Posted On Tuesday, November 10, 2020
Music

“Teacher? What does WAP mean?”


2020. 

Advertisements

COVID.  Sickness. Hospitals at capacity.  Make-shift morgues.

Widespread unemployment.  Isolation.  Depression.  A drastic increase in addiction.

 Killings of black people at the hands of police. Uprisings. 

The fight for racial equality. White supremacists being called upon by a sitting president.  Peaceful protests being targeted by racists, as an opportunity to shoot and kill. 

An election year that has caused more anxiety and division than any other. 

Hmm…

Yeah… So… I think I’ll record a song about my vagina and all the wonderful things I can do with it!  

WAP.  The song appears to be a very successful one.  Popular.  Rave reviews from many.  Everyone is talking about it- even youngsters. 

Yes, lyricists.  Young people listen to your music.

How should one respond when a student asks, “What does WAP mean?”  How should I have responded when a 6th grade girl said she wants to be a stripper when she grows up? 

Do keep in mind that in this time of virtual learning, when one student asks a question or makes a statement, all students are present. 

Before we begin blaming parents, keep in mind that this song is being played on the radio.  The video is available for all to view.  Children are curious by nature.  That’s good.  They should be curious. 

Are parents to monitor every song a child listens to?  Is this a realistic expectation?  Is it even possible?

Ladies.  Perhaps we should leave the state/status of our vaginas out of song lyrics. 

Should anyone even care about your vagina: unless they are fortunate enough to be the receiver of?

I am thinking there are probably better things to sing about, especially during a time like this.

Perhaps now, we should also move on from ‘Nigga’.  What is the value or importance of using the word?

I mean… is it mandatory in music or something?  Will the song not sell otherwise?

 Regardless of arguments defending its usage, we all know from what word Nigga derived. 

Nigger.  There!  I said it.

 It doesn’t look good in print.  Nor is it easy to form my mouth to say the word.

When asking students not to call each other Nigga, the most heart-breaking response I received was from an African student, who with innocence and confusion in his eyes responded, “Why? Nigga means black people.  I’m Black.” 

Hmmm.  Okay.

 Music lyricists, the age-range of your listening audience may be broader than you think.  Shouldn’t this be considered when writing, recording, and putting it out there for all to hear?

 I mean that is the goal, right? To reach as many listeners as possible? 

Keep in mind.  Your lyrics can have an impact.  Young people are often your largest listening audience.

Perhaps this is a time to send positive messages.  Messages of hope.  Messages of unity and strength. Messages of pride and confidence.  Messages of love, even.

Black artists, it is all our responsibilities to let our Black youth know…

We are not Niggas. 

We, black and brown women, are more than our vaginas. 

Regina Williams, Ed.D

Advertisements