Entries Posted in "Pop Culture"

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Finishing Well
July 8, 2009

In all my years of writing, one thing I've learned is never to comment on current events--in conversation or on paper--when they are current. It seems counter-intuitive, but usually when something is at the forefront of the media, emotions run high, people get overly-sensitive and the whole effort of holding a normal discussion on an event becomes exhausting and counterproductive. I like to wait until the air clears and reflect with a bit more perspective than can often be afforded by the media blitz, humanistic commentary, and somber-yet-loyal allegiance and angst that is often present when death of any kind is present on a world-wide scale. Emotion can sometimes be an untrustworthy measuring rod for reality. For most human beings our knee-jerk reaction and response to life in general is based on our emotions. Logic usually comes second. I believe maturity can be found in striking the balance between truth, rationalism and emotion. Emotions are no small thing. They are God-given senses that allow us to feel, grieve, mourn and level with our own humanity. Emotions allow us to reminisce, recollect, and even revel in the moments that make up our life.

Over the last few weeks, America lost a few of its idols. Some were better known than others. A few seemingly existed in the realm we often place celebrity - immortality. Any shock, dismay, or horror we find ourselves in at the news of celebrity death can usually be chalked up to the reality that many of us mistakenly deemed these "idols" to be above the law and good old fashioned mortality. Though celebrity and death have always walked hand in hand, it never ceases to amaze me how much anguish it causes the masses to see one of the mighty ones fall. For the record, I don't believe any one person's life is greater than another. Whether a person's influence is worldwide or only known in the womb, the death of a human being big or little is something on which to ponder for its intrinsic significance in the scope of eternity.

Though no one life is greater than another, the death of Michael Jackson in particular is one I think many of us won't soon forget. Not necessarily for the person himself but rather for the response of the world. As a musical talent, the Jackson legacy has so shaped and rocked the music and entertainment industry that many question if there will ever be another individual on the planet with such genius and wide-reaching influence. In that instance, I think the better question we should be asking is, "Even if there were a person who could fill that void, I wonder if they've already been 'aborted' on the altar of 'choice'?" When people can comfortably make statements that begin with the words "There will never be..." I think it's a scathing commentary on how much talent and genius this world is missing out on and likely exactly what the likes of Margaret Sanger and Charles Darwin always intended. For many reasons, Michael Jackson's death takes the discussion on human potential to an entirely different realm.

Hate him or love him, for many of us, Michael Jackson's music is attached to memories and time. I'm not old enough to have witnessed the Jackson 5 in their heyday, but my parents were big Motown fans so I know all the lyrics to all their songs as if the album were released yesterday. As a kid I remember watching Jackson moonwalk across the stage and turn out choreography no eye had ever seen. I remember "Bad" and "Beat It" and being scared half to death by the "Thriller" video. As I came into my teenage years I recall staying up late to watch the prime-time television premiere of the latest Michael Jackson video. Rarely did it disappoint. In my adulthood, I relish in the fact that all the Michael Jackson classics were relied upon to pack out the dance floor at our lavish wedding reception. We rocked the night away to the tunes and melodies of a man who knew how to ride the beat like no other. In the most ethereal way, I so loved and appreciated the music of Michael Jackson and the perceived timelessness of what he did on wax. If only human beings were judged in one dimension. Maybe then we'd all go to heaven now wouldn't we?

One of the marks of American culture is this strange time old tradition that has caused people to find it rude, crude and taboo to speak the truth about the totality of a person's life once they are dead. When people say, "Don't speak ill of the dead," it makes my stomach turn. Whose rule is this and where exactly did it come from? Because quite frankly, it makes no sense. The entire incentive and purpose of living life properly and with integrity is that we all might feel some level of accountability to the legacy we will leave on the earth. It is naive and dense of us to believe that some type of magical wand gets waived at the time of death and all our wrongs, sins, and grievances get washed away -- or rather filled up -- by embalming fluid. When we silently excuse certain behavior all for the sake of someone's "awesome talent," or to preserve a positive memory, we chip away at the God-given conscience in every human being to make the right decisions now so that when we reach the finish line, the final judgment on our life is, "well done."

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Barbie Gets Tattoos
April 30, 2009

tattoobarbie.jpg
We've all seen it -- that beautiful, young woman bending over to pick something up only to reveal a strategically placed tattoo just above her buttcrack. The sight of her buttcrack notwithstanding, you can't help but feel slightly...violated.

I'm not one of those people who feels it's my place to go around telling others their decision to get a tattoo is a bad idea. If you're an adult, you can make whatever decision you like. It's your life and your body. I do have an opinion on the matter though. I happen to believe tattoos are incredibly shortsighted, but to each their own. If you want to be a sixty-five year old rocking an emblazoned scripture on your forearm, that's your bag. Old wrinkly tattoos though? Not a good look. Where I take issue with the tatting trend that seems to be running rampant among young people is when children are being evangelized that tattoos are all the rage.

It turns out these days even middle-aged women are getting tattoos. Last month, it was announced that at 50-years-old, Mattel's Barbie Doll is celebrating by getting a tattoo. The LA times reports:

"We begin in Southern California, where, just in time for spring, Mattel Inc. has released Totally Stylin' Tattoos Barbie. The doll comes with a set of more than 40 tiny tattoo stickers that can be placed on her body. Also included is a faux tattoo gun with wash-off tats that kids can use to ink themselves.

A spokeswoman for the El Segundo toy maker said it was a great way for youngsters to be creative with their pint-sized gal pal. But some parents are horrified by this body-art Barbie, labeling her the "tramp stamp" queen of playtime."

We can all thank the Bratz dolls for opening up the door to this madness. You'll recall that some time ago, makers of the Bratz dolls came under fire for their scantily clad, overly sexualized dolls targeting young girls of color. Bratz dolls were said to have been an effort to boost self esteem among girls of colors who don't see themselves represented in the doll industry. These dolls came complete with lace thongs, push up bras, and garter belts. If that's the best toy makers had to offer by way of culturally inclusive dolls, I'll pass.

Some parents are wishing toy makers would draw the line somewhere. The LA Times interviewed a mommyblogger on the new Tattoo-laced Barbie:

On her parenting blog, Telling It Like It Is, Texas mother Lin Burress sarcastically predicted that "Totally Pierced Barbie" would be the next to roll off the assembly line. Readers commenting on the blog chimed in with their own fictional "Divorce Barbie," who would take possession of Ken's accessories.

Burress, a 46-year-old mother of six, said she was fed up with companies pushing racy fare to kids to make a profit.

"It's just one more thing being added to the pile of junk, like push-up bras and Bratz dolls, being marketed to these ridiculously young kids," she said. "These so-called toys just create a sense of rebellion."

I think Lin Burress hit the nail on the head. It's hard enough raising young women in this society who don't arrive at age 12 without having been completely indoctrinated with thoughts of insufficiency, insecurity, rebelliousness and shallow self-worth. If the goal of society is to raise up a generation of young women who will make smart, informed decisions for themselves, this type of doll is a step in the wrong direction. The last thing we need is the future professionals of America being fed the hype that tattoos are commonplace. Maybe it's just me, but I think the world could use one less woman whose 18th birthday plans include an appointment at the Lucky Devil Tattoo salon for her very own tramp stamp, no?

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Posted in Pop Culture, Sex/Purity | Permanent Link | Comments { 6 }
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Pimpin' Ain't Easy?
March 7, 2006

Did Three 6 Mafia really run around the stage of the Academy Awards ceremony yelling about how hard it is to be a pimp? Artistic enterprise my pinky toe (which is broken, by the way). On behalf of Hattie McDaniel and Sidney Poitier, I am embarrassed--for the award, for the display, and ultimately the representation. I don't know what to say. Although it certainly does my heart well to know that despite the glorification of pimping, at the very least, Jesus was thanked. And I'm sure somewhere in celebritydom, Kanye Mess heard that acceptance speech and was under the impression that Three 6 Mafia was actually thanking him. For the Mafia's sake, I certainly hope that was the case. Because nothing in my mind can comprehend what hand Jesus Christ had in that mess.

For the record, I'm over the Oscars. (Can't you tell?) Is it possible for an awards ceremony to jump the shark? Honestly, I would rather have the hairs individually plucked from my legs than spend four hours listening to Jon Stewart host anything, let alone an already notoriously monotonous awards show. At least plucking my legs would supply me with some sort of productive end-result. And yes I realize that illustration is a bit disgusting, but that's just my point. I would rather be disgusted than be super duperly disgusted. Yet despite my disgust, I consider it a small victory that the "Academy" had enough sense not to give the makers of Brokeback Mountain another chip of evidence in their mounting convictions that they actually produced a worthwhile film.

Is there coming a day when we finally unburden ourselves with the delusion that being intentionally random, abstract, irrelevant and morally "cutting-edge" are the key ingredients for greatness?

The inadequacies of the modern film aside, the Oscars never fail to leave me disturbed on some gigantic level. Perhaps I need to lower my expectations. However, given the emphasis on the Oscars and the fact that the future of film is directly influenced by this event, I tend to take it more seriously.

I love Terrence Howard, but the fact that his first Oscar nomination is for a role as a pimp really bothers me. Not to knock Howard's performance; he's a fine actor in his own right. Yet unlike Halle Berry, he didn't win the Oscar. For that I am abundantly thankful. I am thankful that we didn't have to listen to Howard sob through an acceptance speech, dedicating it to honorable historical black figures and rambling on about how his Oscar is for every nameless and faceless man of color that now has an opportunity because he epitomized a pimp.

Now before I am accused of partaking of the cup of hateration, understand that I believe Howard will eventually win an Oscar and I'd rather his accolade not immortalize him for characterizing the most egregious of behaviors. Quite frankly, the black community can't afford that.

Why much of the black community continues to remain passive towards the glorification of pimpdom is an entirely different and more complicated topic. But what I found to be terribly ironic Sunday night was what one cultural definition of the verb "to pimp" reveals:

Pimp (verb)
1. To make something appear better than it really is by adorning it with various emblems and pricey status symbols of the culture (see "ghettofabulous")
2. To advertise (generally, in an enthusiastic sense) or to call attention in order to bring acclaim to something; to promote.
So it seems that in a shocking turn of events, "Pimping" is actually being pimped.

It all seems easy enough to me.

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When Rappers Speak Extemporaneously
September 2, 2005

Dear God help us all.

It's not enough that he's won the "Best Gospel Song" award multiple times for "Jesus Walks," a song with cussing in it. It's not enough that his theology is bad and he had the nerve to die and resurrect himself on stage at the Grammy Awards. Now the cry-baby of hip hop is making emotional and outlandish statements and publicly bashing the president during airtime specifically set-aside for raising money for hurricane victims.

Classy.

Time Magazine's recently crowned "Smartest Man in Pop Music" displayed ultimate bad form. On last night's NBC broadcast of the Hurricane Katrina telethon and benefit concert, West had the following to say on the matter:

"I hate the way they portray us in the media. You see a black family and they say we are looting, you see a white family and they say they are looking for food. And, you know, its been five days because most of the people ARE black. And even for me to complain, I would be a hypocrite because I would turn away from the TV because it's too hard to watch. I've even been shopping before even giving a donation, so now I'm calling my business manager right to see what is the biggest amount I can give. And just to imagine, if I was down there and those are my people down there. If there is anybody out there that wants to do anything that we can help about the way America is set up the help the poor, the black people, the less well off as slow as possible. Red cross is doing as much as they can. We already realize a lot of the people that could help are at war right now, fighting another way. And now they've given them permission to go down and shoot us."

"George Bush doesn't care about black people. Please call..."

Then the plug was pulled. Whelp, there goes any credibility left to the valid charges of racism in this whole blasted disaster. Any validity in Kanye's comments was completely squashed when he decided to make a blanket statement and publicly bash the president. You DO NOT DO that. You express disappointment; you point out faults; but you do not disrespect authority on national television. What an embarrassment.

In many circles, Kanye will be heralded as a hero for saying what everyone else is supposedly thinking. For me this will be counted as one of those moments when you just hang your head in shame and mourn for the conversation that could have been were it not for unorderly accusations. I absolutely believe we are looking at disgraceful attitudes towards victims fueled by many things, among them race. The lop-sided media portrayal is blatant. Unfortunately, these attitudes are not new. They are simply magnified by a grave situation (more on that later). Nevertheless, Kanye doesn't speak for me (quick, somebody make a t-shirt). I am not of the belief that President Bush doesn't care about black people. I don't care if much of what West said was true, he was out of order and his credibility will suffer.

The part that really kills me is that I know Kanye's intentions were genuine, but unfortunately, very ignorant. That's what made it such a train wreck of emotion and pretension. I'll talk more on Kanye and his new album next week. I'm certain sales will go up for these comments. I guess he really is the smartest man in pop music. As far as I'm concerned, he's feelin' himself a little too much right now.

Associated parties have been rapidly releasing disclaimers to cover West's mess. The Red Cross reminds us they are a nonpartisan effort. NBC asks that West's remarks not overshadow the fundraising efforts. The AP reminds us that West has been prone to outbursts as of late.

(Update 9/3): Journalist and blogger, Chris Nolan suggests, "It's not a color thing. It's a privilege thing." Now that's an entirely different post.

Video of Kanye's remarks can be found here. You'll notice that Mike Meyers (West's co-presenter) looks like he wants to crawl inside a hole and die. You'll also notice that West may want to look into Dale Carnegie or Toastmasters. Painful.

Other bloggers report:
Michelle Malkin, Slowplay, and about 100,000 more people. Kanye West currently ranks as the #2 search on Technorati with "Katrina" being #1.

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Can We Live?
June 23, 2005

A few weeks back, while viciously flipping through channels, I decided to pop-in on BET to see just what type of debacle Robert Johnson has left. While I generally associate a high degree of irrelevance and painful ignorance with every aspect of BET, I was shocked to see that in the midst of the mind-numbing, superficial self-glorification, was a music video that actually made me think. Can you even imagine thinking while watching a music video? Lately, it's unheard of, but every now and then, somebody gets it.

Nick Cannon's latest song/video, "Can I Live?"--a tribute to his mother, who at 17-years-old, considered aborting him, but chose to give him life--is by far one of the most creative and purposeful music videos of the year. Hands down. By coincidence I'm sure, it's fairly popular as well. With all the lemming behavior in the music industry, who would think creativity and a life-altering message could go so far? Cannon himself is barely a B-list artist, and by most peoples' critique, he isn't even a good rapper. Then again, neither is 50 Cent. Yet it's interesting how truth always stands up in the midst of a bunch of lies.

I've yet to see someone make a music video from the first person perspective of a child in the womb. If you haven't yet seen it, you can view it online on the frontpage of Nick Cannon's website. It won't take but a few minutes of your day. Watch it. It's important, and in a moment I'll say why.

If you've been around for a minute, then you know I'm a believer and exhorter in the unmatched potential of the hip hop generation. I don't believe music is evil, and I don't even think hip hop is evil. I believe people are bad and people make bad music. Which is simply to say that music is merely a reflection of what is or isn't inside the person who is making it. I've also long stated that as a whole, the black community is fairly socially conservative with abortion being one of the key issues to divide people. So it doesn't surprise me in the least that this video has been so popular on BET. Shocking is that it's being played on MTV, purveyors of all that is carnal. Apparently, people are listening.

In the past, few rappers and singers have accurately touched on the issue of abortion. Those who have, (Common and Nas to name a few) usually nullify their message via lifestyle and the general questionable content of their albums (think R. Kelly "You Saved Me"). Back in the 90s it became trendy for everyone to have at least one "moral" (under a relative definition, of course) song on their profanity-laced, raunchified albums. The trouble was, when you sandwich a song called "Pray" in between songs titled, "She's Soft and Wet" and "Yo!! Sweetness," you're bound to stir up some sort of confusion.

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More Thug Life to Hug Life
May 13, 2005

If you haven't yet noticed, there is a sweeping trend in the film industry to produce more family-friendly films. Nearly everyone's going soft. While I wish folks were going wholesome because they genuinely believe "wholesome" is better, the truth is wholesome sells and movies are about making money. Research shows that family films generally make more money because they appeal to a broader audience. The average parent isn't going to take their child to a rated-R movie.

It's not just parental ratings that determine success either. Time and time again, research shows that whether they admit it or not, people like wholesome entertainment. Even the sadomasochist sitting at home can't help but feel all warm and applepieish when he watches ABC's "Extreme Home Makeover."

Today even the most hardcore celebrities are trying to affiliate themselves with kittens and lullabies.

In a move to make kids' films and cartoons more "edgy," MTV and Nickelodeon made history when they recently inked a deal with Andre 3000 (born Andre Benjamin), one-half of the rap group "Outkast" to co-produce and star in a series of kid-friendly movies, including an animated adaptation of E.B. White's classic, "Charlotte's Web." And here we thought the "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe," was the only book in danger of being contaminated by money-hungry humanists. Are we talking about the same explicit-lyric-having Outkast whose albums that have consistently made good use of that "Parental Advisory" sticker? If we are, these television executives have collectively lost their minds. The AP reports:

Andre 3000 says kids' movies need to be edgier -- and he plans to make it happen through a new deal with Nickelodeon and MTV.

"I've noticed that kids, they're looking up to the Jay-Zs, they're looking up to OutKasts," the rapper (and father of a 7-year-old boy with singer Erykah Badu) told The Associated Press on Tuesday. "So kids' movies and cartoons, they're getting smarter ... because it seems like kids are cooler."

As part of the deal, Andre, one-half of the Atlanta-based duo OutKast, is set to star in a new Nick Movies film, "The Hit," which he will also co-produce. It's about a fifth-grader, seeking a new wife for his father, who discovers his next-door neighbor is Cupid."

For lack of a better word, the logic behind this deal is retarted. I've waited a long time to use that word on this blog and I think it's appropriate for this occassion: retarded, retarded, retarded. And before the PC police get all bent, I offer you this:
re-tard-ed
sometimes offensive : slow or limited in intellectual or emotional development or academic progress
So let's get this straight. Smart + Cool = Jay-Z and Outkast? Riight. That equation sounds pretty retarded to me.

I'm all for making movies that are relevant to kids, but seeking out pop culture icons who can't make up their minds if they want to be clean and credible, or foul and despicable, is not the answer. It is neither smart nor cool. These double-minded artists are not the type of examples we want children looking up to.

Oh but MTV does. That's why they're partnering with Nickelodeon. They want to pull them in while they're young.

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Michael the Thespian
March 11, 2005

William Shakespeare once wrote:

All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players:
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts...
Michael Jackson is apparently familiar with the works of Mr. Shakespeare because his child molestation trial is day-to-day drama.

Is it not odd that on the day when 15-year-old Gavin Arvizo is testifying about Jackson molesting him, people aren't talking about the trial, but instead discussing what Jackson was wearing? Brilliant that Michael Jackson. What a crock.

Umbrellas, costumes, dancing on top of cars, sickness, back pain, hospital stays, tardiness, tears, and now pajamas. Distractions, distractions. The man is making a mockery of the judicial process and only reinforcing his mental instability. Enough of the Michael Jackson show.

Jackson, pull yourself together.

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Chris Rock Fails to Deliver Ratings
March 2, 2005

I tuned in rather distractedly to this year's epic-long pageantry known as the "Oscars." I say "distractedly" because while the events carried on, I attempted to do many other more important things like file my nails and re-count the specks on my ceiling for accuracy. More than anything however, I also found myself praying that Chris Rock wouldn't completely make a fool of, um, everybody. I've always classified Rock as the "crazy cousin" at the family reunion. He shoots from the hip, oversteps boundaries, and makes everyone feel uncomfortable.

Strangely enough, there are parts of our society that need this. Celebrydom is one of those parts. That is why at the very least, I gave Rock points for pulling celebrities down from the mountaintops of their own vanity.

Chris Rock has the uncanny ability to make you teeter on the line between discomfort and humor. One writer correctly noted it as "offensive charm." That said, by modern standards of "offensiveness," I don't particularly think this to be a good quality in anyone, and it's certainly not appropriate for the Academy Awards. "Offensive charmers" would be much more useful to society if they could clean up their offensiveness.

Offending people isn't always bad. The simple name of "Jesus" offends to this very day. In fact, if you're not offending someone, you're probably playing it too safe. On many levels, I understand the emotional location from which Rock's humor comes. It's a valid location, but I believe it's the delivery that kills Mr. Rock.

While Chris Rock may be a talented comic material-wise, the language in his stand-up routine has always bothered me. See, I am one of those Americans who has bought-in to the lofty notion that the English language has far more to offer than some simple-minded four-letter words. So when I found out some weeks ago that Chris Rock would be hosting this year's Academy Awards ceremony, I was certain the "Academy" was suicidal.

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The Idiot Box & The Idiot: A Confessional
February 1, 2005

To the extent I've allowed it, I have for some time had a love/hate relationship with my television. Don't laugh. I happen to be one of those people who names inanimate objects--cars, hats, lotion, shoes, you name it. Well, actually, I name it, but you get the gist. It wasn't until recently that I genuinely had an appreciation for the phrase, "kill your television".

I've never been a huge television watcher. From as early as I can remember, the only shows that truly captivated my attention were "The Cosby Show" (don't ever say anything bad about it or I will smite you and your seed), and "All In The Family". I am hard-pressed to think of any other television program that I've ever watched with such diligence.

My parents were the type who turned off basic cable when we got bad grades. Even worse was that on most school nights, we weren't even allowed to watch TV. We did anyway. Every. Single. Night.

When my dad came home from work, we'd quickly turn it off, and he'd put his cheek on the TV to feel for warmth. We caught on to this tactic very quickly and soon after we illegally watched, we started rubbing ice packs on the television to "cool it off". Don't hate. It was brilliant at the time. Needless to say, we weren't exactly the brightest crayons in the box.

Throughout my childhood, the Telly and I had a cordial relationship at best. It respected me; I respected it. We were...chummy.

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From Thug Life to Hug Life?
October 5, 2004

Admittedly, I haven't yet seen the movie "Sharktale", but the press on it is bothering me and I've yet to figure out why. For starters, it's a reject Finding Nemo. No one is willing to admit this, but I'm just going to come out and say it. Fishy see, fishy do. Big moneymakers get copycats. This time, DreamWorks has concocted a fishy tale with an "urban bent" as one columnist noted. Whatever urban is.

So this morning, Michelle Malkin linked to a tough critique of the movie. In short, the film's ties with "hip-hop" are apparently threatening the movie's image. According to columnist Greg Braxton of the Chicago Tribune,

Ludacris is easily one of hip-hop's raunchiest artists. He's made millions with his rapid-fire raps about his favorite subject -- sex -- and earned a fair share of "Parental Advisory: Explicit Lyrics" stickers with such R-rated lyrics as, "I want a lady in the street but a freak in the bed."

Not exactly the kind of artist you'd expect to see featured in the PG-rated "Shark Tale," the new animated feature from DreamWorks that opened last Friday and features an A-list cast topped by Will Smith, Robert De Niro, Martin Scorsese and Renee Zellweger.

In addition to Ludacris, the soundtrack to "Shark Tale" features Eminem's foul-mouthed proteges, D12. Although hip-hop has long gained crossover status, its high-profile use in a family film represents the biggest splash yet in the effort to channel rap's coarser elements into the cultural mainstream.

Ludacris insists that cleaning up his act for "Shark Tale" is not watering down hip-hop's edginess. The rapper said the opportunity to alter his racy style into child-friendly fare is actually in keeping with hip-hop's creative spirit.

No cursing

No cursing? How moral. If he can clean it up for the kids, why not clean it up in the first place?

While I'll be the first one to jump to the defense of the culture of hip-hop, I have to say I don't support certain raunchified artists being involved with a supposed "child-friendly film". If anything, it only whets their appetite for early gangsta rap indoctrination. Both D12 and Ludacris in particular, don't exactly bring with them a clean reputation. No need to link to their lyrics. You can "google" them yourself.

But according to Braxton, he cites Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube, Method Man and Redman as a few of the many hard-core rappers looking to get involved with more "G-rated" ventures,

Several hard-core rap performers who have laced their music with profanity and violent images are turning from the thug life to the hug life, embracing new projects that do not require a parental advisory warning.
My two cents? Pick a side. Either be clean or be raunchy, but for love's sake don't try to do both. The message is conflicting, especially when children are involved.

On the other hand, the film stars Will Smith, who music-wise has long been pinned as "corny" by my generation, but nevertheless, has maintained clean lyrics and perhaps his credibility is why DreamWorks snagged him.

According to DreamWorks head and "Shark Tale" executive producer, Jeffrey Katzenberg,

"Hip-hop is now a part of our culture and our world and clothing and our music, and I felt it presented an amazing opportunity to show that."
Please. Stop with the "our community" nonsense. The only "amazing opportunity" Katzenberg felt was the one that involved dollars. Bringing in A-list rappers wasn't an attempt to connect with hip-hop the culture. If it was, surely they would have used more discretion in the artists they partnered with. This was about raking in the dollars. Big names, big bucks. Little integrity, little care.

My fellow Conservative Brotherhood member Cobb, who recently saw the film, offers his "Obligatory Seriousness About Shark Tale" noting, "If I were over 25 and in the hiphop business, I would be embarrassed by Shark Tale." While conceptually, I don't see a problem with the film, music-wise, I think producers should have made better choices. From Thug Life to Hug Life? Seriously, I'm gagging.

Update (10/5): Welcome Michelle Malkin readers!

Update (10/5): Back Country Conservative says to heck with the naysayers, go see Shark Tale!

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Why I'm Not a Republican Parts I, II, III, IV
Reflections on the Ill-Read Society
The ROI of a Kid
The Double-Minded Haters
Hindsight
Hip-Hop in Education: Do You Wanna Revolution?
Oh parent Where Art Thou?
Requisite Monthly Rant: the State of the Nation
College Curriculum Gone Wild
Walmart Chronicles
An Open Letter to American Idol
Gonorrhea and the City

I Have a Talk Show