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 no holds barred here in terms of racist and explicit language and sexist posturing (status-wise, women are equated to designer clothing and nice cars). Some clothing brands are mentioned, and the title invites violent associations.
What's the story?
On BRASS KNUCKLES, Cornell "Nelly" Haynes wants us all to know that he's "young, black, and rich" -- and proud of it. In between sexy come-ons over appealing, danceable tracks, Nelly gleefully struts his (very expensive, designer-labeled) stuff on songs about sticking up for yourself and your brothers, impressing women with upscale gifts, and living the party life while -- do we need to spell it out, really? -- not taking any "s--t."
Is it any good?
The album's lyrics are filled with the kind of expletives parents love to hate: the "N" word abounds (along with the other usual four-letter words), and the title invites pugilistic references and images ("Hold up or I pop your brains"). But it's the pervasive, sometimes subtle sexism that will be most disturbing to many parents. Women in Nelly's world are adored and admired in the same way you admire an expensive car or elegant wardrobe -- while being encouraged to "show some ass, show some t-ts, or show sumthin'" for the amusement of men.