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Songs: The Kids Deserve Better

notes / gigs / releases

I thought that rap was meant to be empowering
Or is that just for angry little men?
Cos every time I turn my televison on
The fat rappers are banging on again
They're on about how ladies think they're brilliant
Whilst all around them employees gyrate
It's hard to see how you can be a lover man
When everything you sing's so full of hate

And you can say what you want to say
But I think that the kids
Deserve better from their heroes than this

The elevation of the pimp to paragon
Is indicative of how women are viewed
As objects to be bought and sold and beaten up
By fuckwits who think prostitution's cool
Respect only exists as a commodity
To be measured out in cars and guns and rings
The establishment is laughing at how cheap it was
To buy your soul for 30 bits of bling

And you can say what you want to say
But I think that the kids
Deserve better from their heroes than this

While your brothers die in deserts for a government
Who abandoned New Orleans to the waves
You could use the global platform that you've got to take
Some kind of stand for once, but you are too afraid
Afraid to speak out and risk being different
Afraid to even slightly rock the boat
Afraid to lose the favour of a media
Who collude in keeping expectations low

And you can say what you want to say
But I think that the kids
Deserve better from their heroes than this

And I know it isn't for me to say
What's right or wrong for the kids
But surely they deserve better than this?

Published by Wipe Out Music Publishing

This was was written, like so many others, when I was supposed to be doing something else. I'd gotten home from a gig in Cambridge on the morning of January 7th 2007 and, still powered up by ROCK, had decided to have a go at finishing writing some words to a tune that Frankie Machine had sent me (a tune which will probably end up being called "The Books That No One Reads"). I was trying to work out what the chords are and as I'd got a new capo for Christmas decided to see if that'd be any help. I started playing and suddenly the chorus of this song appeared, and i was WAYLAID.

The WORDS started coming pretty quickly after that, based on a conversation I'd had the night before with Tim and Charlie over CURRY about how VILE some RAP videos are in their depiction of women. It is probably the FACT that I ADOLESCED during the 1980s and thus am terribly RIGHT ON, but it sometimes disgusts me that SO many of the videos on TMF or The Hits (i.e. the freeview Music Video channels that i get at home and which are on the big screens in the GYM) depict women purely as objects that can be bought and sold like cars or the TAT jewellery that the rappers in these videos also seem so keen on. ALSO i think it's pretty unpleasant that the PIMP - a man who beats up women, hooks them on drugs, and then sells their bodies to other women - gets to be a fashion icon and aspirational hero. It strike me, as the song says, that THE KIDS really deserve better heroes than these thugs and bullies who have totally signed up for the worst aspects of Capitalism and, far from being REBELS are actually complete LACKEYS of the SYSTEM who propogate the idea that the only viable life goals for young, poor - and, mostly, black - youths are criminality and greed, based on robbing people like yourself of their money and, if necessary, dignity. In times such as this when The Establishment is getting away with, literally, MURDER, in would perhaps be better if people like them with a massive global platform could be BOTHERED to speak out about a bit more than how much they like doing sex with girls.

I don't know, MAYBE it is just that I am over 30 and am destined to be appalled by The Young People - i certainly think they should pull UP their trousers, for instance, as I saw MORE than enough saggy unwashed teenage PANTS when I was a saggy unwashed teenager MYSELF - but, as the song says, I think THE KIDS deserve BETTER!

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