The Kids On TV song “Breakdance Hunx” has hilarious call-and-answer lyrics where a young man is lured into prostituting himself. “Certainly you must realize that you have a market value.” “Market?” “Yeah, a little blond boy who breakdances and sucks cock…. We could make five grand a week off your ass, baby.” “You think so?” “I know so.”
Roxanne Arsenault, a DJ for seven years at Montreal’s CISM, the world’s biggest francophone university radio station, was surprised when she was suspended for three weeks after “Breakdance Hunx” earned the station a complaint.
Its subject matter is not far removed from that of mainstream artists like Missy Elliott, who, in the song “Work It,” proclaims: “I’m not a prostitute but I can give you what ya want… Take my thong off and my ass go boom.” Admittedly, there are not a lot of positive or neutral rap code words — booty, ho, chew me, humps, lumps — for gay sex, so “sucks cock” does jump out at you.
“For me, if I like a song, I’ll play it if it’s not attacking anyone. But the words, ‘suck cock’ are offensive to some people who wouldn’t have a problem with a Black Eyed Peas song,” says Arsenault. “In our society, gay content is more likely to get complaints.”
Arsenault says all the station’s DJs are now required to give warnings if they play songs with explicit lyrics; if there’s still a complaint, they will be suspended. For her first set back two weeks ago she played nothing but explicit lyrics.
“I did the warnings, but my type of warnings,” giggles Arsenault.
Kids On TV band member John Caffery says CISM management is being hypocritical.
“Considering what else they’re playing, the only difference is that this deals with queer prostitution,” says Caffery.
CISM music director Martin Roussy returned Xtra’s e-mail, but didn’t answer any questions about the new policies and why they were implemented.
“I can now understand that our DJ, who refuses to even discuss the situation calmly with us, is now insinuating that homophobia is at work here,” wrote Roussy. “I assure you and swear it on my very lesbian sister’s head (with her laughing beside me) it is not the case here!”
Roussy says CISM has had Kids On TV on its charts, as well as Lesbians On Ecstasy, Hidden Cameras and Peaches.
So the mystery of Arsenault’s suspension remains.
“This is college, rock and alt radio,” says Caffery. “A warning before the song is ridiculous.”