I recently read that Mike Stock, the co-writer of a generation of wholesome hits such as Kylie Minogue's I Should Be So Lucky, has hit out against the "relentless torrent of sex-driven imagery" that young people are exposed to in music videos and on TV.
Well, I've watched a man insert a glass jam jar into his rectum and found it about as shocking as when Christina Aguilera grinded her baby-oiled crotch at the camera in the video to Dirrty. At the tail end of school for me, I.T. lessons were spent trawling through shock sites, in the glory days where teachers hadn't cottoned on to Rotten.com. If it wasn't looking for gross out stuff, of drug addicts that had torn their own face off while high on PCP, it was watching the latest music videos. Music videos which have descended quite quickly from the public thinking Pans People were a bit raunchy to today's norm of simulated sex. I think it would be fair to say I'm pretty desensitised to stuff I should be offended by.
Racing ahead of snuff videos and nerds going Columbine buckwild over video game violence, is the nonchalant attitude towards sex. Never before has pornography been so accessible nor has sex been so casually at the forefront of our TV, music and advertising. Going in search of grot no longer means poring over railway sidings or sneaking something from the topshelf of your newsagents, moreover the stuff you'll find online is as hardcore as it gets. Watching the scat fetish porno which became an Internet meme, 2 Girls 1 Cup, is more a rites of passage than it is the shock jock clip it started out as. I'd be more surprised if I met someone my age that hadn't seen it, rather than someone who chose to watch two porn stars chomping on some faeces.
Of course it's not right, but I'm also aware that like most people around my age I'm too much of a scumbag to be casting the first stone and questioning the virtues of others.
However, a couple of weeks back, Skepta - one of the handful grime MCs that have successfully crossed over into the mainstream- released a NSFW video of him sheepishly rapping while a porn star gets doggied in the background. The initial shock was immediately replaced by piss-taking and despite 'All Over The House' being a heinously cack tune, it trended on Twitter becoming a light-hearted talking point. In contrast, OG Niki, a 17 year old girl from Birmingham and relatively unknown MC, put out a freestyle arrogantly describing getting gang-banged by six men. Grim indeed. Three days later and her video has climbed to 150k views, she's had a spot on infamously scummy US site WorldStarHipHop.com and been vilified as some kind of baby prostitute. So...grown man raps in front of a porn star rigorously having her back beat out and we laugh, 17 year old raps into camera with all the bravado of the former, wanting to create the same hype and we're like, "WOAH, where could she possibly have picked up this shocking attitude from? I always thought this genre of music was about kittens and baked goods?!"
The pack mentality response to OG Niki, where young people have temporarily found their moral compass, has been as unpleasant as it has been illiterate. There's obviously the glaring hypocrisy in that most likely no-one would've bat an eyelid had it been a man, but the brunt of disgust has been about her age. Internet trolls took time to comment, "OMG such a slag getting attention she doesnt diserve" or my favourite "WHAT IF DAT WAS UR DAUGHTER?!" after which the posters presumably went back to posting hi-res tit shots on their Tumblr and discussing how much they'd like to bone sex-muppet Rihanna. The juvenile and self-righteous indignation behind calling a young girl a whore is a little strong, when surely she's just a by-product of a time where it's normal for even ex-Disney pop princesses to be thrashing around a strippers pole. Of course it's not right, but I'm also aware that like most people around my age I'm too much of a scumbag to be casting the first stone and questioning the virtues of others, when normally I'm lapping up the smut on show.
The content itself is depressing, yes, but it's no more explicit than half the guff drummed out by mainstream rap music or innuendo laden chart videos. OG Niki is just a snapshot of the teens on the back of the bus, discussing blowjobs at an age where I would've found over-the-clothes fumbles scandalous. If my peers and I are blasé about watching scat porn now, yet find the antics of this girl a bit too rich, does that mean the generation to follow are completely fucked to hell? How much further can the boundaries of taste possibly be pushed?
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