Brent Bozell

So the music world has been ruined by "harrumphers," the ones who would cruelly "depict" the reality of Akon's act. That would put The New York Times on record as the newspaper in favor of on-stage simulated rape, without any troublesome "chilling effect" on the mock rapist. Sanneh almost seemed disappointed there wasn't a 15-year-old girl in New York who didn't get the "rag doll" treatment.

Sanneh followed with the predictable note that concertgoers must have found the "new" Akon too tame: "maybe some of these voyeuristic youngsters felt slightly let down by Akon's brief, genial set. No pastor's daughters were harmed during the performance. And he prefaced his one and only curse word with a warning, 'Kids, close your ears.'"

He sounded just like Stefani's agent, Jim Guerinot, who claimed: "Akon has been a perfect gentleman on this tour. His show has at best been a PG show. Children of all ages have been attending. We have had no complaints -- nothing but satisfied people."

Other newspapers were disappointed, too. When the tour hit Boston, Jed Gottlieb complained in the Boston Herald that Akon "pleased the soccer moms" by avoiding the simulated sexual assaults, but now he's not nasty enough: "Nobody is advocating he go the illegal and immoral route, but surely he can figure out some way to make his music seem dangerous, or at least more fun."

But parents ought to pay attention to rappers like Akon and how they sneak into the musical mainstream. For example, Akon's 2005 hit "Lonely," which riffs on the old Bobby Vinton hit "Mr. Lonely," with Vinton's vocal speeded up like a Chipmunk, is still in regular rotation at Radio Disney on broadcast and satellite radio. It's a clean song, but it might easily mislead a parent into thinking Akon's a clean act in general.

But Akon's new album, "Konvicted," also has a hit with the gangsta rapper Snoop Dogg titled "I Wanna Love You." Predictably, that was the edited version. The critic-pleasing "dangerous" version is titled "I Wanna F--- You." But both versions have almost identically explicit sexual lyrics, even if one is more radio-friendly. There is one term that anyone with his eyes on the Internet or ears on his albums would use: Akon's very far from a "perfect gentleman."


Brent Bozell

Founder and President of the Media Research Center, Brent Bozell runs the largest media watchdog organization in America.
 
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