIVE and work to flip the script on the negativity and re-frame a bad situation. Yes, it can be work sometimes to do this. Life has its bad twists and turns. Still,
haven’t we heard enough about who did who wrong? Or listening to someone so angry and going on and on about how they want to kill someone? Give it a break- we ALL deserve better…


Youth Under Construction will be enrolling for Fall Courses shortly.

Read our list of positive choice recommendations, updated regularly on the website, www.youngpop.
For more informationon MDYUC call

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