A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that they can breathe a slight sigh of relief at the release of this single. It doesn't have any of the twisted, violent imagery found on Eminem's recent albums, and it includes only a few bad words. That said, it's still not for kids or tweens, and even young teens probably aren't ready for the jokes about smoking pot, misogynistic lyrics, and references to drinking. Also, be warned: this single is found on Em's re-release, an album that's full of inappropriate content.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Having hit the top ten on the iTunes singles' chart, HELL BREAKS LOOSE is one of the first releases from the album Relapse: Refill, a re-release of the 2009 album Relapse, plus seven bonus tracks. This single features Dr.Dre playing a prominent role in the rap verses, as the duo enjoys verbal sport with each other on this rather light pop-rap.
Is it any good?
This track offers up a few improvements from Marshall Mathers. First, there are no depraved lyrics about murdering women and debasing them with violent sexuality. That's a good thing! Also, the lyrics actually show Em and Dre having fun with each other, something that we haven't seen in a while. Showing off their lyrical skills, the pair plays off each other's rhymes, rather than wallowing in self-absorbed lines. The song doesn't cover any new ground for the veteran rapper, though, with few verses that will make the listener say, "Wow! How does he think up these lines?" Overall, if your teen insists on listening to Eminem, this is the least offensive choice you will find.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about drug references in music. What should families know about slang terms for drugs, and what code words should they be aware of? Why do you think drugs often have nicknames? Is it to keep outsiders from knowing what you're talking about, or parents from finding out?
Talk about rap music that uses derogatory terms about women. How do you think these references make girls feel about themselves? And how does this attitude influence boys, who are just forming romantic relationships? Do you think you can treat women with respect if you call them objectifying names?
Why do you think Eminem makes some songs that are significantly less violent and misogynistic than most? Is it perhaps to get younger audiences interested in his music? Should you make your music selection by individual song or based on the track record of the artist?
For kids who love hip-hop
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