Chapter II

Music review by
Cynthea Riesenberg, Common Sense Media
Chapter II Music Poster Image
Smooth follow-up album for mature listeners.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Life seems good or bad, depending on the quality of sexual relations. In "Rain On Me," a love affair gone wrong makes Ashanti despair: "I don't wanna live, I don't wanna breathe/See, I don't wanna hug my pillow late at night no more/ I'm tossin' and turning."

Violence

In "Carry On," Ashanti's boyfriend punches holes in her walls and puts "glass on the floor." The skit "Black Child" describes murder in hot summer streets.

Sex

In "Rock Wit U (Awww Baby)," Ashanti seems to endorse non-monogamous sex, singing, "I can't describe what I wanna do to you tonight/Awww baby I'm satisfied even if you're not just mine." "The Story of 2 (Dreammaker)" talks about jumping into bed: "All of my friends say that I'm moving too soon/ I don't care what they say. I want to give myself to you."

Language

There are no obscenities, but many frank descriptions of sexual relations, like "Story Of 2 (Dreammaker)," where Ashanti sings, "Dreammaker, here's what we gon' do tonight/ We gon' make sweet love til the morning light, yeah, yeah."

Consumerism

The liner notes present Ashanti in five different outfits, complete with expensive gold jewelry, but the songs don't deal with material goods.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

There are no references to drugs or alcohol.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that the liner notes open up to a centerfold featuring Ashanti in a white bikini. Parents can take this as a hint of the musical content inside: stylish, attractive, insistently sexual.

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What's the story?

In his opening shoutout, Chink Santana calls Ashanti \"Murder Inc's princess,\" and that may be a fitting description, at least in the kingdom of R&B. On CHAPTER II, Ashanti sings the gritty \"Living My Life\" with regal confidence, and mellow tracks like \"Rock Wit U (Awww Baby)\" and \"I Found Lovin'\" with soulful assurance. Other standouts include \"Breakup 2 Makeup\" (not to be confused with the Stylistics' oldie of the same name), \"The Story Of 2 (Dreammaker),\" and \"Feel So Good.\"

Is it any good?

Listeners may question the skits, and fans of her previous album may regret Ashanti's choice of solo R&B over guest artist rap. But when Ashanti takes over, there's a lot to like on this CD. Just keep in mind it's frankly sexual, and not for younger listeners.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about if the sexual content adds to the impact of the CD or if it's more likely to encourage sales.

Music details

  • Artist: Ashanti
  • Release date: July 1, 2003
  • Label: Def Jam
  • Genre: R&B
  • Parental advisory: No
  • Edited version available: No

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