No Booty Shaking Allowed

We’ve all probably seen our fair share of internet videos with little girls dropping it like it’s hot and giving it all they’ve got. I’m not linking to any of them, because I pretty much think they’re kiddie porn. All of the ones that have crossed my path have been set to the latest hip-hop release; music that I don’t think that little kids should be listening to.

But hold up, wait a minute!

The last thing I would do is tell a parent what and what not to share with their child, but regardless of race, class, or any other systems or dividing lines, some things really should be universal. Now this is coming from someone whose mama has been a Prince fan since he was on album covers wearing panties and thigh highs. In fact, I was “put out” of preschool singing the lyrics from his hit “Head” during station time. I mean, what else would I sing while making pretend lunch in our tiny play kitchen? So you see, I know what I’m talking about.

I also happen to be anti-remade music with young folks singing songs formerly made by adults. You know, anything with the word “Bop” in the title. They’re hollow, soulless and stunting, but I digress.

I can’t control what Tiny Smalls hears when we’re out in the street, but I have a pretty good reign on what she hears at home, though sometimes, keeping the radio on our local R&B station I just let it play and she’s wound up incorporating the chorus of R. Kelly’s “Share My Love” into a personal love song for yours truly. I may have my own issues with R-uh, but this was pretty harmless. And if you ask her who her favorite musicians are, you’ll get a range from Michael Jackson, Shalimar, Earth Wind & Fire to Beyonce and Jill Scott. While there’s no hip-hop on that list (yet), she gets a good earful of all the groups I loved during the golden era of the 90′s–songs that were good musically, lyrically, and consciously. She recently realized that Salt-N-Pepa were saying “push it” not “squish it.”

When the time comes and she’s listening to more of what she wants to listen to, I’m taking my cue from my own mom who came home with N.W.A’s first CD, gave it to me, an told me to listen. We later had discussion about it, covering all the bases from race, class and gender and everything in-between.

Until then, I’m going to relax and watch her bust out the robot to “Dancing Machine” or gaze in awe as she choreographs modern dance pieces to Otis Redding, because up in here, there is no booty-shaking allowed.

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About Aiesha Turman

Aiesha Turman is a Brooklyn-based mama, educator and filmmaker who is passionate about Black women and girls and their self-actualization. She believes that music heals and can be often be found having an 80's dance party with her daughter in their living room. Find out more from her website:
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