A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that even though violent imagery and explicit language pervades this song, the message is admirable. T.I. raps about how people easily fall victim to urban violence. But he doesn't glamorize this lifestyle; instead he tells listeners that you can turn your back on this way of life and be responsible and thoughtful in your actions.The video for this song includes some violent scenes along with symbols of death like gravestones and cemetery gates.
What's the story?
Justin Timberlake repays a favor to T.I. with the single DEAD AND GONE. T.I. appeared with Timberlake on his album FutureSex/LoveSounds and now the former N-Sync-er collaborates with the rapper on this single which appears on T.I.'s hit album Paper Trail. The duo performed this song at the 51st Grammy Awards and the single has achieved much success, appearing on the top of download charts and even charting before its official release. Although the title sounds dismal, the song really isn't about death, but rebirth, as the song recounts how someone can leave the gangsta game.
Is it any good?
With their voices naturally complementing one another, T.I. and Justin Timberlake make sweet music together on this single. With an unforgettable chorus and rap, this single is both powerful and still groove-able. It's refreshing to listen to a rapper dis the swagger and be proud to show humility: "Got enough dead homies I don't want no more."
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how rappers can use violent imagery to get a point across. T.I. raps in this song about turning his back on street violence and leading a responsible, mature life. Do you think this message is hurt by his own criminal behavior? Also do you think it is confusing for a rapper to sing about non-violence in one song and then in another song promote a "gangsta" lifestyle?