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Opinions: Degrading, disrespectful, but with a beat: 'Crank Dat!'

I'm not a fan of most rap music and I certainly don't listen to the radio. Pardon me if I'm a little behind the times.

Well, I'm at least as up with the times as Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa, which I realize doesn't say much. By the standards of a 45-year-old housewife though, I'm really with it.

Months ago a friend told me about an interview she heard on the radio with the rapper Soulja Boy Tellum, otherwise known as 17-year-old DeAndre Ramone Way, in which he explained the meaning of his hit single "Crank Dat."

Well, sort of. Way had to tell the DJs the meaning of the song off air. Later, my friend Googled the song and came up with the true meaning. She was completely astounded that this song has been on the airwaves.

I feel obligated at this point to explain the meaning of the song, as embarrassing as it might be to write. First, I'll give you the chance to deconstruct the first verse for yourself:

"Soulja boy off in this ho,

Watch me lean and watch me rock,

Superman that ho, Then watch me crank that

Robocop, Super fresh now

watch me jock, Jocking on them haters man,

When I do that Soulja Boy,

I lean to the left and crank that thang, (now you) I'm jocking on your bitch ass,

And if we get the fighting,

Then I'm cocking on your bitch ass, You catch me at your local party,

Yes, I crank it every day,

Haters getting mad cause,

'I got me some bathing apes.'"

I've deconstructed some pretty deep poetry, but I never really tried to understand the meaning of this song. I suppose that's because I didn't really care. That is, until I found out that the song is about ejaculating onto a sleeping girl's back and pressing the sheets into it so that when she wakes up she looks like she's wearing a cape. Superman that ho! I get it! Classy.

I can't say over the months following that realization that I gave the song much thought. After all, a lot of popular music is immature and degrading to women. This song was no different. It wasn't until I saw Soulja Boy performing "Crank Dat" on Live with Regis and Kelly last week that the song really affected me. A young boy from the audience, and the two most unlikely of people to dance to such a song, Regis and Kelly, learned the choreography to the song from Soulja Boy himself. There's something about a 7-year-old listening to this song that is overwhelmingly disturbing.

Maybe it's the 45-year-old woman in me that is so worried, but it seems to me that popular music is becoming increasingly immature and asinine.

I'm all for free speech. Should you have the inclination to doubt this, let me remind you that you're reading from the opinion column of a journalism student. I do not want this song or any other song I disagree with off the air. People should be able to listen to whatever music they want. But if artists are allowed to make these obscene kinds of songs, I am allowed to shake my head.

When I presented this opinion to a friend, he made the argument that the drug music of the '60s is in no way more mature than the popular music of today. While Soulja Boy's "Crank Dat" and The Beatles "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" are both shrouded in metaphor, I'd have to argue that doing LSD, as horrible a drug as it can be, is slightly more mature than ejaculating on your girlfriend during her REM cycle. Call me crazy.

I can't help but think that it's popular media like this that is moving humanity in the wrong direction. But hey, we love our sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll. If it has a catchy beat we can dance to, we accept the lyrics attached to the song, no matter what they are.

I guess I'm just as guilty of that as any other person. I've had "Crank Dat" in my head nonstop for the past week.

Maybe it's just time to dance it out.

Christina Caldwell is a journalism junior who doesn't sleep with sheets. E-mail her at:

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