Throughout history, children have been exploited by terrible people because they could be used as figurative armies of slaves in factories and mines. They’ve been cheap labor and easily replaceable, as the storks that deliver them were once plentiful in numbers. Alas, those storks have flown on and laws have been created to protect these little whiny jerks from losing limbs and lives creating awesome Chuck Taylors for yours truly.
However, as child services took little laborers out of our coal mines and put them back into schools, we’ve been able to exploit them in other ways, namely entertainment. Ever since Shirley Temple created a stir in every pedophile with a picture tube, generation after generation has locked on to iconic children as the faces of their time. These faces include Justin Bieber, Willow Smith, Lil Bow Wow, Gary Coleman, Lindsay Lohan, Macaulay Culkin, Michael Jackson, and Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, among others. But mainly these were the faces of a buttload (metric term) of Benjamins that came pouring in for the parents of those kids. Because, after all, as the Bible says* - the parents giveth life and they can taketh it away if your spoiled little ass keeps growing.
Many people are quick to protest the life of a child star, saying that they’re deprived of educations and therefore don’t have the skills to fall back on once their fame inevitably runs out, or the crazy hours of travel, interviews and performing are forms of child abuse, or that we’re simply stopping these kids from being kids. Well f-ck all that noise, because daddy’s gotta get paid, AM I RIGHT? Parents, take it from me, a former child star** - these are the kids that your precious little ones should be looking up to in 2011…
*It might not say that.
** I’m technically a child star, if you count not ever being famous.
Everyone just blindly assumes that Willow Smith – daughter of actor Will Smith and his ball possessor, Jada Pinkett Smith – is the Queen-in-Waiting of female pop music. Her debut single, “Whip My Hair”, is a smash hit among children, so she rightfully deserves some of that praise. But what of the children who can’t benefit from having ridiculously wealthy celebrity parents to give them careers? They turn to YouTube like Lyrikkal here. Lyrikkal’s “Purple and Brown” is a remake of the Chet Haze classic “White and Purple” but… wait, what? Wiz Khalifa’s “Black and Yellow” you say? I guess you learn something new every day. Regardless, Lyrikkal has the talent to be the Foxy Brown to Willow Smith’s Lil Kim. Be proud, parents.
Timmy here is your classic grassroots child star, showing his singing chops from his very own kitchen. This is how some of the biggest singers of the past few generations got their starts. George Michael, Elton John, Clay Aiken – they all started with bananas and worked their way to becoming the tops in their respective games. Timmy shows us that you don’t need big production value or high-priced choreographers to make a name for yourself, so long as you have will, ambition and the unfortunate access to a Ke$ha album.
Speaking of Ke$ha, her song “We R Who We R” teaches us that we don’t need to learn the alphabet anymore in this Twitter world, but it also teaches us to embrace the person that we’ve become. In the case of 8-year old rapper Matty B, it’s about embracing the person that he – not his parents – wants to become. Matty B wants to be the greatest rapper this game has ever seen, and he clearly shows off his rapping chops in this rewrite of Ke$ha’s hit song. Matty B has a huge head start on kids like Timmy, as his YouTube catalog is extensive. He even remade the Geico little piggy commercial. Because we all love that commercial.
In fairness, this little guy has been an Internet star for a few years now. But since this rendition of “Hey Jude” hit the Interwebs, I haven’t heard so much as a peep from this kid. Watching this performance, you know that he is destined for great things, so we need to use kids like this as an example. We can’t let amazing talents just pass us by. What if this boy takes the idle nature of his young career as rejection? That could scar him for life. We need to instead encourage his parents to take him out of school and put him to work now. He’ll thank us for it.
Now, I know that some of you are saying, “Yo Burnsy-B, this child star game ain’t all about the singers and the rappers, it’s about the dancers with the mad feet flavas, feel me?” Easy, Channing Tatum, I know how this business works. Dancing is a huge genre, as evidenced by shows like “So You Think You Can Dance” and “Crossfire” so these kids are already making names for themselves in show business. Unfortunately, I don’t know what their names are. But still, they’re probably great names and they’ll look even greater when they’re in big bright lights at places where people are paid to dance.
This next guy was recommended to me by some people who spend the majority of their days on the Internet, and I’m not quite sure how I feel about his game. Keenan Cahill is what some people are calling a “viral star” and not in the Charlie Sheen sense. Apparently Keenan has quite a few videos like this floating around, and in each he is singing his own renditions of popular songs. Here’s the problem – I don’t think he’s actually singing these songs. I’m afraid he’s doing something called “lip synching” and that is quite frowned upon in pop music circles. Especially at live appearances.
This young lady already has a huge head start on the other kids in the entertainment industry. This appearance on "The Talk" has opened the eyes of millions of music fans and these people are all asking the same question – “Who or what is a Cutie Patootie?” I’ll tell you what she or it is, she or it is a freaking star. I, for one, have been following this new musical influence – I believe it’s called Babble Mumble Slur – since it was in its underground phase. This girl is taking it mainstream and she looks like she’s in for a long career of success, respect and unquestionable adoration from both her peers and critics.
A lot of children need encouragement to command their talents. I find that disappointing because I think that a true child star is born with outstanding charisma, but if you find that your child’s talent is hiding behind a wall of emotion then you need to help him break it down. In the case of Marshall here, he clearly has a passion for rapping and the talent with which to break through as a star. What he’s lacking is a voice. He needs to dominate that playground and throw down a fiery burst of street raps. I’m not suggesting that he use violence as a means of success, but some imagery wouldn’t hurt. I mean, it worked for Tupac and Joey Lawrence.
I strongly believe that the best way to encourage a young artist – other than investing millions of dollars into an artificial image, or the easy way, as I like to call it – is through instruments. Many kids are fortunate enough to take guitar or piano lessons at early ages and that helps to develop their creativity. Zaris, on the other hand, is already showing incredible promise on the drums. She’s like a young Phil Collins, except I don’t want to punch her for breaking up Genesis. DAMN YOU, PHIL! HOW COULD YOU TAKE AWAY THE GREATEST BAND OF THE LAST 10,000 YEARS???
I don’t really get the appeal of Ke$ha, but then again I’ve never been much for pouring glitter on a wildebeest and giving it a recording contract. However, she seems to be a huge influence for so many kids these days (as we’ve already seen) but especially for aspiring teenage artists. Now, when it comes to teenagers, I think they’re already too old. I mean, pre-pubescent years are when the voice is at its peak. Anything after that is a fossil. But these girls seem to understand that as they’re bringing their own Ke$ha-inspired style to the people who might appreciate it the most – the elderly. Don’t worry, old people. You may not have much left, but give them some time. They’ll grow on you.
While America is the undisputed home to the greatest talents in every genre ever known, there have been a few success stories from overseas markets. Charice, for instance, is from the Philippines and she showcased her talents on a Filipina version of “American Idol” or “America’s Got Talent” or the upcoming TLC show, “Those Midget Nontuplets Can Sing”. Wait a second, I just got an urgent, incoming message… Charice Pempengco is actually already a worldwide star and will appear on at least five upcoming episodes of the hit show "Glee". Damn, I’m better than I thought.
There was a point in time that I would have fought you to the death with my bare knuckles if you had said there could ever be a greater female rapper than MC Lyte. It’s just blasphemy to suggest anything else. But then I watched this video of a young girl rapping “My Adidas”. It’s breathtaking, really. It’s like watching a tiny Queen Latifa but without knowing that she ever willingly agreed to make the movie Taxi.
I believe it was Lyndon Johnson, or perhaps Wilt Chamberlain, who once said: “There will never be another music group in this or any other lifetime that will rival the talents of All 4 One.” It appears that Vicus, who hails from South Africa, took that famous quote as a challenge, and boy did he prove the entire world wrong. Somewhere the members of All 4 One are watching this video, knowing that they have been bested by a child, and they are hanging their heads in shame. But they need to snap out of it because that Big Mac ain’t gonna cook itself.
Somebody tried to tell me that this incredibly fast rapper, known as Watsky based on his last name Watsky, is 1) Not a child and B) Already well known as a slam poet. Well, excuse me, know-it-alls, but some people actually thought that Emmanuel Lewis was an adult with a growth condition. Hell, people thought that Andy Milonakis was 34-years old when he first discovered fame. He was clearly a teenager at best. My professional opinion is that Watsky is actually 8 months old. If I’m wrong then I will retire from the child star scouting profession for good.
A big problem that many parents deal with is the fact that their children have no talent. So I’m going to let you all in on a little secret… only 12% of people who sign record contracts actually have talent. And of those people, only 4% are actually from planet Earth. How, then, do you promote your talentless children? Turn them into Juggalo rappers. Seriously, these people have no talent but kids eat their music up. Just stock up on face paint and check your pride and dignity at the door.
If I’m being exclusive by only concentrating on people with children and that offends you as a person who was rendered impotent or barren by years of paint huffing addictions, then I offer my apologies. You still have an opportunity at achieving vicarious stardom. You’ll just need a pet, Drowning Pool lyrics and some patience. You’ll be a parent to a star in no time!