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 bursts out of the gate with a string of four-letter words, and goes on to reinforce Chingy's sentimental attachment to drugs, guns, and exploitative sex. While some of his contemporaries use visceral imagery to make passionate and thoughtful points about the state of the world we live in, Chingy is here strictly (and oh so tediously) for the party.
What's the story?
On HATE IT OR LOVE IT, Chingy goes a long way to cement his status as the world's most monotonous rapper, even while showcasing some impressive talent in cameos by the likes of Ludacris, Amerie, and other guests. Sadly, these pals provide the only impressive performances on the album, sizzling away while Chingy regales us (in stunningly repetitive and lusterless detail) with anecdotes about his life as a too-cool-for-school party boy and bon vivant.
Is it any good?
A teensy bit of improvement on the instrumental tracks, some intricate rhythmic play, and a bit of humor (delivered by the guests) make for some mild improvement over other Chingy discs. But for those families who occasionally break the rules on explicit content in the interest of redeeming social importance or even sheer artistry, Hate It or Love It is a good one to skip.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Chingy's need to be explicit. Do artists really need to shock the listener with swear words, sexual lyrics, and references to drugs and drinking? Does the mature -- and inappropriate -- content make the album stronger? Families can also talk about what (if anything) special guests add to the mix.