A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Kanye West has done it again. Yes, there are the usual four-letter words here, but there's also some brilliant songwriting with subtle "stay in school" and "never give up" messages, and hip-hop that samples vintage Steely Dan (gotta be a first!).
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Fine performances, exquisite production, and incredibly diverse musical influences make Kanye West's GRADUATION a standout CD. The inspired songwriting includes subtle "stay in school" and "never give up" messages. One song that shines, "Champion," uses a sample of Steely Dan's "Kid Charlemagne" as a recurring theme in between lyrics about a dad sacrificing for his kids "like Will Smith and his son in the movie/I ain't talkin' 'bout the rich ones." Other high points are the single "Stronger," with Daft Punk and Edwin Birdsong, and an inspired collaboration with Chris Martin of Coldplay on "Homecoming."
Is it any good?
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how Kanye West doesn't have to rely on shock value to put out popular -- and talented -- albums. What takes the place of the racist and sexist lyrics found in so many other rap CDs? Families can also talk about the apparent obsession with school, whether it be dropping out or graduating. What do you think is the real story here? What does it take to see school through to graduation? Why is it important?