Alright. Can we get super real for a minute and leave the world of "safe" and "family friendly" music that dominates our weekly coverage? We're now leaving the land of Christian music, Toto. You've been warned.
This came from a discussion we're having over at NRT Christian Music Fandom. You should join us.
We rarely do this, but it's big news right now and sometimes, we just don't know. File this under "Be Aware Of What the Kids Are Listening To." I also am personally aware of the pitfalls that trashy and sex-soaked media brings into our lives (HINT: It's never good). As adults, we don't have parents helping us decide what we should and shouldn't be inviting into our hearts and homes. There's no one slapping our phones out of our hands saying "DON'T WATCH THAT!" or telling us to replace our Fall Out Boy with Steven Curtis Chapman.
Bad example. But you get the point.
Instead of turning the other way this round and continuing to ignore what's going on in the mainstream music world, I'm going to attack this head-on. My hope is that together, we can all say no to consuming more of this garbage that hits us on a weekly basis from all different corners.
Ariana Grande's new album hits tonight at midnight. She's arguably one of the hottest mainstream pop stars right now with 51 million monthly listeners on Spotify and hundreds of millions of views on her YouTube videos.
Nine of the 12 tracks on her new album are marked [EXPLICIT].
Sample lyrics from the chorus of her current hit, "thank u. next" which repeats seven times in the song. "Thank you, next, I'm so f***in' grateful for my ex."
And from her follow up single, "7 Rings" which says "Yeah, breakfast at Tiffany's and bottles of bubbles / Girls with tattoos who like getting in trouble / Been through somebad s***, I should be a sad b**** / Who woulda thought it'd turn me to a savage?" Chorus repeats "I want it, I got it, I want it, I got it" and continues "When you see them racks, they stacked up like my a**, yeah."
And from her third single from the album "Imagine" which says "Click, click, click and post / Drip-drip-dripped in gold / Quick, quick, quick, let's go / Kiss me and take off your clothes" followed by "Tell me your secrets, all of the creep s*** / That's how I know it's true"
Those lyrical gems are just from the songs that have already released.
And this isn't just about swearing. We had that discussion a few years back at NRT (See: No More Bleeping Christian Music). This is about glorifying sex, greed, personal enjoyment, twisted success and any other theme that goes against even the basic Biblical principles. The cussing is just the offensive icing on the dung-filled pastry. Add in her videos which are about as trashy and risqué as you can get and her album cover that has her covering her bare chest and, well, go ahead and try to make your case for inviting this junk into your circle.
Oh, and she's 26 years old.
Look, we're not going to get in a habit here at NewReleaseToday of calling out absolute trash that is bombarding our culture, nor do we want to be your content police.
Then again, as popular as this inevitable No. 1 album is going to be, maybe we should? It's so RIGHT THERE, and this is just a small example of what's being packaged and delivered for easy consumption. Parents, this is all one click away on your kid's Spotify account. These videos that are borderline soft-core pornography are one click away on YouTube.
So, use this as simple encouragement to be aware. It's time for more of us to stand up and say, "NO THANK YOU! NEXT!"
Looking for better alternatives? Follow our 50 Positive Playlist on Spotify where our editor's combine clean and positive mainstream music with Christian hit songs, or tune into NRT Radio Positive where we do the same thing. The Overflow is also a Christian music alternative to Spotify with plans starting at $5/month. Hand your kids that instead of a Spotify account. And finally, dig a little into what your friends, your kids, and yes, even you are listening to and ask the simple question: is this edifying to God? If the answer is no, it probably doesn't deserve your time.
Kevin McNeese started NRT in 2002 and has worked in the industry since 1999 in one form or another. He has been a fan of Christian music since 1991.
NRT Books Launching
First title, Mixtape Theology, releasing October 2
What The Bleep
We explore the continuing trend of Christian artists including language...
NEW!BEHIND THE SONG
#1176 - Jason Gray
Exploring the message of belonging and transformation
Christian Music in 1993
NRT's J.J. Francesco reflects on the Christian music industry in 1993
Christian Music's Women
Women working to further the kingdom of God through their music