What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that there is strong and violent language along with some social consciousness and a lot of heart. There is also some sexual innuendo and references to drugs and cigarettes.
What's the story?
Linkin Park's Mike Shinoda steps out in his first solo effort, THE RISING TIED, as Fort Minor. Earnest and a little plodding, Shinoda's rapping style may not be brilliant, but he addresses some important social and family issues. The most successful songs are the most sentimental: "Where'd You Go" is a guilt-fest about having been an absentee father; "Kenji" is about the artist's family's experiences in World War II internment camps. Far from being outclassed by more polished guest stars such as Common, Black Thought, and Kenna, Shinoda skillfully plays off their highly professional contributions.
Is it any good?
The Rising Tied is a well-produced example of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts. In fact, Shinoda shares his formula for success in the lyrics of "Remember the Name": "10% luck, 20% skill, 15% power of will, 5% pleasure, 50% pain, and 100% reason to remember the name." Lyrics are vivid, visceral, and R-rated, evoking scenes of street life that are not likely to be comfortable family listening. But there's enough substance here to trigger discussion, enough intelligent commentary to make it worth the trouble.
Explore, discuss, enjoy
Families can talk about the lyrics that address absentee parents or tell of Japanese internment during World War II. They can also discuss whether or not they think the strong language here is necessary.