A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Bow Wow is out to prove he runs with the big boys by talking a lot about sex, money, and partying. Though he tempers some of the talk with discussions of first love, the mature language he uses throughout the release makes the album too strong for young kids.
What's the story?
With NEW JACK CITY II, rapper Bow Wow attempts to distance himself even more from the "Lil'" moniker that used to preface his name as a child star. This explicit record is his first to receive a parental advisory sticker, largely due to his graphic language and descriptions of various sexual situations -- including his own basement strip club ("F--k the club / I got a pole in my basement"). Bow Wow supports his approach with several assists from very adult rappers and hip hop stars including T.I., T-Pain, Jermaine Dupri, and Nelly. That said, Bow Wow's youth still shows through in some songs like "You Can Get It All" that touch on first love: "We got a serious bond / And when we kick it we have nothin' but fun / I feel a whole lotta love between you and me."
Is it any good?
Though a couple of songs -- namely "Get that Paper" and "Sunshine" -- offer uniquely infectious beats, the record doesn't showcase an abundance of talent on Bow Wow's part. His skills are further obscured by the profusion of guest artists on the album: tracks that belong exclusively to Bow Wow are actually the exception, not the norm. All of the back-and-forth gives the record a somewhat groundless feel that makes it hard to sink your teeth into. Added to the somewhat tired themes of money and bragging rights that appear throughout the CD, the ungrounded feel results in a record that doesn't truly stand out.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the challenges involved when kids try to act older than their age. What drives kids to want to be older than they really are? What are the benefits of hanging out with a crowd of same-age kids?Also, this album has a lot of explicit sexual language. Here's how to talk to kids about sex and the media.