A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this CD is not meant for kids. The graphic references to violence and sex are too numerous to mention, and the artists seem to use adult language more often than ordinary words. With no edited soundtrack available, kids can't opt for a clean version, either.
What's the story?
Nearly 12 years after his murder, legendary rapper Notorious B.I.G. comes to life again in the film Notorious. The movie soundtrack consists mostly of "Biggie's" old hits; in other words, it's jam-packed with sex, violence, and adult language. The final three tracks -- new releases from his original demo tapes -- demonstrate the gritty streak that characterizes all of his major studio recordings. The CD also features appearances by other rappers like Jay-Z, Lil' Kim, and Jadakiss, who are raunchy in their own right.
Is it any good?
There's a reason Notorious B.I.G. remains one of the most famous names in rap: He's awesome. He manages to make his deep baritone sound alternately serious and whimsical when it suits him, and he delivers his rhymes with well-timed flow. Biggie's verses are enhanced by infectious beats and samples (like Duran Duran's single "Notorious") that are almost, as the title of one track suggests, hypnotic. It's the meaning behind those verses that puts this CD way out of kids' league.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what leads kids like Notorious B.I.G. to become hardcore rappers as adults. Why are some kids who grow up in poverty-stricken homes drawn to violence, while others aren't? Why do some adults believe in respecting their romantic partners, and others don't?