The Creepy and Bizarre World of Kidz Bop Videos
It's hard to talk about Kidz Bop. Sure, it's easy to make fun of the series of albums' watered-down version of modern pop, but it also feels like going after low-hanging fruit. That doesn't mean that the music isn't awful, because it is, but one could argue Kidz Bop provides a necessary service.
Much like knockoff iPads exist so that clueless grandparents can try and do the right thing, Kidz Bop CDs sit there waiting for an unhip parent/grandparent/family friend to come along and eventually ruin a growing child's birthday.
When we last caught up with the company, Kidz Bop had just released Kidz Bop Sings Monster Ballads, aka the CD where hair-metal went to die.
It's been a year and now the popular series is releasing its 22nd installment. "Popular?" you ask snarkily. Hard to believe, but it's true: The last three releases have each hit the penultimate spot on the Billboard 200.
Since I'm a firm believer you can't properly judge something until you've spent some time with it, I decided to queue up a few Kidz Bop videos on its official Vevo channel. Here are my impressions of the alternate reality where this is real music and these are real videos.
2009: "Let It Rock" (Originally by Kevin Rudolf)
Notable Lyric Change: "So he raised his hand and waved it to the world." Not only are there no middle fingers in Kidz Bop, but there's no Lil Wayne either.
"Let It Rock" is one of those songs that straddles the line of Kidz Bop acceptability, and it's actually quite difficult to peg which songs will pass the test. For example, there's a Kidz Bop version of "Tik Tok" but not "We Are Young."
But when in doubt, always cut the rap sections out of a pop song; rappers are filthy, filthy people obsessed with drugs and sex. It would be interesting to play the real version of this song to a child who only knows the Kidz Bop version just to see their response to the missing Lil Wayne verse. "Mommy, why is there a frog on this song?"
2010: "Crazy" Originally by Gnarls Barkley
Notable Lyric Change: None as far as I can tell. Well played, Cee Lo Green. Well played.
One thing you learn from watching a lot of these videos is that the kids do a much better job lip-syncing when they aren't pretending to be in a band. Stick a microphone in their hand, though, and they become utterly lost.
In that regard, this video at least plays to the children's strengths as performers. It's also pretty creepy. This kid is clearly being hazed, and that jerk in the maroon hoodie is the ringleader of the group.
Add in the fact that the opening and closing shots clearly suggest that this is something that happens on the regular, and I can't help but worry about all the children Razor and Tie have manipulated over the last ten years.