A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that GRAFFITI is relatively tame from an adult-content standpoint. It omits explicit language and violence, and it only occasionally makes cursory references to sex and drinking. The CD’s worst offenses are the few songs that brag about having a lot of money and women. There are also quite a few mentions of brand-name luxury items.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
GRAFFITI is the first full-length record from R&B singer Chris Brown since he physically attacked former girlfriend and fellow singer Rihanna. The artist understandably had a lot to say on this album (the deluxe version even includes a second disc with six additional tracks), and the varied song lyrics reflect it. The lyrical themes are all over the map, from mourning lost love, to boasting about having lots of money and women, to frustration with the down-side of fame. Through it all, however, Brown keeps the content fairly clean: he avoids swearing and violence, and minimizes the eyebrow-raising references to sex. He also gets assists from a wide variety of guest artists, including Lil Wayne, Trey Songz, Swizz Beatz, Eva Simmons, and Plies.
Is it any good?
On Graffiti, Brown's drive to reinvent himself is almost palpable. Several songs, like the electro-infused "Wait" and “I Can Transform Ya,” as well as the tune "Pass Out” -- which samples the decades-old track “Valerie” by adult-alternative artist Steve Winwood -- find the artist breaking out of his typical R&B comfort zone, and to good effect. He also does a respectable (if not stand-out) job with other tracks that follow a more traditional R&B path.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about whether artists like Chris Brown should experiment with different musical genres once they become well-known for a particular style. Brown rose to fame based on his smooth R&B songs; does his foray into electro-funk work, or should he stick with what he knows?
With the style shift, could Brown simply be attempting to deflect attention away from his personal life -- or is he truly growing as an artist?
Can you separate Chris Brown the artist from the Chris Brown who assaulted Rihanna? Do celebrities' outside lives affect how your view their talent?