It was just a few short years ago when I would listen to a song and my mother would gasp in disgust of the song's lyrics. Jay-Z's Can I Get A... (you finish the rest), Juvenile's Back That Ass Up, and Britney Spears' Slave 4 U (with obvious sexuality spewed throughout the whole song with panting in the bridge to the chorus) were all perpetrators of contributing explicit ideas into my oh-so-innocent brain. My response to my mom was always quick "I listen to the beat and the music, lyrics come second." That's just me. I like energy and fun. Music is a release. My husband makes fun of me quite often because I just really don't like slow songs. They could have the most beautiful and meaningful words ever written but it's just not fun... I want music to start a part in my car but judging by the songs on my iPod, you'd think I was trying to start an orgy in my car.
Don't be fooled. It's true. I appreciate the musical value behind every raunchy note. My musical selection ranges from Jay Z to Beyonce and Incubus to System of a Down. Every musical genre has its own "not for my daughter" stake.
As a mother, I find myself paying attention more closely to the lyrics of songs and the violence on TV. There are many songs that when I hear them now, I think "how could I like such filth?" then go on jammin'. My mom was right to gasp in disgust when she turned on "the kids'" station in the car. Can't blame her.
Ultimately I think this debate settles on the side of the parents. You can't control what your kids listen to after they reach a certain age. Friends, pop culture and other influencers have more of an impact. What we can do as parents is to teach our children about why we dislike that particular song. I think this along with aligned your general values and morals should do the trick. Teach them to appreciate the music - not the lyrics. When you appreciate music, you have a greater understanding of so many more things than just "pimp cups" and "it's Britney, bitch."
But, hey, I my baby is only ten months old, we'll see if it's easier said than done in a few more years.