Recently, NIDA met with its Teen Advisory Group—a group of diverse teens from around the country—to talk about pop culture, celebrities, and drugs. All of the teens were eager to talk about how they react to drug references in song lyrics.
The conversation turned to Miley Cyrus and her song “We Can’t Stop.” Some of the teens expressed shock when they found out that the lyric “We like to party, dancing with Molly” was a reference to the drug MDMA—they had no idea, and it changed their opinion of the song for the worse. “We Can’t Stop” peaked at #2 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and sold millions of copies, so it’s possible that millions of teens are unknowingly promoting drug use by simply singing along.
Is that really a big deal? We think so. Music can be very influential in how we perceive our world. Songs have the power to change minds and hearts, transform our mood, and comfort those who have been hurt.
Lyrics With a Positive Message
Miley’s controversial song highlights the need for songs with lyrics that support healthy decisions. The 4th annual Teens! Make Music contest is your chance to write a song that will feature lyrics encouraging your peers to stay away from drugs. The GRAMMY Foundation and MusiCares invite teens to compose an original song or music video that celebrates a healthy lifestyle or depicts a story about drug abuse.
You get to control the message in the music—and you might win tickets to see the GRAMMY Awards!
About the Teens! Make Music Contest
- Music must be original.
- You can submit an original song only or an original song with a video.
- Entries must be less than 4 minutes long.
- Entries must be submitted by December 2, 2013.
- 1st Place: $500 and two tickets to the 56th Annual GRAMMY Awards
- 2nd Place: $250
- 3rd Place: $100
- All winners will be invited to attend the GRAMMY Awards Backstage Experience
And tell us in comments: How do you feel about drug references in songs?