The smooth soul of Boyz II Men is something all ages can enjoy.
There are occasional songs that might raise eyebrows of con-cerned parents, but lyrics such as those in "I'll Make Love to You" are really aberrations.For the most part, parents, after hearing Boyz hit after Boyz hit on adult contemporary radio, wouldn't hesitate to let their 10-year-old - or, for that matter, their 5-year-old (with an aunt or uncle or older family member) - attend a Boyz II Men concert.
In fact, until Monday night's performance at the Delta Center, I was thinking I'd even take my soon-to-be-5-year-old-daughter to the next Boyz show that pulls into town.
But not anymore. The reason? Harsh R-rated profanity.
Boyz II Men wasn't the problem, however. The group has a knack for blending gospelesque harmonies, emotion and exciting choreography - the performance was fine.
And even some of the suggestive posings of opening acts Next and K-Ci & JoJo weren't a problem.
It was between the acts that red flags waved high and mightily.
As roadies scuttled around, moving equipment to and from the stage, the music of a handful of hard-core rap acts blasted out of the speakers. This was intermission music!
"I'm the same mother f----- as I've always been . . . " and other explicit lyrics depicting various sex acts were heard by all who attended.
Now, I'm not pro-censorship - especially when it comes to the performing arts. But I do feel younger ears shouldn't be subjected to older language.
I wouldn't want my 4-year-old to drive a car before she's 15. So why would I want her to hear language that is usually reserved for R-rated movies . . . and high school?
The Boyz II Men foursome does need to share a bit of the blame. They should be more responsible. They have to know that a lot of their fans are under the age of 16.
I mean, Wanya Morris, Shawn Stockman, Michael McCarey and Nathan Morris appear in music and self-esteem seminars in high school assemblies.
While sociologists might argue that music is a cultural thing, and artists do find artistic expression in the language of their peers and surroundings, the fact remains that people under 17 are theoretically barred from buying albums with explicit lyrics or going to R-rated movies without a supervising adult.
This will be interesting to watch in the future, especially with talk swirling about the concept of rating concerts like movies.
If that happens, the between-sets music will also be subject to ratings.