What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that there's a lot of profanity here -- so much that it's really impossible to recommend to anyone under 17. There's also lots of sex banter, violent imagery, "N" words, etc.
What's the story?
Though it's easy for parents who don't follow hip-hop to lump the Ying Yang Twins in with every other hip-hop act, especially when considering the language and subject matter, the fact is they're one of the better bands out there, at least musically. The beats are good and the intentions are lighter than most. They mostly stay away from advocating violence in favor of a good time. And there are even a few thoughtful messages here -- "23 Hr. Lock Down" probes feelings of isolation that teens always seem to experience, whether the setting is prison or, in the case of most high-schoolers, learning the ins and outs of relationships. The song does take a turn for the serious, though, especially when the protagonist considers suicide.
Is it any good?
The fact remains that this CD is not appropriate for kids. "Bedroom Boom" offers one of the most blatant descriptions of a sex scene this side of Penthouse Forum. Bottom line: This CD is fine for adult rap fans, but doesn't belong in the hands of kids.
Explore, discuss, enjoy
Families can talk about cultural meaning in some of the songs. It's not all parties and sex. For example, "We At War" is about a poor black soldier going overseas to fight. There's also some good description of feelings and isolation in "23 Hr. Lock Down," which details solitary confinement. These are viewpoints not always considered in teens' day-to-day lives, and definitely worth discussing.