"How to Love" (CD Single) Music Poster Image

"How to Love" (CD Single)

Cleanest song yet from notoriously raunchy rapper.
Popular with kids

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Encourages a girl with a rough romantic past to believe in herself and never settle for less than the best.

Positive role models

Emphasizes that everyone should have a high sense of self-worth.

Not applicable

One euphemism ("dippin'") for oral sex.

Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

One mention of drinking ("poppin' bottles") and "bartending."

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that "How to Love" is one of the cleanest singles released to date by Lil Wayne. There's no profanity or violence and just one muted reference each to sex and drinking. Moreover, the song offers a positive message to girls and women, encouraging them to have high self-esteem. For younger teens who just have to listen to Lil Wayne, this is the best choice around.

What's the story?

"HOW TO LOVE" is the first single from Lil Wayne's fourth album, Tha Carter IV. In a complete about-face from most of his previous releases, the infamously explicit rap star uses no profanity or graphic descriptions of sex, substance use, or violence to make his point: that a woman who has dated a string of bad guys should stop settling for less than the best. The unusually introspective and positive lyrics include: "You can't have a man look at you for five seconds without you being insecure, you never credit yourself ... You had a lot of crooks tryin' to steal your heart, never really had luck, couldn’t never figure out how to love ... I just want you to know that you deserve the best, you're beautiful ... And I want you to know, you're far from the usual." Though the song does include one brief allusion to sex and another to drinking, it's still a fairly inspirational pick for younger rap fans.

Is it any good?


In "How to Love," Lil Wayne shows off his vocal chops, and to good effect. True, he's no Chris Brown when it comes to singing -- but he's no Kanye West, either. With Wayne's simple delivery and a mellow, uncomplicated groove, this track turns out to be a pretty sweet little love song.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about why Lil Wayne would make so many songs that describe disrespectful behavior toward females, then release a single promoting positive attitudes toward them. Is this a mixed message?

  • How can you be respectful of others? What does it mean to have self-respect?

Music details

Artist:Lil Wayne
Release date:June 27, 2011
Label:Cash Money Records
Parental advisory:No
Edited version available:No

This review of "How to Love" (CD Single) was written by

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Kid, 10 years old July 13, 2011


it is fine but he sings badly
What other families should know
Too much sex
Teen, 14 years old Written byBetty L. August 14, 2013

Surprisingly positive, good song

HOW TO LOVE is a great song. While I thought I would never even consider listening to Lil Wayne, my friend told me about this song and I ended up buying it. I guess it isn't really for kids younger than 12 or 13. My little sister, who is nine, has listened to it and didn't like it. I probably shouldn't have let her listen to it, but oh well. Anyway, you should totally get this song even if you aren't a Lil Wayne fan. This song isn't demeaning to women and I didn't feel offended at all (unlike his other work). Great positive messages!
What other families should know
Great messages
Teen, 16 years old Written bySam Morisset July 4, 2014

Clean song from generally dirty rapper with great positive messgaes

Great lyrics with many positive messages about self-worth and believing you deserve the best.
What other families should know
Great messages