A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that although "Diamonds" seems positive and uplifting, there are undertones of drug use. The lyrics are clean and there's no obvious mature content. The drug reference will go over many people's heads, but there's a good chance your teens will get it. Additionally, the cover art for the single features diamonds wrapped up in marijuana rolling papers.
What's the story?
Is it any good?
At first listen, "Diamonds" does indeed sound inspiring and more genuine than some of Rihanna's previous work. Even her vocals evoke a rawness and vulnerability that's refreshing. That being said, Rihanna wouldn't be Rihanna without some kind of edgy reference to drugs or sex. In this case, it's the former. The lyrics say "Palms rise to the universe as we moonshine and molly, feel the warmth, we'll never die." "Moonshine" is a reference to drinking and "molly" refers to the drug Ecstasy -- known for its ability to produce a feeling of love, invincibility, and happiness. So, when Rihanna declares, "I choose to be happy" at the onset of "Diamonds," we want to believe her and cheer her on in her quest. But, when that happiness is just coming in a pill or bottle, suddenly the inspiration is lost.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why Rihanna tends to sing about love, sex, and drugs in her music. Why do you think this is? Does her casual attitude toward sex and drugs affect her appeal to audiences?
What are the consequences of using drugs? Is it OK for artists to glorify drugs in their music? Why or why not?
Is Rihanna a positive role model? Why or why not?