The Cookbook

Common Sense Media says

One spicy dish after another best for older teens.





What parents need to know

Positive messages

Terrific, empowering feminist message, using racist words...


A few violent images.


Lots of gleefully explicit sexuality.


She's not shy...


Some brand names mentioned.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

A couple of drug and alcohol references.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that there's some sexual content and strong language on this excellent album. Families listening together can go for the edited version (better than most).

Parents say

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Kids say

What's the story?

On her sixth album, Missy Elliott is really flying solo for the first time; only a few of the tracks are produced by her former collaborator, rapper/producer Timbaland. Parental mileage will vary on the sprinkling of four-letter words, but Missy's irrepressible spirit is infectious. She is fully, energetically present on every track. Irresistible lyrics include "Hold up, I see a lot of folks in here sittin' round like your shoes too tight/If you wear a size 10, don't a size 6 ladies/be proud of your big...feet/We came to party up..." Cameo providers include Mike Jones, Slick Rick, Ciara and Fat Man Scoop, Mary J. Blige and Grand Puba, American Idol star Fantasia, Vybez Cartel, and M.I.A. Highlight tracks "Remember When" and "Teary Eyed" prove without a doubt that Missy Elliott is growing as a singer, as well as an artist and innovator.

Is it any good?


Missy Elliott has a reputation for being a hip-hop innovator. Although it becomes increasingly difficult for any artist to break new ground on CD after CD, THE COOKBOOK sparkles with Missy's signature attitude and humor. With star-studded cameos and female-empowering lyrics, track after glossy track delivers delightful and interesting musical surprises.

The album artwork is presented as though it were a cookbook, with sections described as Starters and Sides, Main Course, Desserts, and Liquid Refreshers -- and album credits appear under the heading "Nutritious Facts." This conceit somehow works; it ends up looking more classy than cutesy.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how this CD compares with previous CDs on which producer Timbaland had a heavier hand.

Music details

Artist:Missy Elliott
Release date:July 5, 2005
Parental advisory:Yes
Edited version available:Yes

This review of The Cookbook was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Adult Written bygangbanga911 April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age


This Cd is not to be missed by anyone. If your kids are asking for it, buy the edited version. It is done alot better than other edited music. However the edited version does not edit alot out and there is still some sexual innuendo and bad language. In terms of the uncensored album, there is very strong language, more sexual content than 50 Cent and R.Kelly together. There are also some descriptions of violence and drug content. But that does not stop it at any costs from being one of the best albums released this year.

Adult Written byStephy April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age

OK for kids over 11

It shouldn't get that rating because its not THAT BAD. You can't understand half of what she's saying any way.

Teen, 16 years old Written bynichts April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age

Great CD, note the parental advisory sticker

This CD is not for those below their middle teens. Other than that, it's a great CD. Elliott shows her producing talent well, as well as her dynamic rapping skills. There are some iffy songs the CD could do without. There is the usual amount of sexual content (including an entire song devoted to it) and harsh language, but it's the usually Missy fare so those who have previous CDs by her will be unphased.


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