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Saturday, October 14, 2006
Drrrrty Songs
Exactly fifteen years ago I was shopping at Sam Goody for the most popular song of the year. It was 1991 and "New Jack City" had just been released, along with Color Me Badd's "I Wanna Sex You Up".

This was pre-CD and pre-free music downloads, a time and place where people actually had to pay for their music (a concept totally lost on my iPod carrying students). I remember going to the mall with my mother and conveniently losing her to go buy the single of the song. It was a shared clandestine operation; my brother kept her occupied in Macy's long enough for me to disappear.

We kept that single hidden for as long as we could. It was one of those songs my father forbade us from listening to. Whenever it would come on the radio he'd make us switch the station, if he heard us humming it he'd tell us to cut it out. "I Wanna Sex You Up" was not welcome in our household, which of course made us want to listen to it even more.

At that time, I couldn't understand his hard-ass stance. It was a nice ditty and I was not stupid enough to be influenced by a mere song. I just wanted to hear it. He had done this with other songs and TV shows. I was unable to watch "Seinfeld" till I turned 18 or so because in one episode Elaine was talking about sex.

One day he found the song's sleeve and the lecture I received was neverending. The song was thrown out and my house played nothing but Um Kalsoum for three days in an effort to instill good music sense in our heads. Lucky for them I already liked her. If I hadn't, their well-meaning effort would've produced such a distaste for her.

Fifteen years later I find myself on a subway with my students heading to our first field trip. One girl takes out her iPod and shows me her collection of music.

"Miss S, you wanna hear my favorite song? It's the complete one, not the one with the words taken out".

"You mean 'uncensored'"?

"Yeah, that".

I put on her headphones and look down at the title of the song. Akon ft. Snoop Doggy Dog, "I Wanna Fuck You Dirty". How far we've come.
Thoughts shared by Carmen at 9:43 AM
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Who: Carmen

xx-something egyptia-yorker who's spent over half her life stuck in two worlds not of her own making. unable and unwilling to fully embrace one identity over the other, she created (is trying to create) her own place in the world where people love each other unconditionally, irrespective of artificial boundaries, and where dancing merengue is as necessary to life as breathing air.

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