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"Airplanes" (single featuring Hayley Williams)
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
AIRPLANES is the single by 19-year-old rapper B.o.B -- a.k.a. Bobby Ray Simmons -- that features guest vocals from Hayley Williams, lead singer of the pop punk band Paramore (an alternate version of the song includes both Williams and Eminem). In the tune, B.o.B explores the difficult side of fame, thinking wistfully back to the days before the "glitz and the glam and the fashion" when he was "rappin' for the hell of it." The approach follows the growing trend of young rappers like Kid Cudi, Drake, and others who express conflicted feelings about success. B.o.B keeps his music a bit cleaner than his peers: aside from two swear words, this single is free of adult content.
Is it any good?
Like his earlier single "Nothin' On You," "Airplanes" includes a combination of B.o.B's raps and singing by a guest artist. The latter is another successful experiment in merging two different musical styles, with the MC's crisp delivery complemented by Williams' smooth vocals and a cool, piano-based backdrop. An alternate version of the song adds Eminem to the mix, upping the cool factor even further.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the internal conflict that young artists like B.o.B confront in the face of newfound fame. What are the plusses and minuses of making it big in the music business?
How might young musicians be able to support themselves through music without having to compromise their artistic vision?