A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that although "Lighters" isn't the most explicit rap tune ever recorded, it does include some allusions to sex, marijuana, and violence, along with a fairly hefty helping of profanity ("f--k," the "N" word, "s--t"). In addition, a thread of heavy aggression runs throughout the track, with lyrics that describe a relentless drive to be at the top of the rap game: "I would never do nothing to let you cowards f--k my world up /If I was you, I would duck, or get struck like lightening / I swear to God I'll be the f--king illest in this music there is or there ever will be, disagree?" All told, the song is too mature for tweens and even younger teens.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
"LIGHTERS" is the first single from the album Hell: The Sequel by rap duo Bad Meets Evil -- a.k.a. Eminem and Royce the 5'9". The two are joined on the track by smooth R&B crooner Bruno Mars, who sings the chorus between the aggressive verses performed by Em and Royce. While the rappers don't come out with full-force violence, substance use, or sexual references (though the song still contains a few references of all three), they do use lots of profanity and hostile metaphors to describe how they rose -- and plan to stay at -- the top. Because of that, the tune is too mature for younger kids.
Is it any good?
It's not surprising that Eminem would once again be at the top of the charts after returning to the music scene given his immense talent for rhyming. His prowess for both writing and delivery shows through on this track, complemented by respectable performances from Royce and (especially) Mars.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the especially personal quality of these lyrics, which describe Eminem's own story about early fame followed by struggles and time out of the spotlight before resuming his career. Does this song make him more or less sympathetic?
What might cause a huge star like Eminem to begin to struggle in life when he seemed to have it all?
Are the explicit lyrics necessary? Why or why not?