A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that "John" is an extremely violent single that revolves around guns and killing. It also features a ton of profanity "(f--k," the N word) and some graphic descriptions of sexual encounters. The song is not appropriate for kids of any age.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
You're f--king with a n--ga who don't give a f--k: This line sums up the message behind the single "JOHN" by hardcore rapper Lil Wayne. The track describes a person completely out of control, killing people at will ("Kill 'em all and keep moving"), engaging in explicit sex, and more. The overwhelming violence, anger, and profanity included in this song make it absolutely off-limits for kids and young adults -- and troubling for listeners of any age.
Is it any good?
It takes a lot more than explicit lyrics to make a song interesting -- and this track doesn't have any of it. The plodding synth-hook is super played-out, not to mention the violence and bravado that have characterized countless hardcore rap songs to date. If Lil Wayne really wanted to stand out, he would try to switch up his sound by partnering with an artist in an entirely different genre -- and he'd write a song that suggests a constructive way to fix what's wrong with the world rather than just blowing it away.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how Lil Wayne's personal life may have influenced his music: Just before releasing this single, Wayne spent time in jail on gun possession charges.
Should artists who engage in criminal behavior be allowed to release violent music that's sold to so many people? Why or why not?
How might Wayne's early years -- his parents divorced when he was two,
and despite being an honor student, he dropped out of school at 14 --
have contributed to the theme of extreme anger that permeates so many of
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.