Medical experts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine reviewed the lyrics to the 279 most popular songs of 2005 and concluded that American music has a lot of drug and alcohol references, Reuters reported Monday.

While it was not reported why a panel of experts bothered to do this, the study found that about a third of the reviewed songs contained explicit references to drugs, alcohol or tobacco, and about two-thirds of these references put substance use in a positive light by connecting it to sex, humor, and good ol’ party times.

The study, lead by Dr. Brian Primack, showed that some genres of music contained more drug and partying references than others. Rap music, for example, is almost a complete wasteoid, being high or drunk 77% of the time, while Country is only mildly out of control, being off the wagon 36% of the time. Twenty percent of R&B/Hip-Hop songs were not ok to drive, while a disappointing 14% of Rock songs and 9% of Pop songs were the loud guy at the party. Not mentioned in the report was Christian music, since in that case it’s the audience that is on something.

In regard to the possibility of censoring these references, Primack said “it is not going to be feasible or even desirable,” since music and popular culture have such a long history involving the notion of substance use. “Probably a more empowering approach is to teach kids to analyze and evaluate the messages for themselves,” he said.

The study, published in the journal Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, drew its 279 songs from Billboard lists, using sales and airplay as indicators of popularity. With 15-to-18-year-olds listening to 2.4 hours of music a day on average, the study calculated that teens hear 84 substance use references per day. However it didn’t draw any conclusions on the effects of such references on teens, except to point out that certain messages in media can increase teen substance use.

My question is: why would a university research team read through Soulja Brat and Three Drunks Down’s horrendous lyrical catalogues adding up all the pot and Bacardi references and not make a point? The idea is ridiculous. A potential answer: the Mormons are trying to overthrow popular music. What else makes sense? Confirmation comes if you rearrange the letters of University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine to spell out “If God Is Cool He Is In Uteh. Pot Is Very Bunc, Mr. F.T.” Evidently, Mr. F.T. is a reference to Free Thinkers, while “Utah” and “bunk” are misspelled in an effort to throw us off. Interesting.

Well I for one am not falling for it. I will embrace my culture’s chemically inspired body of music, absorbing whatever Pete Doherty intended me to absorb. At least until they come out with a study showing that drug-inspired songs affect one’s driving ability. Then we’ve got something to worry about.

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