Music review by
Kathi Kamen Goldmark, Common Sense Media
Be Music Poster Image
Very explicit, but very interesting. Not for kids.

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this music.

Positive Messages

All over the place, from enlightened and inclusive to sexist, with some racist language.


Violent imagery.


Explicit stuff.


Very strong.


CD insert includes ads for a clothing line.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Quite a few drug references.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this album contains a lot of explicit language and sexual and violent content; there's apparently no edited version available.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byMychemicalstinkpants February 3, 2011

powerful but explicit music is not for kids

iam a huge common fan ive gone to 8 of his concerts the song go is too sexual. the n word is used 68 times fuk is used 5 times and sh*y is used 39 times
Adult Written byscreenfreak24 April 9, 2008

great message but alot of cursing

cool stuf and good message but displayed through a birage of cursing common is a intresting artist. the sexual content level is low but in the song "GO... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byBIG PAPA April 9, 2008

i cried & laugehd

i thought that the cd was great cause
it sends out a message to the world and the kids a talks about what
happens in the world today.

What's the story?

Common is often described in the past tense: He used to be called \"Common Sense\"; he used to be Erykah Badu's boyfriend. Now, along with colleague Kanye West, he has produced BE, a CD that is every bit as uncomfortably explicit as it is intelligent and fascinating. Depending on the track, you'll get messages of astute political commentary, mom's church-going values, nasty sex, gooey love, drugs and violence, or a morality tale with a surprise ending (In \"Testify,\" a wife, testifying at her husband's trial, laughs as he is pronounced \"guilty as charged\" -- turns out she's the one who did it). There's beautiful soulful singing, hard-edged macho posturing, inclusive inspirational messages, and lyrics that go for the jugular -- the artist obviously delighting in their shock value.

Is it any good?

If Common's message is all over the place, his music is not. The whole CD is musically consistent and focused; a strong, controlled producer's hand is evident. The songs sparkle with unusual vividness and tasteful production. One production high point is the sentimental ending of "It's Your World," in which children's voices are heard, saying what they want to be when they grow up. Whether empowering/preachy or explicit/offensive, Common has a lot to say -- and it turns out he says it very well. It's just not appropriate for kids.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the social consciousness and plot twists abundantly present in the lyrics.

Music details

  • Artist: Common
  • Release date: May 24, 2005
  • Label: Geffen Records
  • Genre: Hip-hop
  • Parental advisory: Yes
  • Edited version available: No
  • Last updated: July 15, 2015

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