How To Find Clean Hip Hop Music for Kids

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.Over the past ten years, hip hop classes at our studio have exploded in popularity. We offer hip hop starting with age six through adult.  I know it can be a struggle to find fun, age-appropriate hip hop music when the majority of the songs on the radio are about sex, drinking or profanity.

Looking over the playlist selection on this blog, I noticed that I am slacking in the hip hop department.  While I teach a variety of genres, hip hop is most definitely not one of them.  I can shim sham all day and pirouette with the best of them, but I cannot pop or lock (although it doesn’t stop me from trying!).

Luckily, I have a bunch of great hip hop instructors at my studio who do try to find age-appropriate music that their students love.

Here are their suggestions for finding appropriate music for class (links open in iTunes – The Dance Buzz is a proud iTunes affiliate):

1.  Go ‘Old School’ for the younger classes!

To my dismay, apparently the following songs are now considered “old school” by one of my hip hop teachers (she’s 20-something).  In any case – look to the past for some fun hip hop songs (although I still recommend checking out the lyrics on older tunes):

Shake It – Aaron Carter
Let’s Get It Started – Black Eyed Peas
U Can’t Touch This – MC Hammer
Ice Ice Baby – Vanilla Ice
P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing) – Michael Jackson

2.  Look for young hip hop artists

Ke$ha and Kanye are all grown up and rapping about grown-up subjects.  Instead, look for pint-size rappers whose parent won’t let them use four-letter words in their lyrics.  The Disney tween stars and starlets also fall under this category.

Suggested Artists:  Lil’ Romeo, Willow Smith, China Anne McClain (A.N.T. Farm), Keke Palmer

Lip Gloss – Lil’ Mama
My Baby – Lil’ Romeo
Countdown – Victorious
We Belong to the Music (feat. Miley Cyrus) – Timbaland

3.  Give it up for soundtracks

Lately there have been a lot of dance movies popping up at the theaters.  Use it to your advantage and check out the soundtracks!  Suggested albums:  Step Up,Step Up 2 the Streets,Step Up 3D, Step Up Revolution, Honey 2.

Take It to the Floor – You Got Served
Best Friends – Bratz
Do Your Thing – Basement Jaxx

4. Christian artists
There is a lot of great hip hop music by Christian artists out there that have good beats and uplifting lyrics.  Check out http://www.holyhiphop.com/ for more Christian music.

Suggested Artists:  Group 1 Crew, Grits, KJ-52, LeCrae

Movin’ – Group 1 Crew
Turn It Up – Grits
Brand New Day – KJ-52
Make Some Noise – Krystal Meyers
Let It Roll – Group 1 Crew

5. Instrumentals

Instrumental songs eliminate the chance of a bad word or innuendo ruining a good song!  Look for drumline-type music, or karaoke versions of popular songs. Or take inspiration from the League of Extraordinary Dancers and mix classical with hip hop beats.  Splice them all together and you’ve got your own original hip hop mix!

Suggested Artists: deadmau5, Nuttin’ But Stringz, Black Violin, Young Mozart,

Levels – Avicii (the track FloRida sampled in his song Good Feelin’)
Dirty Orchestra – Black Violin
Ghosts N Stuff – Ghosts N Stuff – Single
Look At Me Now (Karaoke)

Bonus!  More favorites from the teachers:

Hokey Pokey – The Puppies
Everybody Jam Along – Jammy Jams
Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf – Disney Mania 4
Super Cali (BoiOB Version) – Disney Mania 4
HipHop-O-Potamus – MeeWee
The Chipettes (if you can stand listening to them every class)
Throw Your Hands Up – Jump5

I hope you have found some new music for your classes – hip hop you don’t stop!

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