Kidz Bop hit retail markets in the fall of 2001, exposing the world to children singing cringe-worthy covers of pop songs. Since its debut, Kidz Bop has cranked out 39 albums, sold over 16 million records, and has made more ears bleed than a third-world country infected with yellow fever.
These compilations do serve a purpose, however. Kidz Bop was created so parents can play appropriate versions of popular songs, without having to worry about cursing or inappropriate language. It’s fun for the whole family!
What they didn’t account for, is how fucking obnoxious it is to hear a gaggle of 12-year old girls sing Katy Perry on a loop for 58 minutes.
As a former YMCA summer camp counselor, I am well-acclimated in the world of Kidz Bop. Since I was prohibited from playing Tupac singles during arts and crafts time, Kidz Bop was the next logical option. Popular songs, with appropriate lyrics. Again, they serve their purpose.
My campers enjoyed it, most of the staff tolerated it, but I couldn’t fucking stand it. Every time I was forced to play Kidz Bop it made me want to jam a bundle of popsicle sticks into my earhole.
But why was this so annoying? Surely, the high-pitched voices played a role, but there had to be something more. Then, it hit me.
Kidz Bop never plays rock and roll.
39 albums of Top 40 pop songs. Rock covers rarely see the light of day. Sure, in earlier lore of Kidz Bop a Nickleback or Green Day song might make an appearance. “All the Small Things” may have a cameo, but nothing more than that. Kidz Bop disrespects rock music more than the Grammy Awards, and it’s about damn time it changes.
With that in mind, what if Kidz Bop decided to go dark? What if these compilations of shitty Rihanna songs got a little sinister? What if Kidz Bop rebelled against its parents by going through a goth phase?
I’m here to change that.
Before we can jump right into this anarchic Kidz Bop record, we need to lay down some criteria.
Must be within the rock realm
This is a metal-oriented website. The suits at Super Metal World would not appreciate an article free of metal related content. Obviously, Afroman’s “Because I Got High,” would make the cut, but my bosses here would disapprove. As much as I want to hear school children harmonizing over a Colt 45 and two zigzags, I enjoy my job too much.
Must be a commercially successful song
This one is important. Songs on this compilation should have received mainstream success. Kidz Bop cranks out the hits. It has no time for deep cuts. Yes, I’m sure there is a “sick track” called “Anal Chainsaw Delight” by Queef Bazooka, but them and their 38 monthly Spotify listeners won’t cut it on the Kidz Bop dynasty.
Must steer away from intentionally funny songs
While hearing children belt Tenacious D and Bloodhound Gang would be a hoot, these are already comedy bands and will be eliminated from the playlist. These bands produce songs that are purposefully comedic. I’m looking for edge and true grit. Though “Fuck Her Gently,” “The Bad Touch,” and Blink 182’s “Fuck a Dog” would surely be inappropriate Kidz Bop anthems, they will be left off the album.
Now that the criteria has been finalized, without further adieu, I present the inaugural Kidz Bop Goes Dark compilation.
1. “Closer” – Nine Inch Nails
Album: The Downward Spiral
Troublesome content: Essentially the entire song would mortify all children and parents alike if released as is on a Kidz Bop record. Frontman Trent Reznor has gone on the record stating that the song gets misinterpreted often and never thought it would blossom into a “…frat-party anthem or a titty-dancer anthem.” Reznor claims the song is essentially about the album’s protagonist being a piece of shit, so if you sexually desire him, this is what you will have to deal with.
Regardless of the interpretation, some lyrical content needs to be tweaked. Specifically, the chorus.
I wanna fuck you like an animal
I wanna feel you from the inside
I wanna fuck you like an animal
My whole existence is flawed
You bring me closer to God
Edited lyrics: This is a fairly simple fix. Find and Replace a few fucks and we are all set.[Chorus]
I wanna pet you like an animal
I wanna feel that shaggy fur on the outside
I wanna pet you like an animal
This pupper needs to be bought
Mom, may we please buy this dog?
What was once a self-deprecating, sex fantasy jam, is now a heartwarming story of a mother buying her son his first Goldendoodle.
2. “Duality” – Slipknot
Album: Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses)
Troublesome content: Lyrically speaking, this is a fairly clean song. With the exception of one “bitched,” there is no swearing, which bodes well for the Kidz Bop franchise. The chorus, however, discusses pushing fingers into one’s eyeballs, which could be graphic imagery for toddlers.
Edited lyrics: “Duality” is about coping with inner struggles through self-pain. By slightly tweaking the chorus, we can change the complexity of the entire song.[Chorus]
I put my glasses onto my eyes!
It’s the only way to see what’s on the page
If they’re not on my face, I simply can’t read it!
Would you look at that. The song now deals with a different kind of struggle: the inability to read literature due to poor vision.
3. “Rape Me” – Nirvana
Album: In Utero
Troublesome content: Well, the word “rape” is said 22 times.
Edited lyrics: There are multiple interpretations of the song, but regardless of Kurt Cobain’s explanation or fan theories, we need to change a majority of this track. No matter the perspective, the word “rape” simply cannot see the light of day on a Kidz Bop record. Here is the fix.[Verse 1]
Scraped knee, my friend
Scraped knee, again
Fell off my bike outside (Ahhhh)
This was my seventh time (Ahhhh)
It was a bumpy ride (Ahhhh)
Bring out the iodine
Originally dark and gloomy, this Nirvana track is now one that stresses the importance of bicycle safety. Wear your helmet, kids.
4. “Something in Your Mouth” – Nickelback
Album: Dark Horse
Troublesome content: This fucking song. I actually attended a Nickelback concert during the Dark Horse Tour in 2010. Guys, you will never believe this, but during this performance, a slideshow of women shoving phallus shaped fruits into their mouths was projected onto the big screen.
Edited lyrics: Obviously, this song is way too sexually deviant for Kidz Bop. Changes must be made.[End of Chorus]
(You naughty thing)
You’re gonna choke on that, Colin!
Please don’t joke about this, son.
You’re better than you’re actin’, sweetie don’t you pout
It’s not a smart decision to put Legos in your mouth!
A once lyrically brilliant, groovy sex anthem, is now a cautionary tale to not chew on Legos.
5. “Hot for Teacher” – Van Halen
Troublesome content: Wait, you’re telling me David Lee Roth wrote a song about railing his teacher in a daydream? Nope, not buying it.
Edited lyrics: Being the target demographic is primary school children, a song about boning a teacher will not bode well in the Kidz Bop universe. Something must be done:[Chorus]
Got an A
Got an A
Got an A
Respect my teacher
A teenager’s wet dream morphed into a hymn for respecting educators.
6. “Last Resort” – Papa Roach
Troublesome content: There is no full length, uncensored video of this song on YouTube. The only high-quality video is the “squeaky clean” version, where roughly 85% is bleeped out. This is unlistenable. Kidz Bop will not stand for this trash editing.
Edited lyrics: How do you turn a song about contemplating suicide into something positive, you ask? Easy:[Verse 1]
CUT MY CAKE INTO PIECES
THIS IS MY PLASTIC FORK
BLOW OUT THE CANDLES
WISHING FOR PRESENTS
See? Piece of cake.
7. “Darling Nikki” – Prince
Album: Purple Rain
Troublesome content: Right off the bat Prince encounters a “sex fiend” named Nikki, who appears to be “masturbating with a magazine.” Jacking off is a clear no-no on Kidz Bop compilations. It clearly states this in the employee handbook.
Edited lyrics: Though a funky, sexual encounter at its core, realistically all that needs to change is the first verse. Disregard the rest of the song’s sexual tension.[Verse 1]
I knew a girl named Nikki
I still remember her to this day
I met her at school it was in grade three
But she sadly moved away
She said, “I know this is hard, but can we still be friends?”
I said yes, then I started to cry
The song now tells the story of our protagonist and his childhood friend, Nikki. Additionally, the track conveys important themes about friendship and the changes life brings forth. Nikki moved away at a young age, but the two remained pen pals. To this day, our main character cherishes this friendship.
8. “Down with the Sickness” – Disturbed
Album: The Sickness
Troublesome content: There are some obvious curse words in the chorus that will need to be edited. “You fucker” can be easily replaced with “You hater” or something similar. The primary issue with “Down with the Sickness” is the bridge, which features lead singer David Draiman calling his mom a, “…stupid, sadistic, fucking whore” along with other unflattering adjectives.
Edited lyrics: There is a lot going on in the bridge, but it’s manageable.[Bridge]
No, mommy, don’t do it again!
Don’t do it again, I’ll be a good boy!
I’ll be a good boy, I promise!
No, mommy, don’t ground me!
Why did you have to ground me like that, mommy?
Don’t do it, don’t take away my phone!
Why did you have to be such a butt?
Why don’t you? Why don’t you just leave and go to your room?
Why can’t you just leave me alone?
Why can’t you just leave me be?
Never ground me ever again, lady!
Hey you! I don’t need this stuff!
You big, old, mean, poopy woman!
How would you like to see how it feels, mommy?
Here it comes, I’m going to cry!
I, for one, can hardly notice a difference between the two versions.
9. “Love in an Elevator” – Aerosmith
Troublesome content: Woah, hold up. You’re telling me Steven Tyler wrote a song fantasizing about plowing a woman in an elevator? I expected this chicanery from David Lee Roth, but not from YOU Mr. Tyler.
Edited lyrics: Essentially this song is full of sexual innuendos about making whoopee in an elevator. No secrets there. However it is a fairly clean song in terms of language, as there is no swearing. With that, “love” can easily be changed to something else, so listeners don’t get any tempting thoughts:[Chorus]
Fun in an elevator.
Jumpin’ on up as we’re going down
Fun in an elevator
Livin’ it up while we’re here in town
Instead of sex, it’s now just some good ol’ harmless fun in an elevator. Picture a group of kids from rural Minnesota staying in a hotel for some Bantam youth hockey tournament. They don’t get to the big city often, but when they do, them boys sure raise hell on that ol’ elevator.
10. “Love Gun” – Kiss
Album: Love Gun
Troublesome content: Exhibit A
Edited lyrics: There is clearly some sexual connotation with Love Gun, as displayed in the Role Models clip. Much like “Love in an Elevator” and “Hot for Teacher,” this Kiss anthem has an easy fix.
No place for hiding, baby
No place to run
You pull the trigger of my
Squirt gun, (Squirt gun) squirt gun
Squirt gun, (Squirt gun) squirt gun
Once a clear-cut 70s sex anthem, now deals with a friendly backyard water fight.
11. “Killing in the Name” – Rage Against the Machine
Album: Rage Against the Machine
Troublesome content: Pay no mind to the underlying message of track. Kidz Bop need not worry about political undertones conveyed in “Killing in the Name.” What needs to be addressed is the song’s outro, where the gentlemen from Rage Against the Machine clearly state, “Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me” sixteen consecutive times. It is a terrifying thought imagining hundreds of children chanting this at a summer camp.
Hey you, you’re a bunch of baloney!
(Repeat fifteen more times)
Simple fix. Still just as edgy. Fight the power.
12. “Freak on a Leash” – Korn
Album: Follow the Leader
Troublesome content: “Raped” in verse 1 as well as, “A cheap fuck for me to lay” in the chorus will need to be edited. Other than that, the rest of the song will stand as is. Kidz Bop will not pick up on the deeper meaning of the song.
Edited lyrics: With the exception of the examples above, there will be no edits made to this song. In fact, the bridge is the exact reason why “Freak on a Leash” cracked the list. Jonathan Davis already produces nonsensical, childish sounds, so there is no need for edits.
On a serious note, Rolling Stone interviewed Davis in 1998, and asked whether or not “Freak on a Leash” dealt with the singer’s ongoing battle between the band’s artistic integrity and the shady underbelly of the corporate music industry. Davis stated, “Da boom na da noom na namena!” and continued playing with his Tonka truck.
Nate is a graphic designer as well as an avid appreciator of live music, pop culture of most kinds, and cats. Devon Rexes to be exact. He lives in Fargo, ND with his pop culture-loving wife Melissa Vosen Callens and 3 Devon Rexes: Huey Lewis, Joan Jett, and Stevie Nicks. They’re pretty rad. Send your questions, comments, concerns, swag, and music to [email protected]. Follow Nate on Twitter @natecallens and Instagram @fargonate. Cheers!