Chris Schulz 's Opinion

Chris Schulz is an entertainment feature writer for the New Zealand Herald.

Chris Schulz: Keeping kids away from musical F-bombs

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Nicki Minaj is one of many artists who sing words not meant for kids' ears. Photo / NZ Herald
Nicki Minaj is one of many artists who sing words not meant for kids' ears. Photo / NZ Herald

Look around you. Do you see any kids? Are there any children with vulnerable ears in your near vicinity? If the answer's no, then stop reading immediately. Seriously.

Do this instead: run to your stereo and press play. Fire up your favourite expletive-filled rap songs. Blast the most murderous death metal you can find at top volume. And dance to as much sexually charged radio-friendly pop as you can.

You lucky, carefree devils. I'm so jealous of you.

If you've got kids - which I do - and they're anywhere near the age of 4 - which one of them is - chances are your music-listening choices have suddenly become extremely limited.

Gone is any song that drops an occasional F-bomb. That rules out about 70 per cent of my music collection, including almost all hip-hop. Sniff.

Are you a fan of hard rock and metal? Forget about it. Kids love simple melodies, easily decipherable lyrics and plenty of singalong hooks.

Trying to educate your kids on the genius of Deftones' prog-metal masterpiece White Pony is a pointless task.

Also out the door is anything that talks about "licking lollipops" or "blowing whistles". That rules out a lot of mainstream radio stations and big-name pop stars. Yes, Katy Perry, Rihanna and Kelis, I'm looking at you.

If I hear my son singing stuff like, "My milkshakes bring all the boys to the yard", we have a problem.

Most of the arguments in our house and car are caused by what music we listen to. My son wants one thing, I want another. This first became an issue when he started singing along to Drake's Started From the Bottom. After every F-bomb in every chorus, he'd say: "Dad, he said that bad word, didn't he?"

"Yes, son, he did," I'd reply. "But he's allowed to because he's much older than you." This answer kept him happy at first, but then he started repeating Drake's "bad word". Every time Drake said "f***", my son would say "f***", too. Not cool. Needless to say, we no longer listen to Drake.


Schoolboy Q drops six F-bombs during his 30-second guest spot on White Walls. So that's out.

So what is there to listen to instead?

Music made just for kids is mostly appalling and designed to sell merchandise. It's repetitive, cheesy and mind-numbing. So far, I've refused to play Wiggles CDs on the grounds that I found myself standing too close to the edge of a cliff called insanity.

One zucchini and one tomato would make a pretty appalling soup; it makes for an even worse song.

Instead, I've been hunting for albums that please all age groups. It's not easy.

I though Macklemore might do the trick, but there were two problems. First, I don't like Macklemore. Second, his album has plenty of swear words. Schoolboy Q drops six F-bombs during his 30-second guest spot on White Walls. So that's out.

Then there was the Smashproof experience. My son loves the local lads' song L.A.B - he'll dance to it for hours. But listen to the chorus: "All we need are liquor and boom bangers."

He's not allowed liquor for at least 12 more years, and I'm not sure what "boom bangers" are, but they're probably banned, too.

Thank the musical gods then for Pharrell's latest album G I R L. Smooth, subtle, fun, funky, entertaining, perfect for sunny afternoons, lazy Sundays and child-free evenings, it's swear word-free and perfect for the whole family. Even my son's a fan.

But if he ever asks to watch that Blurred Lines video Pharrell was in, the answer will be a very firm no.

- TimeOut

Chris Schulz

Chris Schulz is an entertainment feature writer for the New Zealand Herald.

A subscription to RTR Countdown magazine as a teenager kick started Chris’ inspiration to become an entertainment reporter. After finishing a grad-dip at journalism school, he discovered the magazine no longer existed. So he instead begged for a reviewing job at Rip It Up, then took over a local news website’s entertainment section in 2004 when no one else wanted to do it. It’s as much a surprise to him as it is to those around him that he’s been doing entertainment reporting ever since, utilising his diehard love of popular culture (specifically music, TV, movies and games). His career highlights including interviewing heroes like Billy Corgan and Trent Reznor, discussing the best sheep-docking techniques with Courtney Love, and breaking his nose during a Shihad concert. The last thing left on his entertainment reporting bucket list is to ride a rollercoaster with Dave Grohl, something he’s hoping to achieve in the next 12 months.

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