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The Spectator
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 by Ron Cruger
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C
Rap, Hip-Hop and the English language!
        Did you see the gory, down-to-earth, realistic movie “Goodfellas?” This Martin Scorcese motion picture took us inside the operation of a New Jersey Mafia group. The “Goodfellas” script, written by Nicholas Pileggi, also set a record for the use of the F-word. There were also plenty of other dirty words thrown in, but the F-word was the star of the show. It was almost as though every noun and verb was preceded by that word. You can count the times the F-word is used in the movie, but I’ll save you the time and trouble. It is 212 times!
        Watching and listening to one of television’s most popular and honored shows, “The Sopranos,” should give any mature person an education in salacious language. I haven’t counted the F-words in this program, but I’m sure it’s right up there in F-counts with “Goodfellas.” 
         As the years roll by, television has changed, as have the movies. Sit in your living room today, watching television and you’ll hear words you rarely heard from your auto mechanic when he banged his finger on your hot manifold.
Kids growing up today must think that words indicating intercourse and body parts must be a normal part of adult language and conversation.
        A few days ago I asked a long time friend of mine if he had watched and listened to any of the youth music channels – like VH-1 or MTV. His answer was an enthusiastic, “What for!” I understand what he meant. Especially with the advent and growing popularity with youngsters of hip-hop and rap “music” anyone over thirty years of age must wonder how it’s possible to string so many rhyming dirty words together.
        I had to admit to my friend that perhaps once a week I turn to VH-1 for a few minutes just to see what our youth are regularly watching.
        In case you’re not familiar with the latest in rap or hip-hop “music” here are some lyrics of a popular rap “song.”
                            “S---, what are we gon’ do?
                             (Sh---) S---, we go to WAR! That’s what the f--- we gon’ do!
                             (Mother------) F--- em’!

                             Wash my hands with you F-----guys (*repeat in background*)
                             I never did like that F------guy (*repeat in background*)
                             Never did like that F------ guy! (*repeat in background*)
                             Never did like that F------ guy!

                             F--- em’! I got my X and Hooch”

       First of all, I don’t have any idea of what this guy is rapping (or hip-hopping) about. I presume there’s someone he doesn’t like. Secondly, it seems to me that he could have made his point without using the dirty words. He could have stood up and sang, “Hey man, I don’t like that guy!” He could have even said it twice if he wanted more emphasis.
        At hip-hop and rap concerts, on television, at schools, on the streets and often in homes simple sentences are being sprinkled with salacious words. Unfortunately, strings of filthy words are becoming “normal” in conversations.
        I wonder if the current maturing generation and the emerging new generation any longer know the difference between good, polite language and what they are hearing on television, in the movies, in their schools, homes and on their streets. Could it be that a simple sentence such as, “Hey man, I had a bagel for breakfast,” turns into, “Hey you Mother------, I had a F------ bagel for breakfast.”
        Is a third grader, sitting at her little school desk going to reply, when asked by her teacher, “Nancy, tell us what you did on your vacation.” “Well, b----, me and my mom and dad got in our F-----, beat up Ford car, shuffled some bread, and took off for some F----- spot in the mountains. I saw a lot of F----- kids there but they jealous. They thinkin’ we believin’ what they tell us, the stupid Mother-------.”
        “Thank you, Nancy.”
        Maybe it’s time for parents to start doing their jobs.