The nominees to receive the most prestigious awards in the music industry, the Grammy Awards, were just announced. Among the five nominees for Record of the Year is a song titled "F--- You," with the F-word, of course, spelled out and pronounced.
Here are the song's opening lyrics:
"I see you driving 'round town
With the girl I love and I'm like,
Oo, oo, ooo
I guess the change in my pocket
Wasn't enough, I'm like,
And f--- her, too!"
The next lyrics add the S-word:
"I said, if I was richer, I'd still be with ya
Ha, now ain't that some s--t? (ain't that some s--t?)
And although there's pain in my chest
I still wish you the best with a
Oo, oo, ooo."
And shortly thereafter, the N-word:
"I pity the fool that falls in love with you
(oh, s--t, she's a gold digger)
(just thought you should know, n----)
It is also worth noting that the video of this song includes children who appear to be under 12 years of age and all the performers are black -- a point I will address later.
I have long believed that MTV has done more damage to America's young people than any other single institution. I am referring to the music videos, in which most images or scenes are shown for less than two seconds and thereby numb kids' minds, and to the sexual imagery and sex talk that permeate the music videos and much of the rest of MTV programming.
But while MTV should be singled out for the damage it has done to America, the music industry in general has been equally guilty.
How does a song replete with expletives, whose very title is "F--- You," get nominated for a Grammy Award as Record of the Year?
The answer is that the music industry, from producers to artists, is largely populated by people who regard social and cultural norms as stifling. Their professional lives are dedicated to lowering that which is elevated, destroying that which uplifts, and to profaning that which is held sacred.
There is no better explanation for "F--- You" being nominated as Record of the Year. It has little, if any, redeeming moral, social or artistic (to the extent that this word retains its original meaning) value. The lyrics are as vapid as they are obscene; the video further degrades that part of black life that is already too lacking in elevation; and there is the participation of children in a profanity-filled video.
For most of American history, a child who used such words was punished by his parents, and society instinctively knew how important it was not to expose children to obscenities. Today, adults in the music industry reward children for participating in videos laced with obscenities.
Nor is the nomination of "F--- You" as Song of the Year an aberration. Two of the other four nominees are rap "songs" whose lyrics are also vile.
Here are typical lyrics from the Eminem's nominated "Love the Way You Lie:"
"And I love it the more that I suffer
And right before I'm about to drown
She resuscitates me
She f---ing hates me
And I love it."
And later on:
"If she ever tries to f---ing leave again
I'ma tie her to the bed
And set the house on fire."
The third nominee is an ode to New York City, "Empire State of Mind," performed by black rapper Jay-Z and Alicia Keys, and which also contains the N-word. It is worth recalling that when white radio-show host Laura Schlessinger used this word solely in order to condemn its use in inner-city black life, society's elite poured such wrath on her that it forced many of her sponsors to abandon her, and she decided to leave radio. But when Jay-Z uses it, he is rewarded with the nomination for the highest award in the music industry.
Two examples of the N-word use:
"Say what's up to Ty-Ty, still sippin' mai tais
sittin' courtside, Knicks and Nets give me high five
N----, I be Spike'd out, I could trip a referee
Tell by my attitude that I'm most definitely from. ...
You should know I bleed blue, but I ain't a Crip, though
but I got a gang of niggas walkin' with my clique though. . . ."
For the record, the fourth nominee, B.o.B's "Nothin' on You," is another rap song with something of a melody behind it. This song has a decent message of a young black man who, though tempted by other women, only wants his woman. And the fifth nominee was a lovely song, "Need You Now," by the country music group Lady Antebellum.
How deep is the decay in the music industry?
According to the Los Angeles Times, these Grammy nominees were "decided on by about 12,000 voting members of the Recording Academy."