Music review by
Kathi Kamen Goldmark, Common Sense Media
Math Music Poster Image
The new math: Cool lyrics and rap beats teach the lesson.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

A positive, "you can do it" message applied to middle-school math.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this imaginative CD, part of the Rhythm Rhyme Results educational
rap music series, teaches middle-school math in an unforgettable rap format that actually sounds authentic. There's no objectionable content to worry about for younger kids, and
parents may find them useful too, for helping with homework.

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What's the story?

With song titles like \"Fractions and Decimals,\" \"Don't Be
Negative\" (about negative signs), and \"Meters, Liters, and Grams,\" this CD covers all of the key lessons from middle-school math in rap and hip-hop. Calculating surface area might remain in kids' brains if they hear it this way: \"Stay with me, it's gonna get tricky/When you're dealing with a box it's a
little more iffy/a, b, and c are the lengths of three sides/With different
combinations, just multiply/2 a b, add it to the 2 b c, and add it to
the 2 c a/Now you're dealing with the surface of a box (OK!).\" As on the other offerings in the series, there are four versions of
each song. The "Original Track" presents the complete song at its normal
tempo, the "Downtempo Track" presents the complete song at a reduced tempo,
the "Recall Track™" feature eliminates key words and phrases from the
lyrics, and the "Instrumental Track" provides a karaoke-style version
without lead vocals.

Is it any good?

Math is kind of hard to teach in a song -- even when you're rapping. The lyrics on this
release are less imaginative and poetic than those on the other titles in the series -- and students may need some visuals to supplement. But the
talented Rhythm Rhyme Results crew pulls the songs off with their usual clever finesse, and the
concepts become clearer with a second listen. One highlight, "Meters, Liters, and Grams," describes measurements in terms of the size of every-day objects: "A paper clip weighs about a gram/a big textbook is a kilogram, man, but
a milligram, that's a little harder to slice/because 10 milligrams is about a grain of rice" -- making the concepts relevant and easy to understand.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about whether it feels funny to hear people rapping seriously about math. Were there any particular phrases that stuck with you? Did the music help you in class?

Music details

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