His stage name is Sin Boy, he is a 23-year-old rapper, he was born in Greece, and his song “Criminal” has raked in over a million views on YouTube. My primary school teacher friend – who “discovered” him when his students shared the music they were listening to – realized Sin Boy was a smash hit among this age group.
His first lyrics go something like this: “I will not feel remorse if I whack 10 people / I got used to illegal things easily / to try to escape / I dance with the devil.” This is followed by the chorus “a criminal, yes, yes, a criminal,” and so on. Anyone interested can listen to it. This is a very specific musical genre which is part of the hip-hop culture.
Any moralistic comment would be stupid and – to put it politely – irrelevant. However, a discussion with the music teacher revealed some more-or-less known facts about what is happening in state-run primary education: that the number of marginalized preteens is increasing, along with the charm of being in the margin; that poverty, domestic violence and social exclusion is rising; that teachers are losing their power and that they have no right to reproach, let alone punish a pupil.
If we extend this thought, society is hardening and creeping toward fascism. The sound that is widely listened to in primary schools is being transferred to high schools and, ultimately, to universities.
And while the ministers of education, for the most part, are more involved in unionizing to serve petty interests and invest in their electoral clientele, the parallel tsunami of teenage violence and bullying is counting victims.
Obviously, puberty has its own language and as well as an anti-systemic perception of the world and society.
That is why there are experts to tune into this perception. Moreover, there are the families that try to bridge the gap created between parents and children, or ask for help when they cannot do this. And there is the protection of institutions, which must increase and, above all, adapt by processing any available information.
The problem is not Sin Boy’s lyrics, even though behind their anger and talk of illegality they are expressing anxiety. It is that children and adults are lost in translation, between the signals emitted by the former and the inability (or perhaps indifference) of the latter to perceive them. We are losing the signal.