I heard a song the other day that I could not get out of my head.
It wasn’t just the catchy melody and the beat that stuck with me. I couldn’t stop thinking about the messages in the music, specifically about using drugs and having a “who cares” attitude.
The song is called “Young, Wild & Free” by Snoop Dog and Wiz Khalifa, two very well known hip-hop artists.
Please understand that I am not picking on rap music. I am simply using this song as an example. I could easily comment on what Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, John Mayer and the Foo Fighters are teaching our kids.
Musicians, celebrities and athletes are powerful influences on our young people and often they are the teachers that teenagers pay the most attention to. It is important to know what your kids are tuning in to and what kind of influences they are drawn to.
So, here it is. Drug education by Snoop Dog and Wiz Khalifa.
The chorus is a good summary for this four point lesson.
“So what we get drunk, So what we smoke weed. We’re just having fun. We don’t care who sees. So what we go out. That’s how it’s supposed to be, living young and wild and free.”
1. Partying is a mandate
“Yeah, roll one, smoke one. When you live like this you’re supposed to party.” Smoking pot and drinking alcohol is a way of life. Teenagers are supposed to experiment, right? Besides, pretty much everyone at school parties and smokes weed.
2. Fun is all that matters
“Roll one, smoke one and we all just having fun.” It’s no big deal and it doesn’t hurt anyone. If it feels good, it can’t be bad. Look at the people in the music video, they are having a blast hanging out and smoking pot.
“Blowin’ everywhere we goin’ and now you knowin’ – When I step right up, get my lighter so I can light up.” Drugs and alcohol will always add fun to any gathering of friends. In fact, it’s not really fun until everyone is getting messed up.
3. You shouldn’t care what people think
“And I don’t even care, cause if me and my team in there, there’s gonna be some weed in the air.” Who cares what your parents, your teachers and your coaches think. They don’t really understand anyway. Think about the stories you will be able to tell your friends.
4. You should be wild & free
Above all else, you should be able to do what you want, when you want to. You should be able to achieve the teenage dream of total freedom. You might as well push the limits and get away with as much as you can while you are young.
These are powerful messages wrapped up in a fun and danceable package.
(If you are curious, here is the link to the video of this song. Warning: it is definitely not safe for work.)
Here’s the truth
Snoop Dog has been arrested for possession of marijuana, cocaine and illegal weapons dating back to 1993. He was charged as an accomplice in a murder and has also been involved in gang violence. He was accused of giving marijuana and ecstasy to minors and filming them doing sexual acts. Wiz Khalifa has been arrested for marijuana possession and drug trafficking.
Now, I am not saying that smoking pot will lead teenagers to use hard drugs and get involved in gang violence. However, there are serious consequences and risks involved with underage drinking and drug use.
It is inaccurate and dishonest to present a care-free party lifestyle without consequences. That is simply not a reality for most teenagers. A more likely picture involves family conflict, failing in school, juvenile hall and drug rehab programs.
“Us rappers underestimate the power and the effects that we have on these kids. Syrup, percocet and an eighth a day will leave you broke, depressed, and emotionally vacant. Despite how Lil’ Wayne lives, it’s not conducive to being creative.”
I think our kids deserve to hear the truth about what will lead them to happiness and success, despite what pop culture tells them.