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"American Boy" (CD single)
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that there are only a few iffy things for kids in this song. Kayne West's rap portion includes a single expletive ("f--k"), and the song is all about being attracted to "American boys." Although there are a few sexual references, the song is fairly mild and ultimately promotes female assertiveness and control, even if it's in regard to hooking up with someone.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
British rapper/singer/producer Estelle was virtually unknown in the United States before the release of this song. But with a little help from Kanye West, "American Boy" has proven to be her breakout single. The song is a lyrical tour of the United States, exploring the similarities and differences between America and the UK in the context of Estelle's admiration of U.S. guys.
Is it any good?
In the grand tradition of The Beach Boys' "California Girls" -- which equated geography with sexuality -- in AMERICAN BOY, Estelle creates a love song for the U.S. male population. The dance-inspiring track grooves with her seductive, spoken word-like vocals, followed by West's cool raps. The two complement each other nicely, and it's hard not to get caught up in the song's fun, funky vibe. Estelle's proper British style adds an elegant flavor that's often lacking from American singers' work.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how pop and hip-hop music differ in the United States and the United Kingdom. How do Estelle's British roots influence the sound of her music? Do you think audiences in Great Britain and America like the same type of music? Why are some musicians big hits in one country but not the other? Check out the pop charts of other countries to see how many artists you recognize.