A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
What's the story?
Akon's new CD, KONVICTED, is a mish-mosh of musical styles, explicit lyrics, and visceral images that combine to create a sensual, deep look inside the heart and mind of this compelling African-born artist. Lyrics are intentionally provocative; when what you really mean is \"Your p--sy is wet and I want to f--k you\" (\"I Wanna Love You\"), why not just come right out and say it? And hey, if it's no secret that you were once in jail for car theft, that mug shot will make a great photo image for your CD insert. Then just as your fans are getting into the tough-guy/sexy-guy dichotomy thing, you throw 'em for a loop with a lost-love ballad (\"Never Took the Time\").
Is it any good?
Some stellar cameo appearances by Styles P., Eminem, and Snoop Dogg, and a couple of jazzy arrangements that might well be Steely Dan influenced contribute to this lively, eclectic, and impressive collection of well-crafted songs, half of which will make most parents cringe. It seems too simplistic to label Konvicted inappropriate for kids because there's a lot of substance, a wonderful variety of musical styles, terrific performances, and some real depth here. For this reason, the edited version (though not brilliantly done) might be worth the trouble.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the fact that some of Akon's songs seem to celebrate guns and violence. There are some vivid images in lyrics such as "Cause I done see the block / break down tears / and I done seen the cops / break my peers / trying to hold on / a couple more years / trying not to get / blown away." Can you think of better ways to solve problems than with violence? How are the police effective? How are they not?