Never before has the tag “children are our future, unless we stop them” been so relevant. Last week, Burnsy told you about the Kidz Bop cover of “Thrift Shop,” which changed Macklemore’s original “I’m hunting, looking for a come-up, this is f*cking awesome” to the much more kid-friendly, “This is really awesome.” The album series — which is now on its 24th installment — has been making these kind of tame lyrical edits for over a decade now, but there are some songs Kidz Bop should never have covered in the first place.
Here are 10 unnerving, creepy, or generally super-awful Kidz Bop covers.
“Oops!… I Did It Again” by Britney Spears
Kidz Bop wasted no time in making parents feel uncomfortable while their seven-year-old son rocks out to Britney Spears songs about women who dangle a sexy carrot in front of a horny bunny, only to pull it away at the last second. Metaphorically speaking. It’s the second song on the first Kidz Bop album, placed gracefully between the Guidance Counselor’s cover of “Smash Mouth” and an even less soulful, more strip club version of “Bye Bye Bye,” and really set the tone for the series. Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah.
“I Need a Girl (Part One)” by P. Diddy featuring Usher and Loon
“Mommy, what does ‘I need a girl to ride, ride, ride’ mean? Is it like a bike?”
“Well, Suzy, the thing about that is…*crashes car to avoid conversation*”
“Bring Me to Life” by Evanescence
Frozen inside without your touch.
Without your love, darling.
Only you are the life among the dead.
NO. There’s nothing worse than a five-year-old goth.
“Are You Gonna Be My Girl” by Jet
“Are You Gonna Be My Girl” is deceptively inappropriate. Honestly, before doing this post, I never really thought about what Jet was saying; it’s tough to focus on, ugh, words, when you’ve got a guitar riff that strong, which DEFINITELY wasn’t stolen from Iggy Pop’s “Lust for Life.” Anyway, after some pleas to make a girl his, Cameron Muncey’s Kidz Bop stand-in moans, “Now you don’t need that money/When you look like that, do ya honey.” What. Is she a prostitute who the narrator wants to turn into his own Pretty Woman, or is the message that females shouldn’t have to work if they’re attractive? Either way, no.
“Who Let the Dogs Out?” by Baha Men
“The Kidz Bop cover of Baha Men” is the first thing you’ll see when you enter Hell.
“The Ketchup Song” by Las Ketchup
I would just like to point out that there’s a song called “The Ketchup Song” on Los Kidz Bop. That is all.
“Boulevard of Broken Dreams” by Green Day
Oh good, a song more depressing than “Bring Me to Life.” I’d love for there to be a documentary that follows children who love the Kidz Bop version of “Boulevard of Broken Dreams,” which, like the original, begins, “I walk a lonely road, the only one that I have ever known,” for 30 years, to see what their lives are like as adults. Does singing about shadows being the only ones that walk beside you in the backseat of your parent’s minivan f*ck you up? Are you unable to connect with people on a personal level because you made Dad play “that broken dreams song” over and over again? Do you committ suicide at the age of 46, leaving only a note that says “I walk alone”?
I say: yes.
“Photograph” by Nickelback
“Photograph” is basically Bruce Springsteen’s “Glory Days,” but even worse. It’s about pining for the past, about missing old friends and the town where you grew up (and the school you dropped out of), to the point where you can’t concentrate on the present. It’s horrible and depressing, like most Nickelback fans, actually.
“Heartless” by Kanye West
I’ve listed to a lot of Kidz Bop songs for this piece, way more than any relatively well-adjusted 25-year-old male should, so know that I don’t say this lightly: the Children of the Corn cover of “Heartless” isn’t that bad. It’s an intentionally chilly song and the kids(z)’ unenthusiastic vocal performances actually suit it well. Overlook the fact that the track is about the end of an awful romantic relationship, one in which two people did terrible, secretive things to the other, and “Heartless” is downright enjoyable. Kids love Dr. Evil.
“Starships” by Nicki Minaj
“We’re higher than a motherf*cker” is now “We’re Kidz Bop and we’re taking over.” F*CCCCKKKKKK YOU.