baby feet

America is making an abrupt cultural shift on abortion, and the pro-life ball is hurtling toward home base. Will we catch or drop it? Angst over slashing babies is most apparent with Millennials and younger people born since the 1970s (which just happens to parallel the birth of Roe vs. Wade in 1973). Perhaps they are just happy to be alive, or experiencing survivor’s guilt.

Another class of people have fervently railed against abortion, yet been remarkably ignored on this – while everything else they touch turns to gold.

Rockers, rappers and various types of musicians have consistently penned songs that can only be termed “pro-life” or “anti-abortion,” despite every attempt to interpret them otherwise. Seals & Crofts came out with “Unborn Child” in 1974, just a year after our DC Herods ruled on the relativity of human life. The Sex Pistols in 1977 raged over the grisly remains of a “mother’s choice,” and the list of singers and bands decrying abortions has grown exponentially since then. Pro-choice bands are mainstream, but no one in the media wants this to get out.

Songs about abortion are hardly the dominant theme of rap music, but it’s a steady refrain. In 2005 Piper (with the band Flipsyde) put out “Happy Birthday” about the annual journey of regret a father has for a son he paid to abort. His lyrics are poignant, but they cut him no slack: “I’ve got a million excuses as to why you died. And other people got their own reasons for homicide.” “Real Killer” (2001) has Tech N9ne mourning over his part in an abortion: “God/ Probably thinking/ I should die.”

Flipsyde singer Piper sings "Happy Birthday" in video mourning an abortion

Flipsyde singer Piper sings “Happy Birthday” in video mourning an abortion

Almost no rappers or rockers celebrate killing baby-killing, even the hardest and most bitter among them. Is it the nature of music that makes it almost impossible to betray their conscience to that point? Pop music is a more direct communication coming from the heart and emotions. Contemporary musicians (especially rappers) may be vulgar or violent – but at least they tend to be honest. Their lyrics are autobiographical and nakedly blunt, rarely pretentious and over- intellectualized. Holding nothing back in a litany of lovers, rage and failures, why would they throw a bag over their heads and hide from the audience when it comes to something as momentous as killing a child? They don’t.

The extraneous and powerful ring of producers and media machines surrounding musicians attempt to rein them with lectures and demonstrations of faux shock. (Someone bring their fainting couch!) Rapper Nicki Minaj was attacked by columnists for sharing her personal sorrow over an abortion, as if celebrities should remain untouched by feelings of grief and regrets, always deferring to their liberal handbook first.

Last December, mega-rapper Eminem quietly slipped a song into his latest album “Revival,” which has been globally ignored or panned. “River” (featuring Ed Sheeran) is a long and almost painful video-confession of an affair and its bitter fruits. After a mocked-up altercation with a woman, Eminem takes responsibly for his actions leading to the death of his child. He describes himself as a cheater, user and “sex-addict” who harmed the women he was involved with. Whether fictional or autobiographical, the video has the feel of two tormented souls shredding each other. Eminem asks, “I can’t keep my lies straight, I made you terminate my baby … what’s one more lie to tell our unborn child?”

(Eminmen’s “River” concerns unfaithfulness and abortion. Released December 2017.)

Corinne Weaver (Newsbusters) analyzed media response to this song: “Instead of looking at its potent story, entertainment magazines preferred to look at the other songs on the album ‘Revival,’ ones that tell racial narratives and anti-Trump rage raps.” Rolling Stone only mentioned “River” in relation to Ed Sheeran, featured with Eminem. Billboard closely analyzed the song, but glossed over the abortion aspect (which was about the only theme) and buried it near the end.

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Spin magazine didn’t hide their bias, with a review titled “Eminem and Ed Sheeran’s New Song Isn’t Even Bad in an Interesting Way.” With continuous unrelated swipes, Spin writer Andy Cush dubbed “River” “a glistening monument to banality, a song whose perfection of form is matched only by its emptiness of content.” Spin’s hostility is baffling, considering that many best-selling rappers feature only cop-killers, sluts, random sex, shooting and slashing, mondo jewelry and mammoth egos. Cush inexplicably managed to miss the content in Eminem’s “River” and finished up his foray by contradicting himself. Noting the song “houses its share of memorable lines,” Cush still marveled at its “massive, transcendent corniness.” (Like this recognition of sin and call for forgiveness: “All my sins need holy water, feel it washing over me.”)

At least one academic, Dr. Jeff Koloze, documents the solid pro-life position running through rap music. Tracing lyrics to the 1980s, he cites the oppositional take of rappers against the dominant culture, a culture of death reserved specifically for babies. This includes a solid stand against abortions, a phenomena roundly ignored by reviewers, critics and academics. “If rap is so violent, so demeaning, so vulgar, so profane, so unorthodox, so hedonistic, so indicative of a culture’s collapse, then why is it that any right-to-lifer would feel comfortable singing its lyrics on abortion?” he asked. (Koloze’s paper is from 2003, and the gap between reviewer and reality has only widened since.)

“Today’s young people are much more pro-life than past generations,” Koloze claims, insisting rap music was a major factor for that. He contends rap artists are considered a voice and “political tool for powerless groups in society” who call for justice and self-examination. Our pro-death political heads in media (and overseeing the arts) hope young people will somehow miss the glaring inequality and hypocrisy behind the abortion movement.

Koloze wraps up his short survey of rap with this: “Jesse Jackson is dissed; abortionists are dissed; those who collaborate in abortion are dissed, even at the cost of dissing oneself, as the personas who sing about their cooperation in the abortions of their children testify. If there is one idea that can be learned from this study, it is that right-to-lifers can find a strong contemporary cultural ally in rap music; rap has dissed abortion.”

Who would’ve thought?


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