A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this song is hard to avoid these days. The video of Platt's audition on American Idol has definitely gone viral and appeared all over the Internet. Whether you want your kid thinking "fool" is an okay word to use, however, is another story. Then again, for older kids this song might actually get a few to pull up those trousers. There are two versions available, the original and an extended play format, which has a more aggressive beat.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Around office cubicles and social networks and in every other corner of the country people have been humming "pants on the ground, pants on the ground, lookin' like a fool with your pants on the ground." If you've managed to avoid the phenomena, here's a quick recap: 62-year old Larry Platt enters the American Idol audition room and goes on to dumbfound the judges (including Simon) with his rendition of the now legendary "PANTS ON THE GROUND." Since that fateful TV appearance, the song has flooded the Internet and is even topping the download charts. Unfortunately Platt, who is a well-decorated civil rights activist, will not get to enjoy the monetary success of the single, as the song was released by his former manager after never being copyrighted.
Is it any good?
That fleeting American Idol moment that many of us experienced is something that will be hard to recreate. It was one of those rare TV experiences that will go down in AI history. It shocked us, made us laugh, and captured the imagination of the nation. However, the singles now available for download are crude knock-offs of that memorable audition. Knowing that Platt isn't even seeing any profits from these singles should make all his true fans turn their backs and stick to the original easily found on YouTube. If that doesn't do it, the pseudo-gangsta treatment of the EP should be enough to turn off most listeners.
The song itself is fun and frivolous. Platt certainly is no professional rapper or singer, and really doesn't claim to be. The charm of the single can be found in its contradictions: an old guy singing young people's music, a grandpa figure complaining about hip-hop culture while at the same time embracing it; a completely amateur sound springing from one of the most corporate TV shows. Sure in a few years we'll all be wondering why we liked it, but for now let's just enjoy this "general's" battle cry.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Platt's message. Do you think he is right in calling people "fools" just because of their outward appearance? How does appearance affect what we think of others? Do you think there's a generation gap issue involved in Platt's message?
Talk about the power of American Idol. Do you think the show's popularity is the reason why this song became so famous? If Platt appeared on a different show do you think he would have received the attention he did?
Discuss how music gains popularity through the Internet. Do you think this song would have become as popular without the Internet? Is this good for music?
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