Previously published in Examiner on Mar 2, 2013
It is hard to believe that more than 17 years after “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” the song lyrics could cause so much trouble. OTRC – OnTheRedCarpet.com reported today that, “A high school in Ambridge, Pennsylvania, was locked down after a receptionist misheard a lyric from the show’s theme song that was recorded as the outgoing message of a student’s voice mail. The receptionist was attempting to confirm an appointment with Travis Clawson, a 19-year-old student, and believed she heard Clawson say in his rendition of the song “shooting people outside of the school.” The lyric he was referencing is actually “shooting some b-ball outside of school,” a reference to basketball.”
I can see how the mistake could be made,” b-ball, people “, can sound the same.
The Inquisitr writes that the “Ambridge High School, along with all other schools district-wide, were placed on lock down. The 19-year-old, who used the song in [his] voice mail, was reportedly detained for three hours while officials questioned [him] and searched through his belongings.”
Imagine how that teenager must have felt when treated like a criminal.
“The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” ran from 1990 to 1996 and starred Will Smith in the lead role as a kid from West Philadelphia who is sent to live with his uncle and aunt in an affluent neighborhood.” It was a family program.
I still watch the reruns now and both my son and I absolutely love Will Smith.
It is ironic that any of Will Smith’s raps would cause so much panic. Rappers are notorious for writing hateful lyrics all about murder and violence. Will Smith was not one of them. He is famous for writing clean lyrics; lyrics without violence. Encyclopedia jrank writes, “Fun-loving and funny, Will Smith captivates audiences in a variety of media: music, television, and film. By his twelfth birthday, Smith was known as a rap musician. He and Jeffrey Townes, as D.J. Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince, recorded several platinum albums and won the first Grammy ever presented for the Best Rap Performance.
I really don’t like rap. However, it was my son who convinced me that Will Smith was a clean rapper.
Smith’s recordings thereafter became known for their clean-cut lyrics, or what Dream Hampton called the “raised right” style of rap. When responding to criticism from rappers noted for their more violent content, Smith pointed out that his lyrics reflect his own experience, just as harsher lyrics reflect the reality of a different lifestyle.
I wish other rappers would take heed of his work, many of the raps songs are made up and the rapper never lived that violent street life at all.
Yes of course I fell the secretary was right in alerting the authorities if the lyrics were “shooting people outside of the school.” In the wake of all the recent school shootings such as the one at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut and others since then, the secretary was doing her job. She may have caused a lot of worry and anxiety in the school district; nevertheless, she was commitment to saving the school from yet another school shooting.