Has Hip Hop Gone Too Far? 9-Year-Old “Coke Boy” Under Investigation
At 9 years old, Luie Rivera, Jr., better known “Lil Poopy,” raps about coke, money and cars. In his video “Coke Ain’t A Bad Word,” he is seen flashing stacks of money, riding in a Ferrari and even slapping a woman’s behind as she is dancing suggestively. In a separate video, the pint size rapper is performing at a nightclub with a woman dancing on him while people in the crowd throw cash. In another, he calls himself a “cocaine cowboy.”
Needless to say, Lil Poopy’s lyrics, persona and music videos aren’t reflective of his age. His talent has caught the attention of Bad Boy rapper French Montana who endorses the boy, lets him perform on stage with him and has officially named him as a “Coke Boy.” In other videos posted on YouTube, Poopy is surrounded by adults who are drinking alcohol and hitting on women. While you may ask, where are this boy’s parents, Poopy’s own father, Luie Rivera, is his manager and encourages him to emulate adult behavior seen in mainstream hip hop.
As a result, Lil Poopy has gained hundreds of thousands of hits on YouTube in addition to the attention of the Massachusetts child welfare authorities who are currently investigating whether his rock star life is putting his mental, emotional and physical health in danger. The Massachusetts’s Department of Children opened a case against him after a “concerned citizen”notified the Massachusetts Police department when they saw the boy in videos with sexual themes and drug references. According to Brockton police Lt. Robert Sergio, the state agency is brought in when there is suspicion of physical, mental, or emotional abuse of a child.
In his defense, Lil Poopy’s father says his son is “not doing anything wrong” and has hired a lawyer who claims that the child’s investigation is “racially” motivated.
“This is just what I would call a racially-tinged investigation because whoever watched it probably doesn’t understand rap,” said Boston attorney Joseph Krowski, Jr. to ABCNews.com. “…This isn’t some child left alone that’s not going to school. It all comes down to content in the videos, which is protected by the First Amendment.”
“White child actors are depicted in far more serious scenes, including violence and sexual content, and they get awards,” continues Krowski. “A young Hispanic male who raps — he gets an investigation.”
The attorney added that the young rapper is not being exploited because he likes to rap. “It’s entertainment, a play on words,” Krowski said. “It’s authentic to that culture.”
Though Rivera’s lawyer presents a fair case about how the First Amendment constitutionally backs children and adults to say anything that they want, who can really argue that there’s nothing ethically and morally wrong with the exploitation of a fourth grader being exposed to drugs, alcohol, sex and money? Yes, some children are raised in harsh realities and forced to grow up quickly, but to purposely tell your child to mimic sleazy adult behavior to make a profit is sickening.
No one is protesting against the boy being a rapper, but why not let him use his talent and at the same time act his age?
Krowski’s arguement that Lil Poopy’s image and adult-like behavior is “authentic to that culture” is a slap in the face to hip hop artists, fans and minorities who recognize a clear line between adult entertainment and child exploitation. Is it “authentic” to our “culture” to encourage our children to use profanity, degrade women and promote fiscal irresponsibility? What an insult!
As a hip hop consumer, I enjoy some of French Montana’s songs and appreciate his talent and contribution to the rap game. But seeing a 9-year-old boy go over-the-top to impersonate him while a bunch of adults are cheering him is disturbing and is in no way reflective of hip hop. Though many children look up to rappers, there are still adults and parents who know when to censor what their child is listening to and teach them the difference between entertainment and reality.
“Lil Poopy’s” brand and music is wrong for a variety of obvious reasons, and I hope that officials can ensure that he is raised in a safe and nourishing environment absent of sex, drugs and alcohol.
Watch his video for his song “Coke Ain’t A Bad Word” below.
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