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 CD is definitely not for everyone. It pushes the vulgarity envelope to the max. An edited version is supposedly available, but we couldn't find it anywhere -- if you can, it might be a good solution for your kids. Parents are guaranteed to be uncomfortable with this one.
What's the story?
Music doesn't get any nastier than CRUNK JUICE -- but star-studded cameos, great performances, and imaginative production make Lil John's new album hard to dismiss entirely. One of the most unusual tracks, a Rick Rubin collaboration, samples Slayer instrumentals with Jon and his East Side Boyz (who are never actually identified on the CD) screaming over them to create what may be the first-ever crunk/blues/metal hybrid in the history of rock & roll. Other songs interweave Middle-Eastern rhythms, soulful vocal arrangements, vivid call-and-response energy, and occasional delicate strings over Miami bass lines, electronica, and punk-rock ambiance. Usher, Ludacris, Snoop Dogg, Nate Dogg, and R. Kelly comprise only a partial list of featured helpers.
Is it any good?
It's a testament to the musical integrity of the album that it holds up despite lyrics that, in addition to being extremely vulgar, are not especially brilliant -- or even funny. What seems like it ought to sound like an immature mish-mosh of styles and performers holds together instrumentally as a terrific dance record. If only the lyrics were in a language no one could understand, we'd really have something wonderful here.