Several lists of top and worst songs are floating over the interwebs, but this list puts meanings behind the ranks.
A teen violence prevention program at the Boston Public Health Comission released its second annual list of top 10 worst relationship songs released in 2010. The Start Strong Initiative analyzed songs from Billboard’s “Hot 100” song chart, looking for tunes that promoted unhealthy messages about relationships or domestic violence against women to listeners. Usher, the R&B crooner who has been populary adored by women and teenage fans for years, topped the list with his song, “Lil’ Freak”.
“Usher describes a relationship world view where it isn’t cheating if nobody knows and brags about his partner not wanting him to use a condom,” Casey Corcoran, director of the Commission’s Start Strong Initiative said in a statement. “These kinds of attitudes aren’t just unhealthy, they’re dangerous.”
Songs were ranked in reflection of their portrayal of manipulation, sex, relationships, and disrespect towards women by a panel of 25 peer leaders in the program. The teens had attended a seven-week “Healthy Relationship Institute” where they were trained in teen dating violence prevention and healthy relationship promotion. They also studied the media with a critical eye, breaking down imagery and content to better understand healthy or unhealthy messages such as control, power, equality, and gender roles.
Eminem’s controversial song with singer Rihanna, “Love the Way You Lie,” came in at number three. However, rankers struggled to find a place for the song on their list.
“We had a hard time scoring the song ‘Love The Way You Lie’,” said Desire Peguero, one of the teens who helped create this year’s list. “While the song does accurately portray an abusive relationship, it doesn’t do enough to condemn that type of relationship.”
Although every individual may not agree with the list of songs, the organization believes that the practice of making a conscious effort to analyze popular music serves as an appropriate maturity tool for youth who are seen as the target audience for inappropriate imagery in the media.
“As long as new music is being released, we have a responsibility to help teens make informed choices about their media diet,” Dr. Barbara Ferrer, the Commission’s executive director, said in a statement. “These tools are a useful and empowering way to do that work.’’
What songs made the list?
Top 10 Unhealthy Relationship Songs
1. “Lil’ Freak” Usher
2. “Hot Tottie” Usher
3. “Love The Way You Lie” Eminen (ft. Rihanna)
4. “Misery” Maroon 5
5. “Only Girl” Rihanna
6. “Your Love is My Drug” Ke$ha
7. “F**k You” Cee-Lo
8. “Deuces” Chris Brown (ft. Tyga)
9. “Eenie Meenie” Justin Beiber (ft. Sean Kingston)
10. “Give It Up To Me” Shakira (ft. Lil’ Wayne)