I believe the children are our future. I believe that it’s important to meet people where they are when trying to reach them. I believe we should educate young people about real topics like sex, economics, politics, race and health. So it follows that I should like Dr. Clarke’s “Health Hop Music.” Uh, no.
Dr. John D. Clarke has a series of albums he’s written, produced and performed focusing on educating young people about their health. Relying on studies with conclusions like “the average teen listens to 40 hours of music per week and 10,500 hours of music between the 7th and 12th grade,” and “today, Hip-Hop is the music of choice for many teens and is the ideal genre for capturing their attention,” Dr. Clarke hopes to use hip hop to break through to kids and get them to listen up.
While the doctor’s motives are admirable and his attempt to make good songs not too shabby, I have to say that this is a fail. Take a break from reading right now and head over to the Health Hop page on CD Baby and listen to some clips. See what I mean? No? Read on.
It’s all about sexin in the playaz club
They don’t care about protection in the playaz club
Could get the HIV infection in the playaz club
So watch how ya steppin’ in the playaz club
Tipped up on Hennesy, popped up on ecstasy
Walked into the club lookin to get sex for free
Here come Emily this girl in his memory…
Bad Breath and Brown Teeth
Death, bad breath and brown teeth ain’t no joke
If you smoke, stop. Quit. Don’t smoke.
Now we into it I’m in effect with my intellect.
Trapped by a cigarette, it what a kid could get. Trapped by the nicotine…
Look at Me
Dessert meant gettin a laxative or enema
hiding out up in the bathroom pretending to be sick
sometimes she’d overeat and throwup
then take a diuretic so she wouldn’t blow up
with acid from vomiting, teeth were lookin rotten and fingers became scarred, thin with hard skin
wasted to the core she couldn’t take no more they found her passed out on the bathroom floor.
the episode was powerful sorrowful and horrible she never woke up they rushed her to the hospital
she was lookin pitiful…
Look, the whole idea of – kids want to be cool and kids think music is cool, then I should make music if I want kids to think I’m cool- does not work. I remember wondering why I couldn’t remember class lessons when I could remember words from songs I hadn’t heard in ages. I still don’t know why really, but damn it if that shit does NOT crossover. Perhaps it’s the uncoolness inherent in your teacher trying to rap an in-depth analysis of The Heart of Darkness.
Clearly the man is a qualified doctor (John D. Clarke, MD, FAAFP, is a board certified family physician practicing in New York City. He received his B. A. in Sociology and Music from Columbia University and his Medical Degree from The Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City. He completed his residency training at St. Vincents Catholic Medical Centers in New York, where he served as Chief Resident). But just because a smart guy has a good message to a beat doesn’t mean he can sell it. Sorry Dr. Clarke, but I just don’t see your target audience rocking these tracks in their iPod or at the next house party.
Or maybe I’m wrong? You tell me.