Lil Mama, P.Star, & Miguelito: A study in how the Youngsta Card is played
Jackson Five – ABC – Immature – Aaron Carter: All groups/artists who played the Youngsta Card and parlayed it into (for the most part) successful adult careers.
Lil’ Mama is a talented 17-year-old singer/rapper signed to Jive Records. She writes her own lyrics and seems to have her head on her shoulders. Her hit “Lip Gloss” is an example of teen targeted hip hop that is fun, age appropriate (wow!), upbeat, and clever.
If I had a young daughter (I don’t currently, thank you Jesus) I would not mind her listening to Lil’ Mama’s music. It’s not exactly a Baby Einstein DVD but you can’t force feed “intelligent” content on your kids 24/7. Lip Gloss is fun, dancible, and addictive. I’m not worried that my imaginary daughter would think that magical lip gloss would make her instantly cool – I would see it more as the power of imagination and healthy self esteem resulting in a hallway dance off. Fun!
What I like about Lil’ Mama is that she isn’t (yet) marketing herself as some over sexualized teenybopper for the sake of record sales. I believe she has a long career ahead of her and look forward to seeing what else she ends up doing.
A younger example of age appropriate, fun & cute young talent is P.Star.
This “young feminist phenomenon” has been rapping since she was seven. I actually saw her perform by accident when I randomly attended a freestyle competition in 2005. She was featured on MTV’s You Hear It First last year, and has penned songs about the struggles of Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks. Her first single, “Biggie Bounce,” is full of shout-outs to clubs, rides and cribs. “I Got It Made” is a throwback to the boastful party rhymes of old.
This extraordinarily talented little girl is all over the place. From TV spots, to modeling, to her music career – she’s definitely the whole package. P.Star is another age appropriate talent who doesn’t seem to be in a hurry to grow up before her time. It will be interesting to see how long she can hold on to her “feminist” persona (and zero-cuss word policy) and if the onset of puberty will mean booty short photo ops, or something more positive.
…Then there’s 8 year old Miguelito.
Crowned Daddy Yankee’s youngest protege, his album “Mas Grande que Tu” has been No. 16 on Billboardâ€™s Top Latin Albums chart since January. He has made appearances on Sabado Gigante and the family- oriented “Que Brillen los Ninos y sus Madres,” has a deal with Disney Travel (his own package), and was recently interviewed by Latina Magazine,
where he is presented as a cute/precocious young man talking about school, his interests, and his career aspirations.
Am I taking crazy pills, or is this kid rapping about things that for someone his age would put any female over the age of nine in jail, while grown women are grinding their crotches and asses in his face? What is going on here?
There is no denying that this second grader is talented. But the way he is being marketed both fascinates are gives me the heebie jeebies.
On one hand, he’s a cute & tiny reggaeton artist with a talent well beyond his years. On the other, he’s some sort of tiny pimp/player bragging about his prowess with the ladies & sex, flashing his bling and grinding up behind practically bare assed video hoes.
Perhaps its the fact that he’s 8, that he has this dual angel/devil persona going on, or the fact that in interviews no one is bringing this up, but I predict that unless someone in his camp ditches this disturbing over sexualized angle pronto, this kid is going to grow up way to fast for his own good and possibly have major issues as an adult.
The closest recent comparison I can think of, of a young male artist successfully transitioning from baby star to adult star, is Bow Wow. His lyrics were braggadocios, and yes the video for Take Ya Home was kind of gross but at least the women weren’t touching him.
Again, am I taking crazy pills? Making a mountain out of a molehill? No. I really think that forcing youngsters to grow up ahead of their time for the sake of “entertainment” is really sick. Miguelito is talented enough for his handlers to come up with more age appropriate content and spare him his little childhood. Yes, I’m sure 8 year olds have smacked grown women’s asses before. But I bet for the most part their mother’s corrected them, while this one gets bling for it.
I wouldn’t put this kid on par with Michael Jackson, but seriously in my lifetime I do not want to see some tiny tot grow up with a bunch of issues because a lot of greedy adults exploited him by forcing him to behave a lot older just for the entertainment value.