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24K Magic
A Quick Music Discussion Guide for Parents
11/03/2016

Dynamic ImageMain Point:
In a world seeking happiness through temporary thrills… God offers something much better, living life to the fullest now through eternity!

Vital Info Before You Get Started:
The following info should help you contextualize this very popular song so you can have a great discussion about it with your kids.

It’s been just a year since Bruno Mars released his hit song Uptown Funk, and he has followed up with the smash hit 24K Magic. This new party anthem is #6 on the Billboard Hot 100, and the music video (to date) has racked up more than 60 million views on YouTube.

Mars explains why he chose to launch this new song with a music video:
    "You want to kick the door down instead of politely say, 'Hey guys, check this out.' So I think that was the whole objective — to make sure the visual came with the song so people can know, 'When we wrote this, this is what we felt like.’ When I'm performing, this is what I want you to feel like. Hopefully everyone's partying with us."
Mars performed the song, his 13th Top 10 hit on the Hot 100 chart, on "Saturday Night Live" last weekend.

24K Magic is essentially an invitation to party with Bruno and his group, and it is an obvious glorification of a “live for the moment” lifestyle.

IMPORTANT NOTE TO PARENTS: We at The Source for Parents believe that certain elements in our youth culture can serve as good discussion jump starters with students. At the same time, we would never hope to introduce students to a negative influence that they haven’t already encountered. This balance is a delicate one. In our experience most students, churched and unchurched, keep pretty current with music and music videos. Thanks to YouTube, MTV.com, and iTunes, the most popular music videos and songs are free to access only a click away.

Since this song is so popular, your kids have heard it. When you sit down to discuss this song, make sure to have a copy of the lyrics available (below) and access to the music video (which we provided in the link below, as well).

Above all, don’t appear as if you have a “canned” discussion in your head and rattle off questions like a teacher giving a pop quiz—your kids get enough of that in school. This is a guide, primarily—not a verbatim script. Just familiarize yourself with the content here and start a conversation in the most natural, unforced way you know how.

The Music Video:

WARNING: Since the video for 24K Magic is replete with inappropriately dressed females and other images that you may not want your kids exposed to, you may opt to use JUST THE LYRICS to launch this discussion. So even though many students have already seen the video, this music discussion does not make any references to it.


The music video can be viewed for free at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UqyT8IEBkvY



Song Lyrics:

Tonight
I just want to take you higher
Throw your hands up in the sky
Let's set this party off right

Players, put yo' pinky rings up to the moon
Girls, what y'all trying to do?
24 karat magic in the air
Head to toe so player
Uh, look out!

Pop pop, it's show time (Show time)
Show time (Show time)
Guess who's back again?
Oh they don't know? (Go on tell 'em)
Oh they don't know? (Go on tell 'em)
I bet they know soon as we walk in (Showin' up)
Wearing Cuban links (ya)
Designer minks (ya)
Inglewood's finest shoes (Whoop, whoop)
Don't look too hard
Might hurt ya'self
Known to give the color red the blues

Ooh s#^t, I'm a dangerous man with some money in my pocket
(Keep up)
So many pretty girls around me and they waking up the rocket
(Keep up)
Why you mad? Fix ya face
Ain't my fault y'all be jocking
(Keep up)

Players only, come on
Put your pinky rings up to the moon
Girls, what y'all trying to do?
24 karat magic in the air
Head to toe so player
Uh, look out!

Second verse for the hustlas (hustlas)
Gangstas (gangstas)
Bad bitches and ya ugly ass friends (Haha)
Can I preach? (Uh oh) Can I preach? (Uh oh)
I gotta show 'em how a pimp get it in
First, take your sip (sip), do your dip (dip)
Spend your money like money ain't s#^t(Whoop, whoop)
We too fresh
Got to blame it on Jesus
Hashtag blessed
They ain't ready for me

I'm a dangerous man with some money in my pocket
(Keep up)
So many pretty girls around me and they waking up the rocket
(Keep up)
Why you mad? Fix ya face
Ain't my fault y'all be jocking
(Keep up)

Players only, come on
Put your pinky rings up to the moon
Hey girls
What y'all trying to do?
24 karat magic in the air
Head to toe so player
Uh, look out!

(Wooh)
Everywhere I go they be like
Ooh, so player ooh
Everywhere I go they be like
Ooh, so player ooh
Everywhere I go they be like
Ooh, so player ooh
Now, now, now
Watch me break it down like (Uh)
24 karat, 24 karat magic
What's that sound?
24 karat, 24 karat magic
Come on now
24 karat, 24 karat magic
Don't fight the feeling
Invite the feeling

Just put your pinky rings up to the moon
Girls, what y'all trying to do?
24 karat magic in the air
Head to toe so player
Put your pinky rings up to the moon
Girls, what y'all trying to do? (Do)
24 karat magic in the air
Head to toe so player
(24 karat)
Uh, look out

(24 karat magic, magic, magic)

Three Simple Questions (with Answers You May Be Looking for):
    Q: When it comes to this song, what’s 24K Magic about?
    A: The message is pretty clear: dressed in the finest clothes, money in our pocket, girls surrounding us and turning us on… that must be the way to truly party!

    Q: So many people in the culture believe in the message of this song- but is he right?
    A: There are lots of things in life that are fun… for the moment. Jumping out of a plane without a parachute might actually be really fun… for about 12 minutes.

    Stealing a car and running from the cops might be really exhilarating… for the moment.

    Bruno’s song is proposing a recipe for a good time. If this was a commercial trying to get us to buy a product—happy living—the question we need to ask is: will we look back the next day, the next month, the next year and proclaim, “Bruno was right! I’ve never been so happy in my life!”

    Q: Why is the video/song so popular?
    A: Satan has deceived our culture into truly believing that this is the way to happiness, and so people listen to this song because it speaks to what they think is the truth.

Where to Take It from Here:
Wherever it feels natural. If these questions lead to a longer discussion on the topic, wonderful! (There’s a guide just after this paragraph that helps you do just that.) If your kids are barely uttering grunts, don’t get discouraged—the next time it feels right, try out another song. Keep engaging them.

Introducing the Music Video:
This is one of the more popular songs/videos out right now, and it brings up several critical areas of life that are worth discussing.

For Deeper Discussion: If your kids seem into diving in deeper, the following discussion guide can help take you there.

CLICK HERE if you want to look at a quick training article on small groups and drawing questions out of young people—you may find much of the information applicable as you go through this subject with your family members.

Transitional Statement:

Let’s explore the song a little more deeply, and hopefully by the end of our discussion, we will be able to evaluate the message that Bruno Mars is ‘preaching’ through a Biblical worldview lens.

More Discussion Questions:
  1. HAVE ALL YOUR FAMILY MEMBERS ANSWER: Before we dive in, everybody take a few minutes and talk about what you would consider one of the most fun things you’ve ever done?

  2. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: Do you think the pursuit of having a good time is OK? Why or why not?

  3. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: According to the song, what makes up a ‘good time’?

  4. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: How long does this “good time” last?

  5. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: Do you agree with the lust/greed formula for happiness? Why or why not?

  6. Read the following passage from the Bible:

      Ecclesiastes 2:1-3; 10-11

      I said to myself, “Come now, I will test you with pleasure to find out what is good.” But that also proved to be meaningless. 2 “Laughter,” I said, “is madness. And what does pleasure accomplish?” 3 I tried cheering myself with wine, and embracing folly—my mind still guiding me with wisdom. I wanted to see what was good for people to do under the heavens during the few days of their lives.
      10 I denied myself nothing my eyes desired;
      I refused my heart no pleasure.
      My heart took delight in all my labor,
      and this was the reward for all my toil.
      11 Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done
      and what I had toiled to achieve,
      everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind;
      nothing was gained under the sun.


      (Parent: explain to the students that the context of this passage is basically Solomon’s 24K Magic pursuit of happiness)

    TRANSITION STATEMENT AFTER READING THE PASSAGE:
    When Solomon wrote this passage, he had been living the 24K Magic lifestyle for years. Seriously. He had been indulging in more money, women and partying than Bruno Mars has ever dreamed of. And after all that… he looked back at all that partying and wrote what we just read.

  7. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: What was Solomon’s conclusion?

  8. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: Why do you think he calls it all meaningless?

  9. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: If Solomon couldn’t find true contentment in everything our culture is saying can provide it, why do we continue to chase it?

  10. Read the following passage from the Bible:

      John 10:10

      10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

  11. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: In what ways might a lifestyle of lust and greed ‘steal and kill and destroy’ people’s lives?

  12. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: What is appealing about the life that Jesus offers?

  13. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: What are ways we can live life to the full? (In other words… does fun require spending stacks of cash, getting drunk and having meaningless sex?)

  14. HAVE ALL YOUR FAMILY MEMBERS ANSWER: If a party lifestyle could truly and consistently make us happy, then why is Hollywood so fun of depressed and dysfunctional people?

Wrap Up:
Bruno Mars wrote a very popular party song that celebrates the things our culture pushes as what should make us happy. But after taking a closer peek at Bruno’s offer… I think many of us might have found that what he’s really pushing is a quick thrill… with lots of regrets to follow. We see this clearly from the wisdom Solomon offers us after he tried every possible worldly route to contentment... and found it to be meaningless.

I don’t know about you, but personally, I prefer the amazing offer on the table from Jesus- a life that is abundant and full in a relationship with Him.

Which will you choose?


Written by Lane Palmer and Jonathan McKee


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