KidzBop is Slowly Destroying My Soul

Every parent has a list of things that they swore they would never do when they had children.  At the top of my list, even above using pacifiers and buying cereal with marshmallows, was kid’s music — especially those garbage Kidz Bop CDs.  There was no way on this green holy Earth I was going to drive around in my car listening to such awful noise, exposing my kids to watered-down versions of good music.  They would grow up listening to the original recordings of classic songs.  I mean, kids can appreciate good music — I grew up listening to (and loving) Vince Neil and Brett Michaels singing about strippers and partying while my mom drove us to elementary school.  I didn’t need a chorus of pre-teens trying to tell me that Dr. Feelgood was some kind of motivational speaker.

Years passed, pacifiers were (thankfully) used, Lucky Charms were reluctantly purchased.  But somehow, I held firm to that last item on my list.  Rob and I made mix CDs of real music we thought the kids would like, which worked for awhile.  I’m willing to bet Phaedra is the only kid in her class who can identify Queen on the radio when she hears it and wishes she could meet Elton John.  I quietly congratulated myself on raising a child with quaintly retro taste in music.

I’m not sure what planted the seed in Phaedra’s head.  I think it might have been a combination of Nickelodeon and YouTube that showed Phaedra that Kidz Bop is a thing, and that she could listen to “today’s hits” (which she has never heard) being sung by KIDS!!!  She started asking me to buy it whenever the commercial came on, and I always gave one of the vague parent answers that you give whenever your kid asks for something, and you’re not going to buy it, but you don’t want to directly tell them “no”:

“Well, you can ask for it for your birthday…”

“I don’t know.  We’ll see…”

“You can save up your money if you want…”

Then I found myself in Target with Phaedra after The Crane Game Affair, with a copy of Kidz Bop 25 in my shopping cart and a frown on my face.  I tried telling her she could only listen to it in her room, but before I knew it, I was driving to the store and playing DJ in my car.  “Play number twelve, Mom!”  “Ooooh, number six, I love this song!”  After I listened to those asshole kids sing that “Royal” song about three hundred times, I figured that brain damage would settle in fairly soon, and that I had sunk about as low as I possibly could sink.

I was so, so wrong.

Here’s the insidious thing about Kidz Bop: you’ll notice when you listen to these songs that the kids enunciate when they sing.  A lot.  To the point where you can’t help but learn every single word to the songs.  That doesn’t sound that bad, and in some cases, it’s quite helpful — for example, now I know what the hell Lady Gaga is telling me to do in the chorus of “Applause”.  However, here’s the problem: you’ll learn the words to the most awful fucking songs, and then find yourself singing them when you hear the song and enjoying it.  I listened to “What Does the Fox Say?” about eighteen times during a thirty minute drive with Bella, and it was about the same time that my ears started bleeding that I realized that I knew every single word to that song, and that I was jamming OUT.

But oh, it gets worse.

Upon picking up my children from Grandma’s house after a weekend away, what to my wondering eyes did appear? KIDZ BOP PARTY!  It’s a mix of your favorite party traxx!  And OH SWEET BABY JESUS NO, “The Hampster Dance” is on this one!  Ooooooh! and “Gangnam Style”! THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR BUYING THIS FOR MY CHILDREN MOM.

So now, with two Kidz Bop CDs in heavy rotation in my car, I’ve become a case study in Stockholm Syndrome.  During the first few weeks, I actively hated it.  But something happened to my brain after listening to “Wrecking Ball” for the 105th time.  I noticed that it gradually took me longer and longer after dropping off my kids at school to turn off the CD.  Then Phaedra started trying to appease me by specifically asking for the songs she knew I liked.  “Mom, let’s turn on #6.  You love this song…”  She was right, I did really like that Bruno Mars song.  Except for when I told the twenty-somethings I work with how much I liked “Treasure”, and they shook their heads and laughed at me when I sang the sanitized Kidz Bop version, which made me look extra cool and young.

It’s alright, though, because I’m not really cool or young anymore.  I’ve learned to embrace my new Kidz Bop overlords, and I welcome the release of Kidz Bop 26.  I kind of wish they would do a Kidz Bop version of the new Eminem album so I could figure out what he’s saying.  I mean, I really like it, but he raps too fast.  Also, FYI, using the phrase “he raps too fast” is a sign that you have become too old to listen to rap.

I mean, look at me.  I SAW IRON MAIDEN LIVE IN CONCERT, FOR CHRIST’S SAKE.  What the hell has happened to me?

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27 Responses to KidzBop is Slowly Destroying My Soul

  1. Kristin kittle says:

    Loved this one! Shaft is the best 🙂

  2. Courtney says:

    Lady, I’ve never felt closer to you than I do in this moment. I had the SAME freaking agenda as you. My kids know the Beatles and so many awesome classics, yet I catch myself rocking out to freaking KidzBop 24 when I’m alone. HOW? HOW? HOW?

    • Oh girl. It’s bad. The girls went camping this week, and took their KidzBop CDs with them, and I swear to God the first time I got in the car to drive to the store without them, I thought, “too bad I can’t listen to ‘Treasue’.” What’s happening to me?

  3. Misty says:

    Hilarious! I am envious of your knowledge of “new” music though. This reminds me of the most recent concert I attended..My friend and I took her 15 year old daughter and her friend to see Fall out Boy. Who am I kidding?? I wanted to see Fall Out Boy and could not admit it to myself. My husband gave me crap for weeks referring to them as Fall Out Brothers, among other less tasteful things…but I thought I’d be a badass and wore an Iron Maiden shirt to the concert. Haha. I showed Fall Out Brothers and all their teen fans.

    • LOL “Fall Out Brothers”. Sometimes I feel good that I at least know of a band’s existence, even if I’ve never heard their music before in my entire life. Watching Saturday Night Live also helps my street cred a bit.

  4. Liz says:

    Oh no, I can totally see this happening to me. As it is Dora, Wally and Doc McStuffins songs are in my head all the time until I almost LIKE them. It’s horrible to think that someday I will know songs on the radio again but only the kidzbop versions.

    • I still have so many kids songs in my head. I used to really love Moose E. Moose, the little cartoon they used to play between Nick Jr. shows before they started shoving handfuls of commercials in between the shows. I still sing “We’re Going on a Trip” and “I Still Hate Candy Corn.”

  5. qwertygirl says:

    KidzBob 24, which I think is called “KidzBob 24: Have You Completely Surrendered Your Will To Live, Parents?” My oldest son is a bit older than Phaedra (11), so he listens to the “real” versions, but I gotta tell you, the fact that you can figure out what the words are is kind of a bonus. It makes me nuts that I can’t figure out the words sometimes. And I’m not doing that thing you did when you were 14 and taping them off the radio, then listening to them over and over until you puzzled them out. Because I don’t have time to do that anymore. I had the Stockholm Syndrome experience with a kid album called “Chicka Chicka Boom Boom” (which is just what you think it is–the book set to music, plus a bunch of other songs). My oldest (then about 3) would be at home and I’d think, “Ooo, I could really go for ‘Helicopter Man’ right about now…” It was sad.

  6. Janel! Janel!!!! WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO YOU?????

    Girl, if you tell my kids that Kidz Bop exists I will never speak to you again. I already jam out to the Fresh Beat Band, and I don’t need to love any more embarrassing kid music, thankyouverymuch.

  7. Tracie says:

    I successfully avoided Kidz Bop. It might be my greatest parenting triumph.

    But I still say things like “he raps too fast” so I’m probably not nearly as hip and cool as I think I am.

    And it is quite possible that hip and cool aren’t words we should be using now. I would probably know for sure if I had just given in and bought Kidz Bop. It is a vicious cycle.

    • Basically, if we were to follow the rules of pop culture, we should just hide in our homes between the ages of 28-75, reemerging when we’ve suddenly become funny and cute in a whole different way than we were in our twenties.

  8. So funny! And I can relate — it’s a bit embarrassing driving around listening to Radio Disney when I’ve dropped my kids off hours earlier!

  9. Toni Broikou says:

    Sadly, I have attended A Fresh Beat Band concert….even sadder, I kind of liked it…. We also own some Kids Bop CD’s but only because they were “the toy” that came in a Wendy’s Kids Meal… I think they are Kids Bop #4, 6, and 7 … “Oldies but goodies”

  10. HouseTalkN says:

    Your video sent me into giggle fits! I love this.
    It coud be worse. I can jam out and sing every single word to Raffi’s “Baby Beluga.” I don’t even recognize myself.

  11. Kira says:

    Oh my gosh, I swear that I TRIED to get my daughters to listen to KidzBop even though I knew it would be like death for me! Why??? Because, for example, my oldest daughter (5) sings every single word to “I Don’t Care” by Icona Pop and Charli XCX and it really does seem kind of awful to hear “I threw your shit into a bag and pushed it down the stairs” coming out of her mouth. Unfortunately, the KidzBop CDs were rejected violently and quickly because “These aren’t the real songs.” So now I await a note from her kinder teacher………… :-\

  12. monica says:

    I’m not familiar with kidz bop (which did not keep me from laughing my ass off reading this post). but after reading this post I will consider that one of my great parenting accomplishments (right beneath Teaching Four Kids to Whiz and $hit in the Potty). I will say this post makes me think of something I’ve been considering more and more lately: Do kids listen to real music anymore? I mean, whatthehell? hubby was jamming to Oh What A Night and my 12 year old boy said, “dude, are they sayin’ ‘I wanna die.'” I had a split second impulse to bitch slap him and I am not kidding.

  13. Ilektra says:

    Ladies, ladies, ladies, please do yourselves a favor and check out the band called “They Might Be Giants” (originals posted by particleman on youtube). These guys are a real Indie Rock band, not a kidz-musac nonsense, that just did a series or podcasts for kids at some point, thus:
    1) their music is nice, complex, varied and won’t make your ears bleed – you might actually enjoy it for its own merit
    2) their lyrics are educational and intelligent – sometimes too intelligent, but listening to a 2.5-year-old singing along to “the sun is a miasma of incandescent plasma” and only getting every other word at most, is priceless 🙂
    3) the music videos are colorful and fun without being the visual equivalent of a sugar high.
    So, yeah, as my husband pointed out the other day, there are much, MUCH worse things to have stuck in your head than “Roy G Biv”, and this post is a hilarious (and painful) reminder of that.

    Rock on, Janel – hopefully not only to KidzBop! 🙂

    • We love They Might Be Giants! I had a friend in high school who adored them. I used to make mix CDs for the kids to listen to in the car of actual music. Sometimes I can sneak those in and I can listen to “Funkytown” in between KidzBop CDs. Those are happy days.

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