A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that while A$AP Rocky is a good rapper making very interesting music filled with a lot of ideas, his songs are also completely explicit and materialistic, promoting a life of excess and hedonism. Pretty much every curse word ("N" word, "c--k," "motherf----r," etc.) is found on LONG.LIVE.A$AP, as well as graphic descriptions of every sex act. There are constant references to drugs and alcohol, and getting high one way or the other is celebrated in every song. While the album may be excellent for adult rap fans, it isn't appropriate for kids and younger teens.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Harlem's A$AP Rocky is a vulgar and cocky rising star trying to turn himself into a hip-hop icon, enlisting the hottest contemporary rap stars for features on his major label debut, including Kendrick Lamar, Drake, and 2Chainz. Following more than a year of Internet hype and popular mixtapes, A$AP's first proper album further explores his "pretty motherf---a" persona, a character who's all about "swag" and getting rich and famous. Now that he actually is rich and famous, the boasting and muddled social criticism seems more relevant and honest to the image Rocky has created for himself.
Is it any good?
Rocky and his cohorts continue to utilize the ubiquitous "trap" style of rap that dominates the hip-hop charts currently. The beats are unique and interesting, bass-heavy and psychedelic, made by some of the top names in the business, including Clams Casino, Danger Mouse, and Skrillex. There are plenty of moments of introspection, and many more that are just fun wordplay over deep-tuned kick drums and swirling vocal samples. Easily A$AP's strongest effort so far. Too bad it's not appropriate for kids.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the trend of having guest stars on albums. Why do you think A$AP Rocky featured so many of the other biggest stars in rap on his debut album?
What do you think of the fact that he collaborated with electronic music titan -- but hip-hop novice -- Skrillex? What does each get out of the partnership?
Is it necessary to have such graphic sex and violence in hip-hop lyrics? Why or why not?