"Not Afraid" (CD single)



Surprisingly positive single; edited version is OK for teens
Parents recommendPopular with kids

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Despite the mature content, the message here is a positive one: that you can come back from adversity and be stronger for having done so. "We'll walk this road together, through the storm, whatever weather, cold or warm, just let you know that, you're not alone,
holla if you feel that you've been down the same road."

Positive role models

There are a few instances when Eminem makes an effort to promote positive behavior. "To focus solely on handling my responsibilities as a father, so I solemnly swear to always treat this roof like my daughters and raise it."


Only one line talks about getting shot: "Instead of getting crowned you're getting capped."


Only one eyebrow-raising line: "He's got the urge, to pull his d--k from the dirt and f--k the universe."


The usual offenders, like the f-bomb, are all present here; however, there is no N-word and the profanities do come in far less quantity than on previous Slim Shady tracks.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

There is discussion of rehab and the negative effects drug addiction had on the rapper's life. One line includes a reference to alcohol. "Lift the whole liquor counter up, 'cause I'm raising the bar"

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that although this is one of Eminem's most positive singles to date, it still contains too much profanity for it to be appropriate for kids. The "clean" version is a much better choice since the bad words have been removed. There's discussion of rehab and the negative effects drug addiction had on the rapper's life. Despite the mature content, the message here is a positive one: that you can come back from adversity and be stronger for having done so.

What's the story?

If last year saw Eminem's downward spiral into psychosis and derangement on Relapse, this year might usher in a kinder, gentler, and apparently sober Slim Shady. NOT AFRAID marks the first single off of his latest album, appropriately titled Recovery. This marks one of the few times where the rapper's lead-off single isn't a humorous parody. In fact, Eminem is strangely self-revealing and at times humble. Is this the final chapter in Em's tale of dependence, depression, and deliverance? Only time will tell. One thing is for sure: the public seems to be responding to the new and improved rapper, with the single debuting at number one, a rare feat for a hip-hop track.

Is it any good?


It's hard to find fault with Eminem for finally taking a positive step forward from the murderous, pill-popping image he had fallen into for so many years. Here he's coming clean, literally, even dissing some of his former work: "Let's be honest, that last Relapse CD was 'ehhhh'." But something is lukewarm with this track as well. Eminem has always positioned himself as an unflinching social commentator with an emotionally raw blizzard of lyrics that left you feeling sucker-punched. Will an uplifting, inspirational Slim Shady have anything authentic to say? The one glimmer of hope to find is Eminem's rapping skills, which appear firmly in check. Now if he can drop mock-singing choruses and cheesy lines like "I'm not afraid to take a stand, everybody come take my hand," his foray from the dark side may be complete.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about Eminem's change of attitude. Just because this single is positive and non-threatening, what does Eminem's career as a whole represent? Can one single make it easier to listen to other, more hardcore tracks? Why is it important to look at both the lyrics and the message of a song?

  • What does this single say about drug addiction? Does it show that even an addiction to prescription drugs can have a disastrous effect on someone's life? Do you think the media sometimes sends mixed signals about alcohol and drug abuse?

Music details

Release date:May 3, 2010
Parental advisory:Yes
Edited version available:Yes

This review of "Not Afraid" (CD single) was written by

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Teen, 17 years old Written byTheTrillonaire July 5, 2013

Iffy for 13+

Love this song.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Adult Written byBillyTheKidd September 1, 2010
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Kid, 11 years old August 28, 2015

Lots of Foul Language and sexual references and drug Reference

There is occasional uses of F*** Mother F***ers F**king and S***. there is also a few uses of D***! Eminem roars at the audience about his drug abuse and pill life with sexual references "Pull his D*** from the dirt and F*** the whole universe!" there is the saying "GET CLEAN" and the talk of the demons in him. definitely not for kids only for very very mature kids, Regular Tweens who watch their mouths, and teenagers. this i rate R-restricted Pervasive language throughout including drug reference sexual references and violence
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking


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