Very explicit, but very interesting. Not for kids.

What parents need to know

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.

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.

Kids say

Not yet rated
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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.

Families can talk about...

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

Music details

Release date:May 24, 2005
Label:Geffen Records
Parental advisory:Yes
Edited version available:No

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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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.
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" of course it happens to be very high. so to wrap this up i say common is extremely inspiring but not ok for kids 14 or 15 up.
Educator 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
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Great messages
Great role models


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