A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this track, a remix of a previous single, features Rihanna and her ex Chris Brown, who pleaded guilty to felony assault on her, his then-girlfriend, in 2009. The song has lots of sexual innuendo, some explicit language, and little purpose other than to compare a female body to a birthday cake (and garner publicity). Not for younger fans.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
On her 24th birthday, Barbados bad girl Rihanna released a remix of her single "BIRTHDAY CAKE," from the album Talk That Talk. The single features singer Chris Brown, the ex-boyfriend of Rihanna who was vilified by the press and public after he assaulted Rihanna in 2009. Produced by The-Dream, the single, which compares the female form to a birthday cake, is controversial because of its sexual content and the couple's complicated history.
Is it any good?
It's obvious that Rihanna is trying to make her image darker, sexier, and harder, but she may have gone too far with this track. The song has a biting beat with thumping bass and hand claps that are catchy, but it's hard to listen to a song where a former abused girlfriend is singing to her former abuser about having him "bite this" (Brown bit and choked her in the 2009 assault) and saying, "Remember how you did it, if you want it come and get it." Forgive and forget, fine. But do it with a song that isn't so demeaning to yourself, women, and abuse victims.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the fact that Rihanna has asked her abusive ex-boyfriend to sing with her on this raunchy song. What do you think they are trying to say, if anything? How does it make you feel to see someone still involved with another person who hurt them physically?
What kind of message is Rihanna sending by collaborating with Chris Brown after their tumultuous past? Do you think it's a good idea? Why or why not? How could this affect young fans?
Has Chris Brown been rehabilitated? Has he shown any maturation or remorse in the last few years? Should Rihanna or the public forgive him?
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.