A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that "23" is a party song about wearing Nikes, getting intoxicated, and looking cool at the club. It features the first recorded rap verse from Miley Cyrus, who blends right in with her hip-hop collaborators, boasting about sneakers and "drinking out the bottle." There is profanity ("f--k" and "bitch"), as well as plenty of sexual references ("gettin' head like a blow-dryer"). There are also numerous drug references. The music video shows a scantily clad Miley smoking cigarettes in a high school bathroom and dancing around suggestively in the bleachers at a basketball game.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
"23 (FT. MILEY CYRUS, WIZ KHALIFA & JUICY J)" is the first single from the major-label debut of go-to hip-hop producer Mike WiLL Made It, the beat maker behind such infamous strip club favorites as Juicy J's "Bandz A Make Her Dance" and Lil Wayne's "Love Me." Apparently, the rappers recorded their verses first, followed by the late addition of Cyrus after working with Mike WiLL on her hit single "We Can't Stop." The hook, "J's on my feet," refers to Nike Air Jordan basketball shoes, which have been a cultural touchstone in hip-hop for decades.
Is it any good?
Fans of mainstream rap will thoroughly enjoy this fun and goofy track, which is built around a cool beat and a dumb concept. Cyrus fans may or may not be horrified, depending on how receptive they are to the "new" Miley, who seems to revel in twerking, smoking, and hanging out with her hip-hop buddies. Wiz Khalifa turns in a typically uninspiring verse, while Juicy J effectively sticks to his formula, adding a little life to the party. The lyrics throughout are a blatant appeal to the materialistic masses, but that's pretty standard in contemporary hip-hop.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the use of brand names in hip-hop lyrics. Why are artists and listeners seemingly so attracted to songs that directly mention types of shoes, cars, and clothes?
Why do you think Miley Cyrus has shifted from a tween-focused pop sound to a trap/hip-hop style more popular with her peers?
Do you think female pop stars need to be controversial and hypersexualized to get buzz and maintain popularity in today's media climate?