"Lighters" (CD Single)

Music review by
Stephanie Bruzzese, Common Sense Media
"Lighters" (CD Single) Music Poster Image
Popular with kids
Rap duo cuts aggressive, profanity-laced track.

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 25 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this music.

Positive Messages

No overt negativity, but some extremely aggressive lyrics (peppered with lots of profanity) about being the best in the rap game.

Positive Role Models & Representations

While motivation and drive can be good things, they're tainted by the song's overtone of aggression.


No direct acts of violence, but there are some violent metaphors and references: "Now let these words be like a switch blade to a hater's rib cage."


A couple of raunchy sexual allusions: "Used to have to eat the cat to get the p---y / Now I'm just the cat's meow."


Lots of "f--k," "s--t," and the "N" word.


Aston Martin, Lebron James, Audi, Manny Pacquaio.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

A reference by Royce the 5'9" to smoking weed -- but another by Eminem to quitting drugs ("the only thing I ever gave up is using").

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. 

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byAlexandre M. February 19, 2018
Adult Written bymusicfan3418 March 5, 2012

Its good, but profane filled

d*ck, a*s, s*it, f*ck, n**ga, c*ck, pr*ck, p**sy, "hairy box," b*tches, and more profanity. Violent lyrics, also.
Teen, 13 years old Written byLinkTech267 June 15, 2016

Nowhere NEAR as explicit or aggressive as CSM says. Actually fairly positive.

Is it the cleanest Hip Hop/Rap song ever? Definitely not. Is it the most explicit or aggressive? Not at all. Yes, there is some aggression in Eminem's vers... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byKit-Kat Girl May 21, 2013

Love This Song!

This is one of the best songs I've ever heard. Bruno Mars' vocals are so beautiful and emotional they almost make me cry. Eminem and Royce aren't... Continue reading

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?

Music details

  • Artist: Bad Meets Evil
  • Release date: June 14, 2011
  • Type: Single
  • Label: Shady Records
  • Genre: Rap
  • Parental advisory: Yes
  • Edited version available: Yes
  • Last updated: November 11, 2020

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