Bell Biv Devoe - Poison Of The Mind This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   "Our music is mentally hip-hop, smoothed out on the R&B tip with a pop feel appeal to it..." and drenched in sexism may be a better description of Bell Biv DeVoe's LP, "Poison." In a time when the degradation of women is being fought headlong, the offensive lyrics of the ex-members of New Edition's are not highly appreciated. Start with the song "Poison." It seems as though Ronnie, Mike and Ricky are living in a world where girls are erotic prostitutes, with nothing more to offer than "a big butt and a smile." The cruel dominance over the women they sing about is repeatedly proved hypocritical, as in "BBD (I Thought It Was Me)" - the narrator, an almost submissive male with a monstrously sexual female taking him "for a ride," finds out "she's like that with all the guys" - yet he acts as if he expected more from her. "Dope" may be the most abusive, the words revolving around the clever metaphor, "That girl is dope."

Another New Edition member has helped sexism enter Top 40. Johnny Gill's "Mine, Mine, Mine" is far from fair when he demands "Put on your red dress...your high heels...your lipstick...your perfume...tell me that you're mine, mine, mine." Bobby Brown, too, though not as blatantly, suggests, in "Don't Be Cruel," that women want nothing more than yellow roses, candy, fancy cars, diamond rings, cruises around the world and other materialistic fancies, and is totally shocked when his girlfriend remains "cruel."

We can only expect musical chauvinism in a society that continues to promote female inferiority, but the fact that these songs all became big hits shows that people today are snatching up the records, either ignorant of or agreeing with the messages they shout out. I am not encouraging censorship - let Bell Biv DeVoe continue making records, they have the right to say anything they want. I find nothing wrong with songs dealing with sexual situations, but when it comes down to pure degradation, the public should discourage it, not by labeling it 18+, but by refusing to buy it. All the men I've mentioned are talented singers, their songs catchy and their tunes well written, but we can all do without the influence of their attitudes that shine through in their lyrics. Kids growing up with "Poison" in their CD players might later have poison in their minds. n


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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WritingAngel20 said...
Feb. 28, 2011 at 11:40 am
A person who gets it, finally! I can't stand male artists who disrespect woman, keep on writing!
 
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