Editorial, Opinion

EDIT: 9-year-old Lil’ Poopy raps about coke

Lil’ Poopy’s first mixtape was titled “Coke Ain’t a Bad Word.” In the song, he justifies the title in a high-pitched voice: Coke is just short for Coca-Cola.

But Lil’ Poopy is nine years old, so that justification isn’t doing it for some critics of his work. Actually, his more recent critics are spokespeople for the Department of Children and Families concerned about the child-rapper’s welfare. And they are not alone in voicing concerns. Many are offended by the nine-year-old’s lyrics and music videos, in which he spanks females and advertises the Coke Boys, a derivative group of rapper French Montana’s Cocaine City Records label. We’re offended not because this isn’t something we hear in rap songs these days (we do), but more so because we don’t feel the child is educated enough to know what he’s actually doing and saying. The fourth grader is being raised to degrade women and abuse drugs, among other things.

And true, an individual’s values are determined by the culture in which he or she is raised — and we’re not here (nor qualified, either) to denounce rap culture. We are here, however, to denounce brainwashing a child with unhealthy life choices before he better understands what he’s saying. (But then again, we’re being bigoted by saying they’re unhealthy.) Still, coke is a bad word if you don’t know what you’re talking about, seeing as the drug can cause serious problems in people’s lives.

A new investigation is underway regarding the home life and wellbeing of Luie Rivera, Jr. (Lil’ Poopy’s real name), one that will include interviews with people in Lil’ Poopy’s home along with others who have contact with the nine-year-old, such as school officials, according to WCVB news. But then again, at what point can anyone actually step in and do anything? Luie is not our child — his culture is not ours. Do Child Protective Services have any say in the matter?

Ultimately, we just hope that he doesn’t grow up damaging himself with abuse of both sex and drugs. We hope someday that he’ll be able to choose a different lifestyle, if he wants to. It’s unlikely that a fourth grader can discern what he does or doesn’t want for his life at this point. If, in fact, this “cocaine cowboy” really does want coke — well, that’s a problem. (Again: He’s nine.) But the life of the rapper is glamorous and lucrative — even if Lil’ Poopy isn’t writing his own lyrics, he’s certainly benefiting from them financially. That, often, is the goal of such an enterprise anyway.

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