When will Satan stop trying to pollute the minds of our youth through music? As if the disgraceful performance by Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion at the Grammy’s wasn’t enough, now Lil Nas X is openly engaging in above the pants fellatio with the man himself. For too long has Satan saturated the airways with his blasphemy, tainting the minds of our children with his devilish ways and not having to answer for it. Well, it’s time for answers.
I have drunk two litres of holy water from a river that was once blessed by the Pope, cut open a sacrificial lamb and recited the book Revelations backwards to my reflection in the blood, all to summon Satan so he can answer for his ways. The forest grows darker around me and the blood on the ground is engulfed in flames as the face of the Prince of Darkness pierces through the flickering embers. “Thanks for having me Dale,” he says, “it’s great to be here.”
On 15 March 2021, Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion took to the stage at the 63rd Grammy Awards to perform their explicit and disgusting song 'WAP'. Not only is this track laced with profanity, such as the words ‘pussy’ ‘macaroni’ and ‘wet’ but Cardi and Megan had the dance moves to back it up as the two of them mimicked performing sexual acts on one another. “Well, coming to the decision to do something like that was easy,” says Satan, barely audibly as the raging fires of hell burn behind him, “the thing is, when you’re trying to come up with these performances, you want to give people something they haven’t seen before and I figured, what’s newer than two women embracing their sexuality and not being criticised for it?”
As if the above wasn’t bad enough, now Lil Nas X, the rapper who made the happy song about horses not so long ago, has also had his mind polluted by the Devil. In the video to his new song 'MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name)', we see him give a lap dance to Satan after falling from Heaven. “Again, it’s embracing his sexuality,” says Satan, “he’s an openly gay rapper and straddling me is likely a commentary on the Church's perception of that. He took the lead with that video to be honest so I’m not 100% sure what his thinking was. All I know is it was hot as shit.”
Embracing your sexuality is one thing but what Lil Nas X and Cardi B are doing is downright pornographic. The way they move and the way they dress, it’s just not how people are supposed to behave and it’s not an example that we should be setting for our children. “You see,” says Satan, “I’ve heard all of this stuff before. I got the same reaction when I signed Elvis and The Beatles.”
Absolutely, Lil Nas X and Cardi B aren’t the first time that Satan has attempted to pollute the minds of our children through music, he has been doing it since the '60s when rock‘n’roll was propelled to the mainstream. “When you create new sounds, it’s a tough balance to strike,” he says, “people crave familiarity but also want something original, so it’s better to twist something that they already listen to rather than come up with something brand new. I couldn’t unleash Cardi B and Megan on the world in the '60s because it would have been too much for people to handle. Instead, I took Pentecostalism and used that as the foundation of rock'n'roll. All of the greats I’ve worked with - Elvis, Little Richard, Johnny Cash - they’ll all say the music they heard in church had a huge influence on them.”
So, the Devil twisted good old fashioned Church music to make rock'n'roll, the spark that lit the flame that would eventually burn our Christian values to the ground. “So people thought,” confirms Satan, “The Beatles were probably one of the biggest acts when it came to the Church getting concerned.”
It isn’t surprising that Satan looks at The Beatles as a step in the right direction when it comes to taking over the Church. It was abundantly clear that John Lennon was an ally of the Prince of Darkness when he made those inflammatory comments about The Beatles being bigger than Jesus. “It wasn’t that,” Satan disagrees, “it was their look at first. They had long hair and people said their suits were too tight, they complained that they didn’t look the way that young gentlemen should. Also, it was the mass hysteria that they caused amongst their fans. People became worried that they were abandoning worshipping God and replacing that with worshipping false idols like Ringo Starr.” Satan pauses for a moment, taking a sip of Magma from a skull before continuing, “obviously, the bigger than Jesus comment drew some complaints but I don’t think it was because of the comment itself, rather, the truth that was embedded in it. The Beatles were huge and that worried the Church, which is clear in the fact shortly after it started appropriating my music for its own gain.”
What the Church did certainly wasn’t appropriation as Beelzebub would have you believe. It was fighting fire with fire. The Beatles went after Jesus and so Mind Garage went after The Beatles, and we all who the better band is there, don’t we?
“The issue wasn’t competition: Christian Rock did and still does suck. The issue was the saturation of the market. What made the Beatles and Elvis controversial was happening all over the world and when that happens, it’s time to adapt again. We made the imaginary in rock less subtle, ushered in the likes of AC/DC and KISS, who sang about sex and wore devil horns on stage.” Satan takes a moment to reflect, the screams of lost souls filling the silence, “and where those actions were also met with scorn, it wasn’t the same. Rock was so big that as soon as something new happened, people mimicked it immediately; there was no adjustment period. It was time for something brand new. Not a band or a sound, but an entire movement.”
Hip-hop first came about in 1973 when DJ Kool Herc held the first ever hip-hop party. What made his parties revolutionary was the use of two turntables, where he would play the same funk track on both but rather than let the whole song run its course, he would instead play a break and then loop it, hence the term breakdancing. They say that the reason behind this party was because his sister, Cindy Campbell, convinced him to throw one and charge for it so she could buy new clothes for school, but I know there was darker work afoot. “Good times,” reminisces Satan, “very good times.”
The evolution of hip-hop after that party came thick and fast. It was initially deemed to be a live act only as DJ’s would scratch and mix songs whilst MC’s would take the mic and rap about themselves or the crowd. When hip-hop was eventually pressed onto wax with Sugarhill Gang’s ‘Rappers Delight’ it didn’t take long for rap to take a more sinister turn, the first to go down this route being Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five.
“Are you calling ‘The Message’ sinister?” Asks Satan. “That song was a reflection of the times that people were living in. It spoke about racial inequality and poverty, it didn’t provide a solution, it just highlighted what people were going through. I think it’s wrong to say there was anything sinister about it.”
So, then conscious rap became more popular and that eventually led to the birth of gangsta rap. “Again, more people rapping as reflection of the world they lived in,” says Satan.
Songs like N.W.A’s 'Gangsta Gangsta' and 'Fuck Tha Police' were straight up promotions of drug abuse and gang violence, I argue. “It was people raising awareness to the hardships of growing up in disassociated places in America as they went through the war on drugs, were exposed to drug abuse, forced into a gang fuelled lifestyle and were subjected to profiling by police on every street corner.” It promoted anarchy! “It was a commentary on America that wasn’t remotely surprising to some people who lived in it and those that were surprised, rather than act to improve the lives of those that they didn’t like hearing about, they wanted to just stop hearing about them.”
With the popularity of gangsta rap, what people deemed appropriate to talk about on hip-hop tracks grew more and more. There is only a hop skip and a jump from 'The Message', to 'Fuck Tha Police', to 'WAP'. “You’re way off,” disagrees Satan, “women have been rapping about their sexuality long before 'WAP', look at Lil Kim and Foxy Brown, and when they did it, it was met with the same level as criticism. The thing is, rap is such a versatile genre that it’s open for anyone to talk about anything. On one end, where you have Lil Kim, Foxy Brown, Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion, there’s another end where you have Lauryn Hill, Rapsody, Solange and Little Simz. Rap, no, music is open for anybody to talk about anything, that’s what makes it so cool.”
The question remains, how do we protect our kids from the toxic side of music? “You don’t,“ Satan continues, “because the music you perceive as toxic isn’t toxic at all. It is what rock did with the Church, what Kool Herc did with funk, what NWA did with 'The Message', it is drawing influence from those who have come before you and using that influence to create something new. Cardi and Megan drew from the likes of Foxy Brown in their subject matters and KISS in their explicit embracement of it. Whilst Lil Nas X is using the imagery of me like rock music has for decades and just made his fetishization of it different to rock’s.”
You can draw influence wherever you want, that isn’t the way that people should behave and we shouldn’t be setting that example for our kids. “Now you just sound like a conservative listening to The Beatles. 'Their suits were too tight, their hair was too long, gentlemen aren’t supposed to dress like that.' Or somebody watching Elvis thrust his hips for the first time, complaining he is mimicking sex on stage. All of that stuff has been and gone and the world has carried on turning and kids have grown up to do great things.”
But the toxicity...“what toxicity?” Beelzebub interrupts. “People lash out at Lil Nas X and Cardi because the thing that they’re doing which is supposedly controversial is so in your face that it’s difficult to miss, meanwhile, you have other music that is genuinely problematic that nobody seems to care about.” So, what music is problematic? “Whitewashing, cultural appropriation, some rappers outright denying the credibility of science and vaccines, these are the things people should be getting angry about.”
Maybe we can’t stop this kind of music then but the least we could do would be to stop Satan. What is his evil plan amongst all of this? “There is no evil plan.” There must be, I put to him? “Nope. Sorry. Just a bit of fun, isn't it? Just a laugh."
His voice and image fade into the background as he adds, "and it's better than Christian rock...it's better than Christian rock."