Here I Stand



A very honest look at love and gender roles.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

All over the road with some heartfelt, good-guy and family-responsibility content balanced by sexist lyrics that some may find either offensive or laughable.

Not applicable

Semi explicit ("I'm gonna do you up/I'm gonna do you down" and "How bout some foreplay/Got that, got plenty, I got you") expressions of sexual appreciation; also "You might as well give me a kiss/If we keep touching like this."


The "N" word is used a couple of times.


A few clothing and food brands are mentioned by name.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

An occasional drink reference: "You know all you gotta do is tell me what you sippin' on/And I promise that I'm gonna keep it comin' all night long"

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that there's some sexy talk, the "N" word, a couple of brand names, and some assumptions of traditional gender roles on this album, but Usher is his usual honest and engaging self -- not to mention a truly gifted R&B singer.

What's the story?

On HERE I STAND, R&B star Usher once again reveals himself to be a complicated guy willing to explore his imperfections and inconsistencies with depth and candor. His honesty shines through on all the tracks, though many will have a strong reaction (anything from horror to amusement) to the sexist assumptions blithely expressed in \"Trading Places,\" the agony over the moral dilemma of loving more than one woman (\"Someone tell me what's a man to do when he's loving two/and he don't want to lie but he can't tell the truth\") on \"What's a Man to Do,\" or just wanting to fool around (\"Appetite\").

Is it any good?


Other songs express loftier values, notably "Prayer for You" -- an interlude featuring a gurgling baby -- and there are many expressions of faithful love and family responsibility. Most compelling is Usher's struggle to live up to his values and the desire to do the right thing in a messy, complex world, and his honesty about lessons learned when things don't quite go according to plan. That candor is so engaging -- and his performances so exceptional -- that there's value here for teens in similar circumstances.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the song "Trading Places" and the gender roles it describes -- the man is always on top during sex, the woman always makes breakfast. What do you think are the roles of men and women today? Do they crossover, or are they clearly defined?

Music details

Release date:May 27, 2008
Label:Jive Records
Parental advisory:No
Edited version available:No

This review of Here I Stand was written by

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 17 years old Written byboss lady re-re November 17, 2009
What other families should know
Too much consumerism
Great role models
Kid, 11 years old September 15, 2009
What other families should know
Great role models
Teen, 13 years old Written byBestPicture1996 April 26, 2009

Impressive lyrics and beats

"Love in this Club" was a really great song, and they were all really catchy


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