A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this rapper employs explicit language and a visceral edge that might be uncomfortable for some parents. But Kanye West is an artist with something important to say, and he says it very very well. And, this album provides a rare example of an edited CD being at least as good as the explicit version.
What's the story?
Kanye West loves to put down higher education, yet both his debut album and this follow-up, LATE REGISTRATION, contain cover and insert art paying homage to the trappings of Academia – could there be some unresolved issues here? Whatever the artist's feelings about his own academic career, he's moved beyond schoolboy concerns to confront serious and important social and political issues. West shows real guts as he creates songs about inadequate health care (\"Roses\"), the weakening of political activism in the African American community as a result of drug use (\"Crack Music\"), and the relationship between the jewelry industry and Sierra Leone's civil war (\"Diamonds\").
Is it any good?
At least Kanye West is talking about something other than money, women, and living the life of a famous rapper, even if some of the lyrics are simplistic and a bit clumsy. Exquisite production (in collaboration with Jon Brion) helps bring out the best in these songs, and a long list of guest cameos features the talents of Adam Levine of Maroon 5, Lupe Fiasco, Jamie Foxx channeling Ray Charles, Paul Wall & GLC, Common, Game, Brandy, Jay-Z, Nas & Really Doe, Consequence & Cam'Ron. Though he employs explicit language and a visceral edge that might be uncomfortable for some parents, Kanye West is an artist with something important to say, and he says it very very well.