The older I get, the more I realized how messed up my childhood was. As in, what products were released, and what was considered “okay” at the time. It’s time to talk about Do Me by Bell Biv DeVoe.
I was working at my desk while listening to music. When Do Me came on I wanted to dance, out of habit, but I was in the middle of something for work. Because I was working, I heard for the first time:
Backstage, underage, adolescent. How ya doin’? Fine, she replied.
I sighed. I like to do the wild thing.
Action took place. Kinda wet. Don’t forget.
The J, the I, the M, the M, the Y. I need a body bag.Do Me lyrics by Bell Biv Devoe
I froze. I couldn’t believe what I just heard. I replayed it because I was that stunned. I’ve listened to the song hundreds of times and never heard those lyrics. Usually I’m dancing to the song, paying more attention to the hook than anything else. Now that I’ve heard it, I’m not cool with the song anymore. My enthusiasm for BBD took a dive. They seem to know it is an issue because they perform the song with those lyrics missing.
They performed the song at the American Music Awards, similar to the performance above, without the statutory rape part. It dawned on me how long it’s been since I heard the full lyrics of the song. This is how they used to originally perform it.
Back then, no one had a problem with it. Just like no one had a problem with the confederate flag on the Dukes of Hazard car. Realizing the lyrics of Do Me made me think about Aaliyah’s Age Ain’t Nothing but a Number. That song is forever changed for me too.
When I heard the lyrics, and understood what they meant, I had a choice to make. Follow my morals and accept those lyrics are wrong or pretend those lyrics weren’t about statutory rape. That it’s “just a song” and that “it’s no big deal”. None of them were accused of anything, so I’m hoping they never acted on it. I feel it would be unfair to accuse them without evidence that something happened. You know how many people sang about having sex while still virgins? I no longer feel happy hearing that song, so I took it off my playlist.
This is why it is important to learn from the past. Looking back at the past and pointing out behaviors, trends, jokes, song lyrics, etc. that are considered inappropriate or downright offensive now. What was okay 20 years ago isn’t necessarily okay today. It’s okay to admit that.
Part of improving one’s personal growth is looking at your evolution. Most enter a new stage where they take things more seriously. Life can still be fun but, for example, having a steady home life becomes more important when you have a child.
If you see or hear something you know or feel is not right, you have a choice to make. The choice you make says a lot about your values, morals, and ethics.
The choice is yours.