Although it’s a couple of months old, the viral video of five year old Sophia Grace Brownlee rapping the Nicki Minaj hit Super Bass has shocked and astounded many of its viewers, in both good ways and bad. For those of you who haven’t seen it, head to YouTube, search for “Sophia Grace Brownlee”, sit back, relax, and take it as you will. The video shows two young girls in cute little princess dresses and plastic tiaras dancing around whilst Sophia, the eldest girl, raps the radio edit of Nicki Minaj’s popular Super Bass. On the 11th December 2011, the video had 25,307,741 views since 18th September 2011. That averages out at around 302,000 views a day, and it is ever increasing.
Hundreds of thousands of people are in two minds about the video; nobody really knows how to take it. The comments on the video range from “so this is what our generation is turning into” to “OMG i am in LOVE WITH YOU GUYS!!! you have like 25 mil views i must be like 20 mil of them i love you!!!!!!!!!” I started out by being absolutely astounded by Sophia’s ability to rap, in time, the lyrics, and to be honest it’s still really impressive. On the other hand, it makes me cringe to see a five year old say “somebody please tell them who the F I is” and click her fingers with the attitude that should stay with people like Nicki Minaj.
It’s no secret that sex is an integral part of our society, and something that is particularly worrying is the sexualisation of children. In shops we see bras intended for five or six year olds, frilly bikinis, knickers that say “juicy” on the back and now the audience for sexualised songs like Super Bass has extended to our youngsters. The worrying thing about it all is that children this young are particularly impressionable and have no reason to believe or understand that something is dangerous. Let’s keep our children watching Pocahontas and playing dress up – Sophia Grace Brownlee has more swag and attitude than some of the 20 year olds that I know!
Saying all that, however, I won’t ignore the fact that when I was young, I used to idolise the Spice Girls and would dance around my bedroom singing “I need some love like I never needed love before…”, “when two become one…” and the like. Looking back, I have been pretty shocked at some of the things I would be singing or enjoying, although I suppose you have no idea about what you’re singing at that age, and it’s nobody else’s decision except your own what you enjoy. In Sophia’s case, maybe she just likes the ever-changing hair colour of Nicki Minaj.
To me, it seems integral to not encourage our youngsters to sing songs about sex or the like, and keep them innocent for as long as possible. Unfortunately in today’s society, however, that is virtually impossible. All we can really do is work hard to neutralise the messages of sex and love in song lyrics and replace them with advice about friendship, honesty and trust. You’re just gonna have to work that little bit harder, parents.