Lynne d Johnson



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08.04.03 05:55 PM

back in the days when i was young

"Back in the days when I was young I'm not a kid anymore/ But some days I sit and wish I was a kid again"- Ahmad, "Back In The Days," Ahmad

I'm not sure what Ahmad was thinking, but I take it he never escorted his 13-year-old niece to the Scream Tour III concert, featuring B2K, Marques Houston, and Nick Cannon. Yep, that's what I did with my Saturday night, went to Madison Sqare Garden with a full concert hall of screaming pre-teen and teenaged girls. DJ Jus provided the opening listening sounds, as well as the interludes between sets. The show opened with AJA, B2K member Lil Fizz's cousin Zhené, and then Nick Cannon hyped up the crowd with an old-school rap medley and a couple of his own songs. Mario provided a smooth set, and then it was Marques and B2K who really got the little girls screaming. It was funny to be in this place and remember what it was like when I was there as a teen, and the hot act was New Edition. Sorry to say, I wasn't hoping to return to my youth though. Overall, the show was a lot more sexually charged than I had anticipated. Here are some observations I made:

Pre-teen and teenaged girls seem to have an attraction for ripped abs and protruding pecs. They took off Nick Cannon's wife beater when he dropped into the audience, and anytime any of the performers lifted their shirts, the girls went wild. One of those things that make you go, hmmm...

Crunk is officially back. Songs by Chingy, Bone Crusher, Lil' Flip, Lil' Jon, et al. seemed to set off the most excitement.

Little girls seem to like little boys who can gyrate their hips, a lot. Another scary thing I noticed, as cheers were endless during these acts.

R. Kelly's presence was felt all over the place as he has written or produced songs for Nick Cannon, Marques Houston, and B2K. I guess he has to find a way to stay near the teen girls. Yuck!

Little girls know all the words to every song by 50 Cent and Jay-Z, and get louder when there are curses, violence, or sexual implications. I'm telling you this was scary.

The year 2003 is probably really the year '83, as evidenced by all of the grafitti air brushed and markered on kicks, clothing, and hats. Not to mention that practically all of the trendy fashions resmble what was popular when I was a teen.

Light skin is back in, as Lil' Fizz received more attention than almost any other memeber of B2K, including Omarion, the lead singer. The funny thing is that these little girls think he's a really good rapper. Uh, sorry little ladies, I don't think so.

I knew just as many lyrics as the kids, and probably more than any of the other adult escorts, except those Fendi, Gucci moms, who seemed to be as into B2K as their younger conterparts. Some parents even smiled at me, when they glimpsed my niece and I dancing to Sean Paul. Had me wondering for a second, whether I act my age or not. Not that I know what that means, but I know that my profession keeps me on top of the trends and movements in youth culture, and also b/c I'm an educator, I have an interest in it. Ok, there's my excuse.

I made a lot more observations, but I think I'll end it here. I could say a lot about what I think about the sexual identities of today's youth, but then when I think back, is it really any different than it was in my time? Maybe a lot more blatant. Often times I caught parents looking at one another, and me, shaking their heads at how wild the girls got over certain lewd behavior on stage as well as how into the lyrics of certain songs they were. I haven't even told ya'll exactly everything that happened on that stage, especially when three of the audience members were brought on stage and sat in chairs as J-Boog and three male dancers did a little strip-tease like dance over them. What happened next, what J-Boog did, I don't even want to mention. I'll just leave that to myself and everyone else who attended, but I'm sure there's got to be a pic out there in the Daily News or some other such publication. All I have to say, is something I've been saying all along, parents can not entrust BET, MTV, and the radio to raise their kids. I'm not advising that children should be so sheltered that they don't even know what's going on out there, but parents have to create dialogue and safe spaces so they can better educate their kids about what's going on. My niece and I actually had a one-on-one about teen sex after leaving the show. She's a pretty enlightened little chick, I just hope she continues to use her brain.

Addendum: I do have to add that the previews for their upcoming film, You Got Served looks quite interesting in the Bring It On, Drumline, kind of way. The niece has already asked me to take her to the movies when it come out.

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