1. “California Gurls” by Katy Perry
A big portion of this list is dedicated to the fact that so many popular songs nowadays are about sex in some way or another. Obviously, “California Gurls” is not as blatantly obvious as some (but trust me, we’ll get to those), but a lot of the song is not necessarily “kid friendly”. But never fear!!! KidzBop’s got that covered!
Best “Substitution”: The fact that they couldn’t find any substitution for the second verse.
2. “Thrift Shop” by Mackelmore
On one hand, at least KidzBop actually seemed to try on this one (well, as best as they could). On the other hand…..it’s kinda ridiculous……
Best “Substitution”: “Probably shoulda washed this, smells like my baseball cleats. Eeewwww!”
3. “Royals” by Lorde
Ok, so this one’s not that bad overall, it’s mainly just the hook that leads up to the chorus. And of course, that is what makes the KidzBop-ified version so hilarious.
Best “Substitution”: “But every song is like gold teeth, gold goose, singin’ in the bathroom.” (Because I can name at least 20 songs about magical golden geese and singing in the bathroom.)
4. “Tik Tok” by Ke$ha
“Yeah, I’m not really sure we can do a remake of ‘Tik Tok’…”
“Excuse me?! We’re KidzBop, dammit! We sing songs for kids, by kids! And if I say we’re covering ‘Tik Tok’, THEN WE ARE GONNA COVER ‘TIK TOK’!!!!!”
Best “Substitution”: “Before I leave, brush my teeth, then I go and pack.” (Aww, look at you being all responsible and worrying about your dental hygiene!)
5. “Party Rock Anthem” by LMFAO
But, wait! This isn’t that bad! It’s just about partying and dancing. Yes, it is……as long as you take out all the verses and just leave the catchy chorus. I understand that this was a very popular song a few years ago and whatnot, but what’s gonna happen when these kids hear the actual version of the song? It’s like going through your entire life hearing only the radio edit of “Gold Digger” and thinking the actual lyrics were “but she ain’t messing with no broke, broke.” (Not that that ever happen to me….)
Best “Substitution”: NONE! Because they took out at least 1/2 the song!
6. “Not Myself Tonight” by Christina Aguilera
I’m not gonna lie, I had never heard this song until I started doing my “research” for this article. Was it actually that popular of a song? Anyway, I decided to listen to the original and even though it’s not entirely inappropriate or overtly sexual, something about it just seems…wrong.
Best “Substitution”: “And if you don’t like it, boo hoo!”
7. “Starships” by Nicki Minaj
It’s not even the inappropriateness of the song that makes the KidzBop version so awful. Let’s see, how can we change the lyric “we’re higher than a motherf—-er”? Maybe, “higher than a helicopter”? Or even “higher than a space rocket”. But no. They went with this…
WORST Substitution: “We’re KidzBop and we’re taking over!”
8. “Makes Me Wonder” by Maroon 5
I remember this was one of those songs that I didn’t “get” at first (or at least until I actually listened to the first verse). The majority of the song isn’t that bad, but the first verse includes the lyrics “the way it felt between your thighs, pleasures that made you cry”. Good to know KidzBop found a solution.
Best “Substitution”: “Way it felt to hearing lies, people that made you cry” (the Grammar Nazi within me cannot handle this)
Note: I could not find a copy of this song for the life of me, but here are the official lyrics if you want to take a look.
9. “The Lazy Song” by Bruno Mars
Oh, come on! This is just a fun, upbeat song about lounging around the house and— wait, did he just sing about masturbation? And sex?!? No, children!! Cover you ears!!!
Best “Substitution”: “Meet a really nice girl, send a really nice text. And she’s gonna write back, ‘You’re so great!’” (I wish I had a guy to send me “really nice texts”.)
10. “Domino” by Jessie J
To be fair, a lot of the lyrics in this song never really made much sense to begin with (what is skin tight love?), but the KidzBop versions make even less sense.
Best “Substitution”: Oh, God, there are so many to choose from. I think my favorite is “feelin’ like your bass drum”. Personally, I think that is slightly creepier and somehow more sexual than “boom me like a bass drum”.
11. “Locked Out of Heaven” by Bruno Mars
As hard as this is for me to say, KidzBop actually did an okay job (I mean in terms of making lyrics kid friendly, not in their singing skills). Granted, it’s not that hard to change the word “sex” to “love”, but I digress. However, the problem I have with it is that the whole point of the song is sex. It’s not even an innuendo; it’s literally in the chorus.
Best (lack of) Substitution: Like I said, most of changed lyrics actually make sense when trying to make this a kid friendly song, but there are still tons of metaphors that I guess they just thought no one would notice, such as “Open up your gates ‘cause I can’t wait to see the light. And right there is where I wanna stay.”
Yeah, not those kinds of gates.
12. “Moves Like Jagger” by Maroon 5
Oh boy……first off, what kind of moves do you think we’re talking about here? Dance moves? Chess moves? Friendly neighbors helping you move to a new apartment moves? But don’t worry, they cut out Christina’s solo and removed ANY trace of sexual innuendos….kind of?
Best “Substitution”: “I don’t need to try to convince you. Look into my eyes and I’ll know you.”
However, much like “Locked Out of Heaven”, the main problem is the LACK of substiution. For example, this line from the original song is left untouched: “So get in the car. We can ride it wherever you want. Get inside it. And you wanna steer, but I’m shifting gears. I’ll take it from here.”